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Interviews with the cast and crew of FRACTURED
Visions of scantily clad, blood soaked women screaming in pain, as if in a scene out of Dante, haunts Dylan’s nightmares. Or are they nightmares or memories? Dylan’s search for answers drives Adam Gierasch’s new film, FRACTURED, a stylish blend of film noir and horror anchored by strong performances from Callum Blue, Ashlynn Yennie, Nicole LaLiberte, and Vinnie Jones.
I recently had a chance sit with Adam and some members of his cast and crew to talk about the film which is currently available on VOD, ITunes and Amazon.
Adam Gierasch (Director/Producer/Co-writer/)
How did the film come about?
Me and Jace (Co-writer/Co-producer) were on the way to the airport to go see her parents and I was nervous. I didn’t want to go and did everything in my power to convince her not to get on that airplane. When we got back to the car, I said to myself, “How could I do that to my wife? Am I dammed for not letting her get on that plane?” From there I thought, what happens when you do something really bad and are stuck between the real world and hell both literally and figuratively.
Speaking of being stuck between two worlds, the film plays like a fusion of noir and horror. Did that come about organically?
Yes, I read James Elroy like there’s no tomorrow. I love OUT OF THE PAST, DOUBLE INDEMINITY and DOA which is actually the closest story wise to this film. We said that we wanted to do a hard boil noir and yet put horror in it. It’s not really a horror movie, it doesn’t play like that. Everything else I done is where someone goes to a house, hospital or mansion and bad things start to happen whether it’s ghosts, demons or evil slasher people. For this one, I said that I was going to do the classic structure of a detective movie and really do it old school.
That leads into how we shot it using super 35 like they would have back in the day. Was it the smartest thing to do? Not particularly, it made it a lot harder but I’m happy with the results. If we had shot on the Alexa or the Red, we could have used half the lights and had gotten a similar look. The cool thing about shooting in the format, that we did, is that it had to be widescreen. Because you are only using half the 35mm screen, it is automatically widescreen. It eliminates all the fights that you normally have with the producer when you want to shoot widescreen.
What challenges did you face during production?
Lack of money, lack of time, weather that went from hot to absolutely blistering cold. Plus we shot nights all the time. Heaven forbid I shoot something that takes place in the daytime. It was very uncomfortable. That scene that takes place in the “blood room” was so cold. I felt so bad for those girls that I was running over between takes with a portable heater. They were freezing.
Tell me about your cast?
We have Callum Blue, Ashlynn Yennie, Nicole LaLiberte, who was amazing. She was in a really cool movie called GIRLS AGAINST BOYS and if you haven’t seen it, you should immediately. Then there’s Vinnie Jones, if you want someone to play a dangerous bad guy, he’s pretty unparalleled.
I’m writing a movie for CBS Films that’s called SPLIT that’s obviously a much bigger budget type of thing. See we’re generally writers by trade, me and my wife. It’s a total mind-fuck of …cool. I can’t tell you what genre it is. It’s strange and wonderful. It’s less horror than SCHISM.
Since you brought it up, why the name change to FRACTURED?
I gather that it’s a hard word to translate overseas. I got to keep the finished film the way I wanted it. I didn’t have to cut anything so I was like if you want to change the title, go for it. The funny part is that the original title was SEASONS IN THE ABYSS which everyone said was “the worst title ever.” I’m like – no, it’s cool, it’s like THE ICEMAN COMETH. It’s deep and stuff. So FRACTURED. It all boils down to the lowest common denominator.
Jerami Cruise (Special Effects)
What where the challenges that you faced in the film?
The challenges were that it was kind of a last minute thing when he called me up. We didn’t have a lot of time in preproduction. In most movies, you don’t really have enough time to build these things. So I went down there and I built everything in the hotel room because we really didn’t have any shop time and I actually built a lot of the effects on dummy heads not really my actors. Nine times out of 10 times, you build some with the actor so that it fits them perfectly. I didn’t really have that luxury on this show. I built everything and then tweaked it on set to fit people. That was the biggest challenge.
What effect were you most proud of?”
Definitely the scalping effect. It was always an effect that I wanted to do being a fan of the original MANIAC. They did a scalping effect, Tom Savini was the make-up artist who did all the effects for that film and I loved his effects. When Adam said to me that there was a scalping in the film, I wanted to trump that movie, I wanted to do it 10 times better.. as gory as I could make it and from what I saw it came out fantastic. Every drop of blood come out in the scene. It was very awesome.
So it’s an effect that not for the weak of heart/
Definitely not or the weak of heart. I design all my effects to be ultra-realistic, to be as real as I can get it not what I like to call “Hollywood” effects where the knife goes up in the air, the blood goes against the wall, there’s all kinds of camera cuts in there. I try to design my effects with no camera cuts because if there’s a camera cut, the audience knows it. If there are no camera cuts, it puts the audience in that situation to be like “wow, how did they do that” It even makes them feel the pain that the actor is going through. It takes them out of the realism if there are camera cuts in there.
Where do you fall in the practical effects versus CGI debate?
I’m a practical guy. I do all my stuff on set. As a make-up artist that’s what I like. As a fan of movies, that’s what I like. I definitely think that the marriage of the two, CGI and make-up effects will help sell an effect if it needs it. A lot of people just throw CGI in because they can. It’s never the way to go. It’s what’s best for the project that is the marriage of the two. I think that’s the way to go.
What do you have coming up/
I have two projects coming up. One is called PITTSBURGH BATTERY REMOVAL which deals with man’s mortality and how we deal with death on a day to day basis and a documentary called LATEX AUTOPSY deals with my past works for the last 10 years.
And where are they in the process?
PITTSBURGH BATTERY REMOVAL, we’re trying to raise money right now and attach some pretty cool actors to it and LATEX AUTOPSY is in production, it’s being edited and hopefully should be out by August.
Adam Barber (Score Composer)
How did you get involved with the film?
Through a friendship with Kate, one of the producers. I read the script, really liked the story and said that I would like to pitch myself. Adam called me and we have a two hour conversation and then two weeks later he said I was the man.
One of the concerns Adam had was could I write Jazz? Jazz` is a big part of my musical influences. In the first meeting, Adam asked me what I saw musically for Dylan. I said a tenor sax, something emotional that still had that noir feel that people think about when they think noir. A small ensemble, nothing big except for the horror moments, the really splashy dark stuff and the transitions. I think that is what sold him on me.
How much music did you write for the film?
I wrote about 2 hours of music. First I wrote out the themes for Dylan. That was my first exercise. I wrote 3 60 bar variations on a theme. Once those where set in stone, I worked on the score. I found that if I wasn’t doing melodies or themes, I saw myself creating musical sound design structures …drones and eerie sounds that accented or supported the scene in a musical way. On the dub stage, I was fine with them using it or not using it, but I basically blanketed the movie with sound.
Who were your musical influences?
One big one is Christopher Young because I worked with him on SPIDERMAN 3, DRAG ME TO HELL and GHOST RIDER. He loves themes. I’ve taking a lot from him …phrasing and themes. He’s been a big influence.
What’s next for you?
I’m working on Anthony DiBlasi’s PAYMON. I just did the score for that and they asked me to come aboard for their next film, EXHUME, which looks really good.
Ashlynn Yennie (Brandy)
How did you get involved with the film?
Adam saw I film that I did called “HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2.” So I came in to audition, did a chemistry read and that was it and I was on my way to New Orleans.
Tell me about your character?
The story is about this guy, Dylan. He’s having these nightmarish visions and soon discovers that they are not nightmares but things coming out of his past to haunt him, to make him go right his wrongs. He had amnesia and stole someone else’s identity. He has this life as Dylan but then he has this other life that he couldn’t remember until he goes back down to New Orleans, where he finds all these people that knew him and he discovers that he was part of a really bad business. He wants to right his wrongs and it is the story of his redemption. I play his girlfriend Brandy and I only know him as Dylan. I’m the lighter part of the film. Nothing that I am in has horror aspects. It’s all pretty sets and boyfriend and girlfriend relationship stuff.
So a change of pace from HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2?
I was really excited about being in this movie. Even though it stayed in the same genre, it was a role that showed me in a different light.
Even though you weren’t involved in the horror aspects of the film, is there anything about it that really scared you?
There was one scene, it’s such a cheap trick, where Dylan’s walking across the street and a bus comes by really fast like in FINAL DESTINATION. That shocked me the most in the movie because I wasn’t expecting it even though I read the whole script. That scared me to death.
What’s coming up next for you?
I have another film called THE SCRIBBLER that coming out later this year that’s based on a graphic novel. The story is about Suki, played by Katie Cassidy, who has multiple personality disorder. She’s sent by her doctors to this halfway house. Her doctor puts her on this burn therapy which burns away the personalities. But is it going to burn all her personalities and keep the right one? I play a character called Emily who suffers from vestiphobia which is the fear of being trapped in clothing and she has a mental breakdown. It will be out in the fall. Then I have a romantic comedy called DIVORCE PARTY that is playing at the Newport Beach Film Festival and a crime drama called GHOST AND THE WHALE. So I have a lot of stuff coming out.
Nicole LaLiberte (Marlena)
How did you get involved with the film?
I got sent the script in the normal fashion and it seemed interesting. I met with Adam and the casting director. I originally auditioned for the role of Brandy. The film kind of disappeared for a while but then they called me back and wanted me to audition for Brandy again. I said “No” that I wanted to play Marlena and they said that was fine. I had a nice audition and that’s how I came aboard.
Tell me about Marlena?
She’s a wreck … a stripper, a party girl. It’s all about pleasure for her. She’s all that but there is also a sweetness to her. I don’t want to say she’s a hooker with a heart of gold but there is a bit of that quality to her. I guess she’s a well-intentioned, dark floozy.
Is there anything about the film that particularly scared you?
I feel that there are some parts about the movie that I don’t remember because they scared me. I don’t generally watch horror films because they scare me. There’s some editing stuff that’s shocking like a hand coming out of a refrigerator that scared me.
How did you enjoy making the film?
Working with Adam was great. He is super supportive and loves actors. He loves writing, loves the whole world of it (filmmaking) and his love infuses the whole set no matter the time of day. I lot of the stuff I shot was at night and was exhausting but for the most part it was fun. I got to spend time in New Orleans. I got to experience beignets which are something everyone needs to do once in their lives.
Click on the link below to rent FRACTURED from Amazon. It is also available for rent on ITunes or on VOD through your cable or satellite provider. You’ll be glad that you did.
Or purchase the DVD which will be out on June 10th, 2014