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An Interview with Brianne Davis, Director of Psychophonia a.k.a. Deadly Signal

by Mike Haberfelner

April 2018

Films directed by Brianne Davis on (re)Search my Trash

 

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Your new movie Deadly Signal - in a few words, what is it about?

 

Deadly Signal is about a woman who’s husband has been brutally murdered and her journey to uncover his secret past. While she’s being stalked and tormented, she begins a quest to find her new path no matter at what cost.

 

How did you get involved with the project in the first place?

 

Luckily, there was another female director attached to the project but was unable to do it. I received the call just two weeks before production. I believe things happen for a reason, I really loved the script and was able to cast a lot of my friends who were on hiatus during their shows and the lead, Vedette Lim, who is a very dear friend of mine. We all got to play and create this film during the Christmas holiday.

 

From what I know, you've recently also directed another movie for Blanc-Biehn Productions, producers of Deadly Signal, Night Visitor 2: Heather's Story - so how do these two films compare?

 

They are completely different films. One is a sci-fi found-footage film and the other is thriller psychological horror. We shot Night Visitor 2 in one location and had multiple locations on Deadly Signal . Both were labors of love and wonderful experiences, but I am definitely not a found-footage director. I love close-up and medium shots and getting to explore more dimensions with camera angles in a narative film. But doing Night Visitor 2 gave me a great start to filmmaking and gave me the confidence that I knew I could do it.

 

What can you tell us about Deadly Signal's writers Barbara Stepansky and Lony Ruhmann, and what was your collaboration with them like?

 

They both gave me a great base for the film and their ideas were already fleshed out by the time I attached myself to the movie. Barbara is a Nicholl’s Fellow and WGA Awards winner, I couldn’t have asked for a better writer. So when I started filming , they really took a step back and let me run the show. I appreciate both their support in my vision and having my back as a female filmmaker.

 

Do talk about Deadly Signal's approach to horror for a bit, and is this at all a genre dear to you?

 

I love horror. It's such a fun genre to work in as both an actress and director. There is something wonderful about having no boundaries and being able to bend the lines of reality with horror.

 

To what extent could you actually identify with Deadly Signal's lead Lilly, and the things she's going through?

 

Haha… well my husband has not been murdered or living a secret life, but as my background as an actress, I can get into the minds of each character pretty easily and let my imagination go there. I  think as a director it is my strongest quality. I can identify with that aspect of storytelling.

 

What can you tell us about your overall directorial approach to your story at hand?

 

When I am breaking down a script, I envision every camera movement and angle. I create storyboards to get everyone on the crew on the same page.  That gives us all a base to start with but I stay open to whatever my DP can creatively come up as well. I go through every character's purpose and goal, creating an character arc for the actor. I just love directing and can’t wait to do more in the future.

 

A few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?

 

I would say QUICK… It was a fast shoot with 16 pages a day and a large cast. We shot the entire film in 6 days. My husband and I have been on hundreds of sets so we really wanted to create a safe environment to create and do our best to stay on budget and on time. There’s nothing worse than shooting an eighteen hour day on a Friday night. Sometimes it has to be done, but we do our best to stay to manageable hours.

 

The $64-question of course, where can your movie be seen?

 

At the moment it is available on DVD, but we’ve got new distributor on board and will have a full VOD release soon.

 

Any future projects you'd like to share?

 

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I’m a series regular on History Channel’s Six, our second season premieres on Memorial Day. I’ve created a one-hour TV drama with my partner Jana Kramer and my husband Mark Gantt through our Give & Take Productions, and are in the process of packaging and pitching it to networks. We also have another show Mark wrote called Cul-De-Sac, that we are getting interest in and I’m attached to direct a movie called A Place Apart. And lastly I’m having a baby boy in mid- April. So my plate is pretty full right now, but I would not have it any other way.

 

Having entered the filmworld as an actress, you've branched out into directing only recently - so what prompted that move, and how would you describe yourself as a director?

 

I feel like it was a bigger decision for myself. It was a calling from my High Power to start directing. One day the words just spilled out of my mouth, “why don’t I direct it?” Best thing I have ever done is listen to that inner voice and go with it. With all my training as an actress and working in this business for 15 years and watching on set plus my OCD and organization skills, I just feel like directing was calling and I never want to stop. I just love it.

 

Actresses, filmmakers, whoever else who inspire you?

 

There are too many to count and name. But I am a huge fan of the career of Elizabeth Banks and Reese Witherspoon. They both have successful production companies, great careers and produce tons of material on film and television and they have families. That’s the path I envision for myself. I want to do it all. Keep working as an actress, directing film and television and producing with my husband.

 

Your favourite movies?

 

Again too many to name, but I love Jaws and will watch it anytime it's on TV. I could say every line in that movie. And the most terrifying horror film for me is The Strangers. It could really happen to anyone so that is extremely scary.

 

Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?

 

You can find my on Twitter and Instagram at @Thebriannedavis and my website is www.briannedavis.com

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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Thanks for watching !!!



 

 

Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD