Your new movie Innsmouth
- in a few words, what is it about?
Detective Olmstead is called to a homicide scene and finds something very odd
on the body --- a strange bite wound and an egg sac. She must go to Innsmouth
to investigate, where she runs afoul of the town's matriarchal society.
being inspired by H.P. Lovecraft's Shadows Over Innsmouth, how
close do you remain to the source material, and what drew you to the story
in the first place? And how easy/hard is it to adapt Lovecraft?
a very loose adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's Shadows Over
Innsmouth. I've changed the genders to reinforce the matriarchal
vision that I had of Innsmouth, with Alice Marsh (Tristan Risk [Tristan
Risk interview - click here]) in charge.
If you know Lovecraft, that's pretty much the opposite of what he did.
Everything was straight white male. He would have hated my version, I
think. Since it's not a by-the-book adaptation, I was free to create my
own world. Adapting Lovecraft is different for everyone; if you choose to
do a period piece or have an FX-heavy script, it can be incredibly
sources of inspiration when writing Innsmouth?
Risk was the sole muse for this piece. When we were on the set of For A
Good Time, Call... (now in post) she mentioned that she had a
very special trick. My mouth dropped, and I knew I wanted to be the first
to put that on film. She's fearless, peerless, and full of surprises.
Anyone who's seen Innsmouth
can attest to that.
can you tell us about your co-writer Francesco Massaccesi, and what was
your collaboration like?
It was a very smooth
collaboration. He's in Italy, I'm in the US. We'd talk online or over
Skype to develop the script and go over ideas and changes. It was a very
open and easy way of working, and I'd love to work with him again.
Do talk about your directorial
approach to your story at hand?
I like to collaborate and I
trust my cast and crew to do their jobs. As for directing actors, I have
lots of feelings in my head in regards to character motivations. These are
more or less abstract. When I direct, I talk to actors more in terms of
how their character may be feeling, and why they would do what they do.
There's a scene in Alice Marsh's library, and in her bathroom, that is a
kind of dangerous seduction. I sent both Tristan and Diana the amazing
audition scene that Naomi Watts became known for in David Lynch's Mulholland
Drive to get that insanely intimate yet murderous feel across. It
does feature some quite elaborate prosthetics and special effects makeup -
so what can you tell us about that aspect of your movie?
brought her "secret prosthetic" in with her. I don't want to
give that away, but let it be a total surprise to viewers. My friend Vera
made gills, and talons, and my DP Bryan McKay made an awesome VFX egg sac
to go along with the practical effects eggs. Other than that, it's the
typical blood and latex wounds.
also appear in front of the camera in Innsmouth
- so do talk about your character for a bit, and why have you chosen to
It was partly because there were a lack of actors
available the weekend we shot in the Greater Boston area --- which is a
small market --- and partly because other filmmakers have been encouraging
me to act more. I also thought it would be fun to wear a forensics jacket
and be a bit of a lady Dexter.
You of course also have to talk about your two
leading ladies, Diana Porter and Tristan Risk [Tristan
Risk interview - click here], and what made them perfect for their
Diana Porter, Tristan Risk
Diana can do just about anything, and it's why
I keep working with her. And I really like her face, besides the fact that
she's very talented. We've worked on a ridiculous number of films together
and were once called the Boston horror equivalent of Scorsese and
DiCaprio. Tristan is a joy to work with as well. We officially met at
Fantastic Fest, and from just hanging out with her, I knew I wanted to
work with her, and we've done some crazy things together. I've joked about
making a t-shirt with my Nihil Noctem Films logo and "Tristan Risk +
Izzy Lee = NSFW". Anyway, I adore them both very much.
What can you tell us about the shoot as
such, and the on-set atmosphere?
Fun. Somewhat tiring,
which is always the case on set. The crew was a bit skittish about
Tristan's nudity and special trick, but it was hilarious. She skipped out
of that bathroom in her birthday suit, happy as a lark.
The $64-question of
course, when and where will the film be released onto a general audience?
has to play the festival circuit first. Upcoming screenings are Ithaca
International Fantastic Film Festival, where it plays with the feature
Look Like People, MonsterFest in Australia, Vancouver Badass Short
Film Festival. It just played DEDFest with Tales of Halloween.
future projects you'd like to share?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Again there's For
A Good Time, Call... (now in post), but I may have something in
development based off a Joe Lansdale story [Joe
R. Lansdale interview - click here]. And I'm co-writing a feature
script with my Postpartum co-writer, Chris Hallock.
Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
Anything else you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten
Torchy's Tacos in Austin has punch-your-momma-in-the-face-it's-so-good
tacos. Also, I adore my cast and crew.
Thanks for the interview!