FILMING THE CRUCIFIXION ON LOCATION IN ROMANIA
Written by Chad Hayes & Carey W. Hayes
We have been fortunate enough to have worked on films all over the world, shooting in many different incredible locations, so what immediately comes to mind, as to what was the biggest difference in making The Crucifixion compared to our other films, was actually shooting it in Romania. First of all, we loved it there. It was such an incredible location to be filming; who actually gets to go and work in Transylvania, the home of Dracula! The people are fantastic, the food incredible, and the country is absolutely beautiful and just so rich in history. But what's important to note is that when we do genre films, there are certain elements that have to work on visual levels, which is why we sometimes "dress the set" to increase the scare factor, ratchet up the tension, look different, etc.
For instance, when we did The Conjuring in North Carolina, we found a great location for the exterior of the Perron house, but we needed to build the tree where the witch hung herself in the backyard. It had some of what we needed, but not all of it. When we started scouting locations in Romania, we realized right away that most of the locations we fell in love with, needed very little "set dressing". Probably because it's a country full of vampires and werewolves! For example, at the end of the film we have a dog scratching on a barn door to get in. It's an original farm door that's beat up and literally covered in flies. The location was an actual pig farm that had been in a family for hundreds of years and the flies were there long before us! We didn't have to do one thing to it! But man, did it stink! Our director, Xavier Gens, liked a couple of locations inside the barn, as they were so atmospheric, but in between shooting the scenes, everyone's hands definitely covered their noses. And for some "reason" while inside, the actors never forgot their lines! They and the crew wanted out of there as fast as they could.
We also had an interesting international mix of cast and crew that added some complexities while in Romania. A French director, two British actresses, a Spanish DP, as well as Romanian actors and crew. Needless to say, there was a multitude of languages being spoken at any given time, but the biggest challenge on this film, interestingly enough, was getting the Romanian actors, who needed to speak English for the film, to enunciate their words clearly enough to understand them, as we wanted to avoid an ADR nightmare! As the story takes place in Romania, it was also fun to incorporate some of their traditions. In the film we refer to the Strigoli festival, which was really fun to recreate. It was a tradition in rural towns ages ago, and now has turned into a festival. But in the olden days, it was taken very seriously. Villagers would exhume the body of someone they thought to be an evil person and remove the heart. Then they would burn it, mix the ashes with water from the local well and drink it. They wore masks to cover their faces, protecting their identity from dead souls. This was all done to ward off evil spirits for the upcoming year. Hmmm… wonder if they had sweetener back then!!!
HorrorTalk.com would like to express their gratitude to Chad Hayes and Cary W. Hayes for sharing with us this great piece. Take a look at the latest clip from Thee Crucifixion below and make sure you check it out when it hits theaters and On-Demand on October 6th!