JONAH EHRENREICH INTERVIEW
In the new horror pic Hooked Up, two young friends from New York (Stephen Ohl and Jonah Ehrenreich) travel to Barcelona for some r and r. But things don't go as expected and they end up trapped in a house where they have to fight one heck of an evil chick!
Jonah Ehrenreich talks to us about a fun horror jaunt that was filmed completely on an iPhone.
Filming a complete movie on an iPhone is an interesting concept. Did it go smoothly?
Jonah Ehrenreich: There were some issues with low battery power and that making the phone lag and disrupting the frame rate, but there were three or four iPhones in the mix, so as long as the battery didn't drain too low, the phones kept in constant circulation, uploading, recharging, repeat. It ended up being a well-oiled machine. A challenge with the iPhone that I can think of from an acting perspective was the fact that it's the Director of Photography who throughout the film is the one holding the camera, but it's supposed to be me talking to the other character who is actually talking to me off right, so I had to be looking at the DP like he was the other character. It made us have to listen that much harder, which was actually pretty cool; your imagination does the rest. Sometimes the DP would put on our respective characters clothing while holding the camera and that would kind of help, but mostly just be funny to look at. Danny [Férnandez-Abelló] the DP did a hell of a job physically embodying our characters while holding the camera though, and he was in it just as much as any of us actors. That guy was freakin awesome and that's why the movie looks great, because he really lived in that perspective fully. There is one scene where I had to do the filming, it's when Noemi and Tonio are in the room together and I had to film only because I turn the camera on myself at one point and there would be no way for the DP to capture this, so I ended up filming the scene. But I couldn't hold the camera sturdy enough, so they positioned sixteen pillows underneath both of my arms to steady camera and that's the footage you see in the film. Filming and acting at the same time is a wild experience. Check out the other actor Stephen Ohl do it with a go-pro strapped to his head in his recent short film 'I Wasn't Me'. I'm in it too.
Did it take longer to film, being that Director Pablo Larcuen had to charge the phone constantly? Or did he modify the phone to suit his needs?
JE: Yes, it was on a constant rotation of three or four iPhones in and out of uploading and recharging. He had something worked out with the appropriate uploading software to keep the stream moving fluidly. As long as uploading was running smoothly, we were able to keep the pace going, but if we started a scene with a phone down, then that could really back things up.
Are you based in L.A? Did this require moving to Spain for the shoot?
JE: At the time I was based in NYC, it was a year after that I moved to LA. We started out in Barcelona for pre-production and then we had to live in a small town called Carcastillo, about four hours Northwest of Barcelona, to film the horror portions of the film in the house. Then we came back to Barcelona to film what is seen in the first part of the film.
Can you tell us about working with actresses Júlia Molins and Natascha Wiese? Their parts seemed emotionally demanding!
JE: They are tremendous talents and they both command such unique and interesting presences. Julia put in all of the demanding work to make sure her English was on point and she really succeeded. She managed to hit all the points for the audience to follow while all of this emotion is spilling out of her. She really thrived under the pressure. For Natasha, she can convey so much just through a look and gesture and for me, she is the face of this movie with that graceful devilishness. She physically put herself on the line to embody this demonic character and all the respect goes out to her for a badass job.
Did you get along well with co-star Stephen Ohl? Your chemistry seems very real.
JE: Yeah, Pablo must have seen something because Stephen and I got along right from the get-go and we were able to get these roles going together long before we shot. After we freaked out making this thing, it was easy to be good friends.
The film is premiering on VOD. Are you a VOD man yourself, or do you prefer to wait for the physical DVD release?
JE: I like checking it out on VOD and if it's worth the little money I do own, then I'll put in that DVD order into the system.
What's your all-time favorite horror movie?
JE: I'll say Urban Legend just because I was 10 years old or something when I first saw it and I remember I was watching that scene where the guy is tied to the bed unable to move, and the woman is cutting his stomach. Next thing I knew I was waking up on the floor; only movie to ever make me faint, so due to that fact I'll give it the honor of favorite.
HorrorTalk would like to thank Jonah Ehrenreich for this Q&A. You can check out Hooked Up on US VOD on April 7th, 2015 and on UK DVD from 27th April.