JUSTIN PRICE INTERVIEW
Talking horror, werewolves, and breathing life back into the seemingly slowing-down werewolf genre with Dark Moon Rising director Justin Price.
Do you remember the first werewolf movie you saw?
Justin Price: Well I was born in 1988 right around the time the world was still transitioning to the digital age and yet had enough nostalgic adults hanging around to ensure we learned about retro things. So when I was 10 years old, I remember seeing An American Werewolf in Paris and the song by Bush just stuck in my head. It was the first time I was afraid and rooting for the main character all at the same time. That film became one of the many inspirations for our franchise Dark Moon Rising and to this day I always remember those werewolf transformations underground.
And what about the last one?
JP: The last werewolf film I remember seeing was The Howling, and it was a master class in character development. I think that film truly shows how mature the audiences for the supernatural genre have progressed. There are subtle differences in how auteurs approach werewolf films now and audiences have become more and more astute to the type of content they enjoy. Before we do any film, we are always conscious to watch great films within the genre and try and see what worked and what we can do differently to bring our own unique spin too it. In Dark Moon Rising, we focused on executing a stylized take on the genre by bringing a lot of what works in the Japanese animation to live action. There is a scene in the film when Gecko enters the camp site where kids were killed earlier and he enters surrounded by a blizzard in the middle of the night. On set when we shot it, we had snow machines blowing and fog machines going and we all took a large gasp when he entered decked in werewolf nails and teeth ready to kill the cops waiting in the woods.
Have they changed over the years, werewolf movies?
JP: I believe they have. I think as technology advances and story tellers are able to come from all walks of life, there are opportunities to bring different angles to the genre. Hopefully the audiences will connect with this franchise as we prepare to release at least two more films bringing a conclusion to Chace and Dawn's story.
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How does yours differ, you think, to ones that have come before?
JP: My producing partner KHU came to me and we discussed what type of films we wanted to sink our teeth into. Our production company PIKCHURE ZERO ENTERTAINMENT was created because we felt passionate about making this franchise and dealing with bringing unique perspectives to the genre. Our film Dark Moon Rising utilizes fantasy elements and mixes that with gore in a way that allows the audience to veer more towards the sci-fi world that we intended to create. There is a scene where Dawn (Anastasia Antonia) takes Chace to her place of dreams and it is essentially a fantasy cliff to where reality doesn't exist, and it forces the audience to either go along for the ride or try and decipher how they got there. It comes back later in the story as a pivotal plot point to show that no place she goes is safe. What sets Dark Moon Rising apart centers on the battle between werewolves and lycans and how the remaining werewolves from different packs around the world have all joined forces to save their species. So essentially this franchise becomes about survival and it allows us to move within a space of empathy and fear.
And you have an Oscar Nominee in yours, Eric Roberts. How did you get him?
JP: My casting director Angela Griffith has worked with me on a few films and having her and Lamese Williams before making any casting decisions usually helps us with luring name talent. We sat down and thought about who would be believable in the role of Henrick and we read many talented stars and Eric is just class personified. I think he is truly an American treasure to the likes of a Robert Duval, just in the way he carries his talents with such ease that as a director it was my job not to mess it up. I am hopeful that as we continue this franchise we can give him more things to allow him to continue bringing out the creative sides in all of us.
Were most of the effects on the movie practical?
JP: We try to lean on the expertise of the VFX companies we work with and allow them to help us blend practical and visual together. The majority of the effects in this film follow that similar pattern by having practical with CGI in order to help us tell the story.
And if this one goes well, will you consider a sequel?
JP: We are planning to continue to work with Uncork'd Entertainment and allow our relationship with them to determine what happens next in the franchise, but yes, we are planning on starting production for Dark Moon Rising later this year. That is why having a positive response to the film when it is released August 4, 2015, on iTnes and Vudu before hitting Redbox, Netflix and Walmart later in 2015, is imperative to allow us to continue to tell this unique spin on the werewolf genre. Our job is to continue to push the envelope and allow audiences to continue to give us feedback and we are grateful for the opportunity. We look forward to bringing the conclusion to this exciting franchise and the next film will be action packed, so stay tuned.
HorrorTalk would like to think Justin Price for this exclusive Q&A!
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