Post Number: 992
|Posted on Thursday, December 02, 2010 - 08:52 pm: ||
I just read this and thought I would pass it along to those that have been anticipating the release of the film. The interview is from November 30.
"It's in its final stages of post production now. "Torture Chamber" will be finished right around the New Year. Sometime in January. I'm pulling out all-stops in the sound mix now. Since I'm the film's sound designer, I have over eight thousand sound fx, soundscapes and musical compositions crawling around in my head. I'm almost finished creating the soundtrack. There's a screening with a distributor planned early next year. The movie should be released later next year."
Long Live the Pit!
Post Number: 9113
|Posted on Thursday, December 02, 2010 - 09:09 pm: ||
A great interview
Post Number: 4517
|Posted on Tuesday, December 07, 2010 - 01:38 pm: ||
His is a name that any self respecting horror fan should know. I'm not talking about those Hollywood fanciers who adore remakes and sparkling vampires now, I'm talking about REAL fans of the genre.
Dante Tomaselli is a screenwriter, producer and director. He even composes the score for his films. There have been a number of the industry's most successful filmmakers who have worn many "hats" but, for me, one comes to mind first. This other man who wrote, directed, produced and served as score composer for most of his films, is John Carpenter.
I'm not necessarily comparing the films of the two as they are, obviously, two different, and very original, filmmakers. What I am comparing is their work ethic and natural ability. Both know that if they control the directing, producing, writing and score, they can better make the film that they want to, not the film that others may want them to. They are uncompromising. And, in the business of making movies, this is not the most common of traits.
Dante Tomaselli has the mind of a filmmaker. He has an ability to tap into the fears of many people. Many people have the fear of the unknown and the fear of the darker side of life. The fear of demons, Satan and Hell. Dante exploits that fear. And the ability to exploit the fears of viewers is an important ability for a horror filmmaker to possess.
Dante Tomaselli's films include:
•Satan's Playground (2006)
•Torture Chamber (2011) (currently in post-production)
Dante was so kind as to take the time to answer a few questions for me. I invite you to read this interview, learn a little about Mr. Tomaselli, and then get out there and check out his films, if you have not already.
Hi Dante. Thanks so much for your time. I'll start by asking about your beginning. Did you always know you wanted to become a filmmaker? How did you get your start?
Always. Since I was three or four. I remember being that age and sitting in front of an electronic organ and pressing the low and high notes...conjuring horror music. While playing the organ, I was painting ghosts, haunted houses and graveyards. It feels exactly the same now. I'm just as possessed by the visuals as the sound. They intertwine and form a sandwich in my mind. The soundtrack is literally 50% of the film's equation. I always knew I would become a filmmaker, everyone around me knew, there was never a question. I lived in NYC in my twenties and made a series of experimental short films called Desecration. They eventually got into some film festivals and I was able to raise money for the full length feature. I shot Desecration when I was 28...and it was released by Image Entertainment in 2000. After that, I directed a very non-linear film called, simply, Horror. Elite Entertainment picked it up. Then a few years later, I made Satan's Playground and it was released by Anchor Bay.
When you are writing a script, do you borrow from, or are you inspired by real life events, or does it all come from your imagination?
All the psychic debris of the day, all the emotions I repress, enter my films. Anything has a chance of flying into the mix. My imagination is a hurricane. Mostly, my films concentrate on nightmares, being in a trance-like state, a state of panic, fear.
How do you feel about horror films today, as compared to 20 or 30 years ago? Do you see the genre as progressing, as being stagnant or do you feel it's falling behind?
Well, I don't really watch most modern horror films. They just don't do anything for me. I avoid them, really. There are some exceptions, but there's no doubt that I'm addicted to the older horror films. I love The Cabinet of Dr. Calagari...1920. F.W. Murnau's Nosferatu...1922. Anything older, I enjoy, but with an emphasis on 60s, 70s, early 80s, since those were the films I really grew up on: Alice, Sweet Alice, Don't Look Now, Halloween, The Exorcist, The Brood, Carrie, The Omen, Night of the Living Dead, The Shining, Alien, Phantasm, The Changeling, Rosemary's Baby, The Evil Dead, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Burnt Offerings, The Sentinel, there are so many. I love eccentric low budget horror movies, slashers, classy, well-made horror films, the whole spectrum.
You've used many of the same actors and actresses for most of your films. I assume that this is no coincidence. I know that Kevin Smith is very loyal to his friends, and tries to find them roles in each of his films. Adam Mason has also done this, using his friend Andrew Howard and Adam's girlfriend Tess Panzer in each of his films. Can you tell me a little about why you chose many of the same names for your films?
It just happens instinctively. Plus, I'm loyal, yes. The same thing happens with important crew members. Also, as far as characters, I like the idea of an interlocking universe, different souls going through different bodies. I believe we are all many people inside. The spirit world is powerful and even more important than the physical world. I enjoy working with actors, the whole process.
You've worked with some of the genre's most familiar names, including Felissa Rose, Ed Neal, Raine Brown, Vincent Pastore and Lynn Lowry. Does working with actors/actresses with so much horror experience, as well as with actors and actresses such as Christie Sanford and Danny Lopes, with whom you've worked with again and again, make your job easier?
It does make everything smoother, yes. We communicate in a kind of shorthand. Once on set, my direction to familiar actors and crew is almost telepathic.
I read that there is a biographical documentary currently in the works which details your career, titled "The Horror of Dante Tomaselli". Can you tell me about that film?
Christopher Garetano, director of Horror Business, is the creator. I love his style. It's a stream-of-consciousness documentary on my filmmaking world. Chris and I both went to Manhattan's School of Visual Arts; he's my younger brother's age. I remember meeting him, in a colorful blur, near SVA's bookstore on 23rd street. We talked about horror films instantly. I gave him my haunted house business card and then years later we got in contact about his horror magazine.
You are currently working on your fourth feature film, "Torture Chamber". Can you tell me about that film?
"Torture Chamber" is about a demonically possessed 13-year-old boy who escapes from an asylum and discovers an old abandoned castle with a secret passageway to a cobwebbed torture chamber. It's really about peeling back layers of pain and guilt buried deep in the unconscious. This is a fright film centering on a religious Catholic family in deep psychic pain. You never know what's coming next. There are trap doors that lead to the dungeon.
I read that "Torture Chamber" was shot in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, New York. Was there a specific reason for choosing Greenpoint?
Actually, that's one of the few locations that was chosen at the last moment. My Location Manager secured that for me when we were unable to shoot at another place. I know that we shot in the basement of a Catholic school in Brooklyn. I needed a dungeon-like room. We shot there for one day. All my other locations for Torture Chamber were chosen many months before filming. I found them. The locales were very specific, definitely an important part of the fabric of the movie. I shot the bulk in Fort Totten, Queens, New York. There's an old underground military base there with winding tunnels. I also shot a large part of the film in Ogdensburg, New Jersey at a rocky mine location.
Your feature films, including your latest "Torture Chamber", have all had to do with demons, Hell, satan, and/or possession. Can you tell me why this is such a topic of interest to you?
Growing up, I believed that hell was real. It was so real that I felt it underneath my feet. At night, I was afraid to put my hands over the sides of the bed. I always felt there was something moving underneath, hidden, deep below. Also, growing up, I was terrorized by endless nightmares. Now as an adult, I replicate them, the look and feel. There are many gates, windows, holes, doors...each portal takes you to the next. I'm trying to construct a nightmare in which we experience the protagonist's damnation.
When can we expect to see "Torture Chamber" get it's release?
It's in its final stages of post production now. "Torture Chamber" will be finished right around the New Year. Sometime in January. I'm pulling out all-stops in the sound mix now. Since I'm the film's sound designer, I have over eight thousand sound fx, soundscapes and musical compositions crawling around in my head. I'm almost finished creating the soundtrack. There's a screening with a distributor planned early next year. The movie should be released later next year.
Thank you so much for your time, Dante. I cannot wait to see "Torture Chamber", and I cannot wait to see what's up next.
You Will Burn in Hell...