An updated remake of Rosemary’s Baby, based on the Ira Levin novel and originally filmed in 1968 by Roman Polanski, is on track for a four hour miniseries (likely split over two nights, the way they used to air miniseries in the 1980s and early 1990s). The story about a young wife who is convinced that she is carrying the devil’s baby, will be set in Paris. Scott Abbott (Queen of the Damned) is working on the script.
Also on the schedule is a new version of The Tommyknockers, based on the novel by Stephen King. Greenblatt was inspired in part by the success of another King property, Under the Dome, which is doing well on CBS, and just announced for a second season. It is the highest-rated scripted program of the US summer season. The Tommyknockers was first brought to life at ABC in 1993 as a four hour miniseries. The story tells of a possible alien threat in a small Maine town. Yves Simoneau (V, The 4400, and the upcoming Horizon) is attached to direct.
Check out this anthology of 8 (Soon to be 13) short horror films from a collective of British film-makers on low budgets. ‘Don’t Move’ is the 8th slice in the Bloody Cuts’ anthology of short horror films. Set on one fateful night, six friends gather for their monthly ‘games night’… and accidentally unleash a demonic force that might tear them – and their friendships – to pieces.
Directed by Anthony Melton and written by David Scullion it stars Rachel Bright and Jake Hendriks alongside Kate Braithwaite, Beth Cooper, Ian Whyte, Calvin Dean and Martin Skipper.
A.T Shank & Son have a bad day at the parlour when a falling boulder flattens their hearse. Emotional and literal pitfalls lie in wait for the odd couple as they make their way cross country with just a coffin for company.
GEORDIE: Hi Nik, thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions about your new short film 8:47. I’d like to start by asking where the idea for 8:47 came from and also your decision to shoot the film in one take, which came first, the story or the one-take idea?
NIK: Well, I had specific key visuals in my head for a little while. I actually started writing different versions of it a few years back, but this time around the idea of doing it in one take really made me want to commit to solving how to pull it off. So I wrote the opening section and then came up with the approach of treating it like a play. So I guess the story and approach kind of happened at the same time.
GEORDIE: Having a varied and successful background in Music Videos, Commercials and CGI Animation must have been quite handy when it comes to making your own short film. What were some of the benefits that you were able to apply to 8:47?
NIK: Funny you mention that. My goal for this film was to actually throw away everything I knew and felt comfortable with. I have a background in visual effects and design, so I wanted not to rely on that training. Keep it raw. Be disciplined and purely focus on performance and camera. It was a great exercise. Really forces you to get your hands dirty and nut everything out. But that being said, being exposed to and having experience making music videos and working on feature films, obviously helps understanding the process.
GEORDIE: Most good sci-fi seems to stem from low budget movies that are more focused on interesting ideas than giant effects blockbusters. Do the budget limitations drive you to be more creative, think about something other than the obvious?
NIK: Oh they definitely do. It’s a common theme that we see in films and filmmakers’ careers. Our need to tell stories sometimes forces us to deal with what we have to work with and find solutions. That’s why I really enjoyed the challenge of this film. It was like solving a puzzle; never did I think it was unsolvable. Sure with more money it may have been easier, but it would have also been something different.
GEORDIE: The Australian film industry is either in a healthy state, or at deaths door, depending on who’s sound bite we hear from one week to the next. What is your take on the current state of the Australian film Industry?
NIK: I love, and hate this debate. And I agree, everyone you talk to has a different opinion. I guess I have accepted the up and down nature of our film industry. There are days where I too feel like it is blossoming, then others when there is no hope. But to be honest, to me, it always comes down to the filmmakers. The stories. There are many ways to get your work out there today. We just need to accept that it may not be the traditional way. Aussies are hard workers. And there is great talent in this country. We just need to keep pushing.
GEORDIE: You obviously have ambitions to move into feature film making, how difficult is it raising the capital in Australia to fund a genre feature?
NIK: Seeing as I haven’t quite done it yet, I would say, very hard! Ha! Look, to me, if you can find a story that resonates with an audience, then that path is clearer. Like I said, there are many ways to get your work seen, so I don’t like to have excuses. Just gotta keep writing and making films
GEORDIE: 8:47 has had a few festival screenings already, two fantastic showings at big film festivals: Fantasia in Montreal and Hollyshorts in Los Angeles, when and where can we see 8:47 nationally?
NIK: We want to see how far it can go in the festival circuit. But when the time comes, I’m very keen to launch it online as we have some great supporting material to really expose the challenges on making a film like this. Rehearsal footage, behind the scenes go pro footage. It was an intense process and experience.
GEORDIE: An easy one to finish, what is your favourite classic film, when you first saw it, why it’s still a favourite; and any new releases that have impressed you?
NIK: I love this question. I have a story. As a very young kid I had some friends who’s parents owned a video store. This was back home in Macedonia. We would sneak in and “borrow” films to watch them. Films we were very much not allowed to see. The first film I ever saw was Robocop. Fucked me up real good. Kind of desensitized me pretty quick but I loved the realization of how much cinema can affect an audience. I’m a huge genre fan, I read graphic novels, I watch animated films, and I have a great time. But then I watch a film like PLACE BEYOND THE PINES, and I walk away feeling changed.
Check out the trailer for 8:47 HERE. Hopefully we’ll have a link to the full film soon…
A remake of the Tobe Hooper-directed horror classic Poltergeist will be made by MGM and Fox 2000, with Gil Kenan (Monster House) directing a script by David Lindsay-Abaire (Oz: The Great and Powerful). Rosemarie DeWitt has been cast in the Mum role. Jobeth Williams and Craig T. Nelson were the original parents whose ideal family life is uprooted by a cavalcade of spirits that culminates in the kidnap of their youngest daughter Carol Anne played by Heather O’Rourke. Given how well these paranormal films are faring against studio product lately, this one seemed ripe for remaking and it’s surprising that it hasn’t been remade before now. Sam Raimi and Nathan Kahane are producing.
In a loop of desperate measures, Maia and her sick sister Emma find themselves backed into a corner. Standing in their way is Roger, a father with everything to lose. As the seconds tear away from them, each battle against the only thing that can save them. Time.
So reads the blurb for 8:47, a short film starring Lauren Birdsall, Shae Beadman and Roger Sciberras, written and directed by Nik Kacevski.
An Official Selection at the Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal, and Hollyshorts Film Festival at the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, 8:47, clocks in at a swift 12 minutes minus credits, however the film feels part of a bigger whole, a fantastic teaser for what could very easily translate into a feature length film. A feature length film however, not shot in one-take, a technique employed here by writer/director Nik Kacevski. The one-take aspect isn’t a gimmick as it really works to the films advantage, on visual and narrative levels, as well as showcasing the vision and talents of those involved.
It would be easy to focus on the one shot aspect of the film, and that would be remiss as there are some good ideas at work here, as I mentioned earlier, ideas that could be worked up into a feature film. The cast are solid, with special mention of Lauren Birdsall who carries the films emotional thread with genuine conviction. The cinematography is fantastic, the technicalities of the shoot must have been a pain to work through for all involved. Special mention must also go to the music and sound design which really help to keep the film moving and add to the feeling that we’re being dragged back and forth with Maia.
It’s difficult to say more about the film than the blurb, or comment on many aspects without giving it all away. Suffice to say that 8:47, is a film short on time but big in ambition. I look forward to seeing where these guys go next… Check out the trailer HERE and the official site HERE for more information about the film.
Interesting short film chronicling one mans descent in madness and enlightenment after he’s bitten by a zombie. With only 2 HOURS to find the missing survivors, he must move quickly before the virus spreads too far. A different take on the subject (which is badly needed), well shot and edited, only the voice over lets it down, but well worth a viewing.