Interview with Deep Dark creator Michael Medaglia

@TigersMS78 interviews Deep Dark creator Michael Medaglia

A little while ago our attention was drawn to a creepy little trailer for a film called Deep Dark.To refresh your memories – click here. To find out more about the film and it’s creator, the super friendly Michael Medaglia was kind enough to answer a few questions – what started with a question about his film then ended with a knowledge of parasitic barnacles…yuck…

Being your first feature what are some the lessons you’ll take out of the experience?

Sooo many lessons learned. Here are a few…
1. The tone of the set comes from the top and trickles down. If you’re relaxed, so will everyone else be. My D.P. (Francisco Bulgarelli) and I have worked together many times before. We both tend to be calm and easy-going and I think it helped the general mood on set. We were able to save the drama for the camera.

2. There’s a million different types of special effects blood. Not all of them wash out of your clothes.

3. When it comes to indie-filmmaking, you have to learn to be flexible. There were times we lost our location the day before shooting. Or I had to rewrite a scene the night before to fit a new location. It’s important to have a team that can handle curve balls. We were lucky to have such a great crew.

4. Mall security in Portland Oregon can be surprisingly understanding.

The premise of Deep Dark is pretty out there – How did the idea come about?

I came up with it so many years ago, I can’t remember the exact germination. I DO remember the very first scene I came up with: it was of a guy finding a string in the wall of his new apartment. He pulls it out and finds a note at the end of it that’s meant for him. You see some shots of this in the teaser, actually. I found something compelling about this scene and eventually the rest of the story grew up around it. I’m really happy the scene made it into the final cut.

Was it tough getting finance for the film?

Heck yes! Not only was it hard to find funding initially, we ran out of financing during production. We had shot 85% of the film when it all came grinding to a halt. It was pretty nerve-racking because I kept thinking one of the actors would move out of the country or something. One nice thing was: since we were being very public about the making of the film (posting behind the scenes photos, videos and just blogging in general), people had been watching. Some of those folks were impressed with what we were doing and became investors. So finding the money to finish was much easier once people saw what we were doing.

What kind of horror films interest you?

I like anything if it’s a good story well told. I’m more a fan of the psychological horror versus the splatter stuff. I think hardcore horror fans might be a little disappointed in Deep Dark. It’s not incredibly frightening– it’s more disturbing. Also the body count is very low. There’s very few deaths in the film. There’s quite a lot of dismemberment, however.

Did you have much of a hand in picking the actors?

I picked every actor (with the exception of the background talent). Finding the actor to play Hermann, the main character, was the biggest challenge. He’s an underdog and an artist so we couldn’t cast your typical square-jawed leading man. On top of this, a lot of scenes involve him talking one-on-one with a Hole in the wall. Very few actors can pull this off. I knew whoever I cast would have to be able to carry a scene essentially all by himself. We found Sean McGrath. He’s incredibly talented. This was actually his first role as a leading man and he did an amazing job.

Your favourite horror film?
So many… Silence of the Lambs. The Exorcist. American Psycho. The Shining. American Werewolf in London. The Fly. Carrie.

Your Favourite horror book?
That would have to be Parasite Rex. It’s actually non-fiction a book about parasites (and how they affect us more than we know). I can’t remember a book that has scared me more. Did you know there’s a parasitic barnacle (called Sacculina) which can change it’s host’s hormonal balance? If if it’s host (the Emerald Crab) is male, it will make it act like a female to protect the barnacle’s eggs. It’s horrifying.

Be on the look out for more Deep Dark news as we get it OR you can sign up to the Deep Dark mailing list. By doing so you will also get access to behind-the-scenes videos, storyboards, etc – here

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Ryan Morrissey-Smith

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