Interview with Jason DeVan…
HH: What is your story – how did you get into film?
JDV: My story is probably a lot like many other movie lovers (especially horror) who grew up watching way to much TV, spending way to much time playing video games, and going to the movies every chance I got.;)
I attended Penn State university, where I was a theatre major, and also played football. After college I packed up my things and headed to Hollywood to be the next big star. Although the big star dream didn’t quite pan out the way I thought, I was lucky enough to have booked a few good gigs. Some of which I am most proud of is being the first human logo for ALCON Entertainment. (yup thats me)! I also played a few characters in the video game (horror) series Deadspace 2 & 3.
My break as a director came, when Michael Biehn asked me to direct one of his up and coming films for Blanc/Beihn productions. That was my (a-ha moment) where the little kid in me was back, saying this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. I don’t want to just direct for the rest of my life, I want to be really good at it and impact peoples lives the way I was impacted when I was a kid.
HH: What is Along Came The Devil about?
JDV: Along Came The Devil is about a young girl named Ashley (Sydney Sweeny, Everything Sucks, The Hand Maids Tale) who lost her mother at a very young age. When her older sister Jordyn heads off to college, Ashley moves back to her home town to live with her Mothers sister Aunt Tanya. Searching for answers and a longing for a connection with her mother. She meets Hannah (Madison Lintz, Walking Dead, Bosch). Who decides to help her contact her mother by going old school, before Quija boards became all the rage.;) by using a mirror, bible and a candle. The Rest is pretty much given away by the Title!
HH: Where did this idea come from?
JDV: I’ve always wanted to do an exorcism film in the same vein as the original. Having a chance to interview a very close family friends of ours and their amazing story. We were able take some of their story along with other ideas I had for a great exorcism film. I woke at 3 a.m. and woke my wife telling her we are going to do a film called Tell Me Your Name! Which eventually became “Along Came The Devil”! then I told her go back to sleep and the rest is history.
HH: Being that it’s an exorcism-based film. did you have concerns making it, given that The Exorcist casts a huge shadow?
JDV: We had many concerns, especially dealing with a topic such as exorcism. Also not having the budget of a film like The Exorcist makes it an up hill battle. Being a fan of The Exorcist films and a bunch of other exorcism films that get it right. We set out to not re-invent the wheel, but to stick to the formula that some of the great exorcism films do right. Which is why Along Came The Devil tells the story of a young girl who invites in a demonic presence which leaves her loved ones fighting for her soul. We also wanted to give the audience an ending to an exorcism film that had never been done before leaving them wanting more and I feel we definitely achieved that.
HH: Did you have a hand in casting?
JDV: We had an amazing casting director in Ricki Maslar, who I was very hands on with. We set out to have a certain chemistry with our actors that I feel showed on camera. When Ricki brought in rising superstar, Sydney Sweeney it didn’t take long for all of us to realize it wouldn’t take long for this young women to become a household name. Also a pleasant surprise casting was when Ricki suggested my wife Heather DeVan play the role of Sarah, Ashley’s mother knowing she had the look of both Jessica Barth (Aunt Tanya, Ted 1&2) and Sydney. I was hesitant because of the role being so hauntingly gruelling and she was already wearing so many hats on this particular project but she ended up playing Sarah and did an absolute amazing job, and I couldn’t have been prouder.
HH: What inspires you?
JDV: I would have to say I am inspired by so many things in life… Ranging from other films, sports, video games, and music. To specific hero’s in my lifetime that I feel have taught me how to be a better person, father, and human being ranging from my wife and kids, my Father in Law, and the philosophy’s of Bruce Lee just to name a few.
HH: Do you have any other films planned for the future?
JDV: We are in pre-production on our next film Broken Souls which is a psychological thriller that is slated to start filming in early October in Atlanta GA. Then DeVan Clan productions is excited to announce we will be headed directly into pre-production on a children story of heroism and adventure that will touch those young and old…
Image: Katrina Wan PR