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Rated: 5.00/5 | Votes: 2 | Views: 205 |Submitted: 07/13/08

Interview with directors of Five Across The Eyes


Five Across the Eyes is a catchy title, at least intriguing enough to have drawn my attention from whatever shiny object was preoccupying my attention span at the given moment. It is a movie co-directed by Ryan Thiessen and Greg Swinson. Once I was drawn in by the title I looked into what it was about and found that it was about generating a lot of different opinions from a lot of different movie fans as to how cool or not cool it actually is. IMDB is a-buzz with comments on the flick, which good or bad, means it must be worthy of checking out to formulate an opinion, right? The trailer on the movie’s Myspace page is pretty good:
www.myspace.com/fiveacrosstheeyesmovie.

On their way home from a high school football game, five teenage girls become hopelessly lost. When they stop to get directions at a desolate store, the girls are involved in a minor fender bender which leaves an unattended SUV one headlight short. Inexperienced and frightened that they'll get into trouble, the girls flee the scene of the accident and speed away down the dark and unfamiliar roads. As they blindly make their way across an area the locals call THE EYES, the girls are suddenly shocked to see one lone headlight appear behind them. As the driver of the damaged SUV begins one terrifying assault after another, the five girls will lose their innocence and possibly their lives in this brutal and shocking thrill ride.

Thanks go out to Ryan Thiessen and Greg Swinson for participating in the following interview about the movie. Also, be sure to check out more about them and Five Across The Eyes at www.fiveacrosstheeyesmovie.com

And

www.myspace.com/traumaone

Terror Tube:  Any news on where in the USA we might be able to get a copy of this movie? Anchor Bay involved still?

Ryan: “Yes, Anchor Bay is putting it out on DVD on Sept 30th. Matter of fact, you can already pre-order it on Amazon.com, Target.com, FYE.com, BestBuy.com and a bunch of other places. We’re pretty excited about having Anchor Bay behind the release.”

TT: Why is that area called ‘The Eyes”?

R: “I’m not really sure how that started. It’s actually an old legend of sorts for an area in east Tennessee. Greg and I were actually born and raised in Tennessee, so it was just something that we heard about while we were growing up. It’s one of those areas where bad thing happen to people. It really worked for our film, so we decided to use it.”

TT: I read it was filmed in the same location as The Evil Dead? Any familiar sites?

R: “Yeah, Evil Dead was shot in Morristown, where Greg and I grew up, and where we shot FIVE ACROSS THE EYES. The house I actually grew up in was about half a mile from the old Evil Dead cabin site. And while we didn’t actually shoot on any of the same locations, one of our producers, Rick Stroud, did help out as a grip on the Evil Dead shoot back in 1979. Matter of fact, I think he has a copy of the original script they used for Evil Dead.”

TT: The story and the idea: where did it come from?

Greg: “Marshall Hicks wrote a script using the concept at a much larger budget. We took his script, gutted it, leaving only the initial concept and characters, and just completely rewrote it. Very little of what Marshall wrote actually appears it the movie, but that’s where the story came from. I like to think he based it on personal experiences, though.”

TT: I’ve seen conflicting opinions of the movie, which if I was a filmmaker I’d take that as a positive thing. However, do all of the negative rants from IMDB users slip little daggers in your heart or what?

R: “Nah. We are very proud of what we did with FIVE ACROSS THE EYES. We had a budget of about $4,000, and we made a movie that is getting international recognition and distribution, so really, we’ve achieved more than we expected. But the film is really just the tip of the iceberg for what we have to offer the horror world, or even just the film world for that matter. I think FIVE ACROSS THE EYES is a film that is enjoyed by those that are tired of the same old crap in horror films. If you want a horror film that isn’t quite like everything else on the shelf, then FATE might be for you.”

TT: What was the movie shot with?

R: “ It was shot with three Sony Mini-DV cameras. With such a limited budget, we had to pretty much beg, borrow and steal all the equipment that we used.”

TT: How was casting handled?

G: "We used a couple of online casting sites, where actors auditioned via video tape. It’s a pretty terrible way to try and do casting. I’ll certainly never do it that way again. You have no control on trying to see if an actor could play the scene any differently."

TT: Is there music used in the movie, and if so where did it come from?

G: “All the music in the movie, minus one song, was written specifically for the movie. The original concept was to have the music as if it was coming from the van’s radio. That is still used and especially noticeable when the van is turned off. Then the music disappears. However, it created some problems for atmosphere. Either having too much music or not having it in scenes where the van isn’t running. So, we had to fudge that idea a bit.”

R: “But as far as the composers, two friends of ours, Shannon McDowell and David Risdahl, wrote all but one song. The only non-original music was gifted to us by a band called The Duskfall from Sweden. They actually helped inspire the title of the film, so it was great to actually be able to work with them.”

TT: What is something one can only learn once actually shooting a movie?

R: “For me, it would be that “film is forever.” When we were shooting FATE, we had a shooting schedule of about 10 days for the principle photography. So, a couple of days into the schedule, we had to start working 16-20 hour days. And sometimes compromises or mistakes were made during the filming that we later had to watch over and over again while finishing and then later showing the film. And although audiences may not know the difference, we know that certain moments could have been so much better had we had the proper time to do them right. So, for all those other first time filmmakers out there, just remember, once you’ve shot it, you’ve got to live with it forever, so make sure it’s as good as it can possibly be.”

TT: Some people bitch about nudity, blood, and gore in horror movies: what are your thoughts on those aspects?

G: “Bitching about too much or too little?”

R: “Well, personally I love nudity, blood, and gore, but only if they serve a great story. I don’t think those elements make a movie good on their own, but is seems to me that a lot of the modern horror directors pretty much rely on just packing in as much nudity, blood, and gore into their films as they can and forget to tell a really scary or interesting story.”

TT: Any new projects in the works?

R: “Yes, but all I can say at this point is that we are doing another horror film and this time we will have a bit more of a budget to work with.”

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