Why did you decide to keep some of the original scenes and was it a challenge to maintain the same aesthetic given how long it was since you shot the short? Having a short film already shot was a bit of a mixed blessing though; it allowed us to see what was working, but on the other hand we were locked into a certain direction of those earlier scenes.
In editing I decided a lot of those short film scenes worked so well, and belonged in the feature. With such a small crew and multiple duties on set I needed to have a very clear vision of what we were after for each day. We typically started our days with a story board review and a walk through of the scene. Many of those moments made it into the film. Would you say that a lack of sleep, to some extent, plays a part the surreal atmosphere and aesthetic of your films?
JB: Yes that is true. The way my brain is wired, I find it really hard to shut things down at night. Because of this I have always been fascinated with sleep and dream states, and the surreal, hidden meaning of their imagery. SCREAM: Whilst you welcomed inspirations from the likes of Dario Argento and Jess Franco, I read that you are more interested by people around you and particularly the music you find yourself writing when preparing a script.
How do people and music influence the way you write specifically? JB: I do love people watching and daydreaming plot ideas around the interesting faces I see. When living in Hollywood I was really into street photography and capturing the wild characters living around town.
I am intrigued by faces in the crowd, and the stories there. We were very fortunate to work with the actors we cast. Sometimes an entire scene can be living between music notes.
It helps paint the scene for me.
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I had the soundtrack in my head before those films were even written. Those sounds and tones really informed how I structured and cut the final scenes. On the next project I look forward to working with a few composers to expand the range of sound and scoring. JB: The great thing about those older Giallo films is that they pushed boundaries in so many ways.
The plethora of jump scare antics and remakes of remakes take genre back. Genre pictures should be driving innovation. It certainly creates a very hypnotic aura about the whole thing. JB: I made this film for fans of Giallo. Those early films are known for their stylish camerawork, driving musical arrangements, and of course their shocking scenes of horror. I believe we delivered on that. Subtle twisting of song, and skewed visuals add to the unsettling world enveloping them.
They are lulled into the sickening dream turned nightmare. I think your assistant cameraman, Matt Stiller, had a fair amount of influence and provided a lot of support, but was it important to you to hold so much control. In hindsight, do you think it could have been maybe more productive having the help of more people just to hear what they had to say rather than taking almost a leap of faith?
JB: With any project there is a certain leap of faith that has to be taken. I would love to have a crew and proper production staff on the next project, but I will say having such a small crew people on most days had its advantages… We could be very nimble with set ups, and our shoots felt very intimate; almost like a bunch of friends getting together to make a film.
We were a very tightly-knit group. I understand that you actually modified the script a bit to suit her better. JB: Paulie was a pleasure to work with; we knew we wanted to work with her as soon as we met. After her audition the role of Jordyn started to come to life and move in a new direction.
Paulie has such a fun loving, innocent presence that we wanted to contrast that in the film with what she ultimately becomes. So we ramped up some of the extremes we put her through in the film.Many people simply use Android or iPhone apps to capture filtered images that would otherwise require a vintage camera or Photoshop.
But out of curiosity, photographer and film maker Jason Bognacki embraced the best of both worlds. When his curiosity got the best of him, he added a Piccolette Contessa-Nettel folding camera that was sitting on a shelf onto his Canon D5 and put it to the test.
I have been collecting and seeking out vintage, obscure, and trash lenses for a while now. But in the meantime he offered Digital Trends readers a snippet of the process:. The process is reversible. The photographs that he captured exhibit a soft glow, while subduing otherwise vibrant colors for an impressive collection of resultant photographs.
Bognacki himself is proud enough of the results to at the least temporarily add his lens hack into his gear. The best digital cameras for 10 hours ago. How to add music to Instagram videos 13 hours ago. Even on Mars, the Curiosity rover needs to wash its hands 4 days ago. Watch SpaceX practice an emergency escape from its Crew Dragon capsule 6 days ago. Mercury mission BepiColoumbo takes its final glimpse of Earth 5 days ago. The year old Silicon Valley lab that practically invented modern computing 5 days ago.
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The best Bluetooth trackers for 3 days ago.Instead, he has cobbled long swaths of irksome exposition into a horror film that grows tedious before it can grow creepy. Bognacki has another genius for casting, which allays the shortcomings, if just barely. His innocent in peril is played by gamine Paulie Redding billed here as Rojasan actress with enormous eyes and the requisite air of sweetness and purity that the role demands.
She is Jordyn, whose 18 th birthday begins with family bickering with her troubled Aunt Ruth Nancy Wolfe and ends in the emergency room of the local hospital.
Jordyn begins having vivid nightmares and being told by her friends that she has been behaving strangely, doing things that Jordyn does not remember. Revelations, spelled out in excruciating detail, follow, as does blood, madness, and a mother figure that makes Medea seem like the distaff version of Mr.
She is played, leading with her teeth, by Maria Olsen, which makes for more of those ci-mentioned arresting visuals. The dreamlike fugue-state that dominates the film with its selective focus and trilling slo-mo effects connect directly with the subconscious as the deliver a reality in slashing conflict with our own.
Those teeth dominating the field of view not by encompassing it, but by being the most concrete object to be seen, and to tap into something beyond mere scares. Alas, people will not stop talking, will not allow this to be a quasi-experimental work that gnaws like a worm into our sense of well-being by using imagery that is both confounding and limbic.
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Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. A Closer Look Contact. Header Ads. Paulie Rojas. Maria Olsen. What did you think of this movie?
Your Thoughts? Cancel reply Your email address will not be published.As a director, do you like comparisons or not? There is only one Dario Argento, and for good reason. I will take the compliment. JB: Mark of the Witch actually started as a short film about a girl who, through a series of odd events, thinks she might have a dark twin who is trying to edge her out of her own life. During production the idea grew, and pieces started falling in place to expand it to a full feature.
The occult, witchcraft, dark spirituality are all fascinating. The idea of old world dark traditions bleeding into modern life and secretly governing over certain aspects of it is a concept explored in Mark of the Witch.
Jordyn finds that she is part of a darker whole that ripples just under the surface. Spirituality, like witchcraft, and Satanism serve as portals into that world, and I find that compelling. DC: Your cast is great. Please tell us how you brought them all into the fold, especially Maria Olsen interview herewho has such an impressive body of work in the horror genre. JB: I had auditioned Maria for a different project, and she had always stuck in my mind as someone I wanted to work with.
She has such a strong presence and is unique beautifully. She was the first person to sign on; from there we held auditions in Los Angeles and met Paulie Redding credited as Paulie Rojas in the film. Maria and Nancy have been friends for quite a long time. Nancy was living in New York so she did a phone audition, and from the first moment I heard her voice and delivery, I knew she would be great for the project.
It was great to make that happen. DC: Visual fantasy films must be pretty complex to edit… tell us about that process and what some of the more fun and challenging aspects of post-production were.
JB: I felt like I was spinning plates at times. Shooting, writing, directing, producing was a challenge, but at the same time really freeing and exhilarating."In the Dark, Dark Woods..." - Teaser
It allowed me to really push the limits of what the film could be. In terms of complexity in the production, a lot of attention needed to be paid to the visual depiction of the multiple phases of consciousness Jordyn goes through in the film.
DC: We are a horror site.Jordyn eventually learns about her dark past involving a witches coven, and is left in a race to prevent an evil force from consuming her. The film borrows several techniques and traits from the Italian genre, including closeups, first-person shots, and a rich colour palette that reward the viewer with some surreal moments that are quite beautiful.
On one hand, she fits the giallo idea of an innocent, wide-eyed young woman who has the potential for becoming tainted by evil. That is, until she has to start using some of the dialogue written for her character. As the Mark of the Witch progresses, you get the sense that the film greatly suffers in the writing. The incoherent narrative that giallo films rely on feels more like an excuse for the film.
Take away the style, and the blackouts and jumping from one scene to another are just examples of bad writing. Making things worse is that the film feels padded. At just under 70 minutes, with a nine-minute pre-title sequence, nine minutes of end credits and a reliance on creating that dream-like feeling that makes up the film, you wonder if this was originally a short film that was stretched out to feature length. In spite of some truly beautiful camerawork and presentation, the actual content of the film is a big let-down.
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The news articles, Tweets, and blog posts do not represent IMDb's opinions nor can we guarantee that the reporting therein is completely factual. Please visit the source responsible for the item in question to report any concerns you may have regarding content or accuracy. Sign In. Jason Bognacki. Taking place within the Esperanza Iris City theater, more than 60 artists will perform six choreographed musical numbers with Guisa taking the reigns as master of ceremonies.
They were the creative directors behind this Black Mandala production. As well, a trailer was released for the film this past May. More details on the film's upcoming European showing are hosted here. The film's wraparound segment involves a stormy night and a radio show. Listeners call in with their own ghost stories. Then, a strange call comes in from a child. A child narrates the verses as the story unfolds, rather unveils itself.
A woman full of darkness yearns for love and light and goes out in search of it. But she is bound to her fate and she cannot have those, hurting those she comes in contact with. Those she hurts lash out at her.
Having only the narration to aurally guide us we have only the images to bolster his haunted tale. And bolster they do. Words like Dark, Beautiful and Haunting only begin to scratch at the surface of it. In the Dark, Dark Woods looks and feels like classic horror For a follow-up, Bognacki has turned his sights to a short film project which will be making its world debut at Fantasia. Described as "a wondrous gothic fairy tale about a love story that goes horribly awry," In the Dark, Dark WoodsWitches have been around to terrorize us since the dawn of time.
Such is the case with the new film, Mark of the Witch from Epic Pictures. The film was formerly known as Another and I can see why the studio changed the name due the ambiguity of the title.
This modern take on witchcraft is a rather ambitious attempt by writer and director Jason Bognacki at pulling off a modern day giallo film. In the film, Jordyn Paulie Rojas has just turned 18 years-old. She has been orphaned since infancy when her mother passed away. Her Aunt Ruth Nancy Wolfe serves as her guardian and takes care of her.
But at her 18 th birthday party, her Aunt Ruth plunges a butcher knife into her own chest after spewing some cryptic dialogue. Ruth survives the attempted suicide but it has left Jordyn shaken. Mark of the Witch is a smorgasbord for the eyes. It is one of the most lavishly photographed films of recent memory.
The performances are incredibly well done. The three main leads are superb. Olsen is suitably creepy and turns in a great performance as the evil witch. As with another genre favorite of mine, Bill Oberst Jr. The young Rojas is convincing as a woman coming-of-age dealing with the dark subject matter.
The film has a couple sequences of blood being spilled but nothing too outrageous or gory. The only gripe I have with Mark of the Witch is that sometimes the narrative becomes ambiguous without any clear explanations. The ending is like this, which left me scratching my head a bit but maybe it needs repeat viewings for clearer interpretations.
But you know what? Its surrealistic visuals with colorful hallucinatory images are sure to inspire nightmares! Give the film a shot and stick with it to the end.
I am a Horror journalist, producer, ravenous Horror fiend, aficionado of the classic Universal Monsters, Hammer Horror, Werewolves, and all things Horror. About Us Advertise Staff Contact. Latest Shop Submit. Search Search for: Search. Search 0.