What did you learn on Defenceless about framing, angles and what-not, in other words, how to tell a story visually? What did you bring from that film to your subsequent films?
Every film is a major learning experience. Making Defenceless reminded me of why I was attracted to filmmaking in the first place. I loved the visuals married with the music. I'm not sure what the film taught me about composition, but I experimented a great deal with exposure and with color filters. I tried to achieve visual simplicity. My follow-up piece, Stained, was a dialog-heavy crime drama, but there are several dialog-free passages that were directly influenced by my rehabilitated approach to storytelling that was inspired by Defenceless.
Your movies are mostly based around "genre" elements - gore, violence, nudity, etc. On the one hand, they're a purely visual form and they make it easier to sell low-budget movies, but on the other hand, they won't be taken seriously by the mainstream.
Genre elements such as gore, violence and nudity are a mainstay of exploitation and even Hollywood films these days. On their own, they are not taken seriously, and I can understand that. Ultimately, whether any genre film gets taken seriously will be determined by the way the elements are integrated into the story. It is a matter of context. I make genre films because there is a renegade, defiant quality to them. They take me out of the mundane. They are unconventional. I tell stories that are personal to me, but instead of making my point through music or opera, I choose genre films.
For example, Sensitive New Age Killer has a lot of shooting and bloodshed, but it is about the folly of blind ambition. Defenceless is a brutal piece, but it is about self-sacrifice and the importance of fighting for what you believe in. Both films are genre films, but genre films need to be about more than blood, guts and nudity; they need to connect with an audience's emotions. You do that by making the issues personal.
Bookmark/Search this post with: