Archive for March, 2013

I’m pleased to announce that with a couple exceptions, the EROTICIDE crew is pretty much finalized right now.

Director
Matthew Saliba

Unit Production Manager
Anouk Racine

1st Assistant Director
Matt Vaillancourt

Executive Producer
Rick Creedy

Co-Producer / Director of Photography
Kamel Khalifa

Camera Operator
Marc Desaulniers

Assistant Camera
Mher Goganian

Gaffer
Nads Khalifa

Production Sound Mixer
Philippe Bourret

Script Supervisor
Amanda Larose

Catering
Andree-Anne Saliba

Still Photographer
King-Wei Chu

Auditions are this coming Saturday and if all goes well, I hope to have my cast locked down by the end of the weekend so we can then proceed on to rehearsals and then of course, the shoot.

Stay tuned for more details! 🙂

EAST EMPIRE PRODUCTIONS
presents

in association with
JUVENTUS FILMS INTERNATIONAL INC.

and
SINEMA SALIBA

EROTICIDE
The New Film by Matthew Saliba

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ABOUT THE FILMMAKER
Matthew Saliba is a Montreal-based independent filmmaker with six award-winning shorts, one feature, two commercials and numerous acting and technical credits to his name. His work has screened the world over in such countries as Argentina, Brazil, Chile, France, Germany, Greece, Canada and the United States. He specializes in sado-eroticism, which is to say the erotic representation of sadomasochistic imagery (as opposed to a pornographic one) and has implemented this style within a wide variety of genres ranging from horror to experimental films of a Lynchian bent.

***

ABOUT THE FILM
EROTICIDE deals with the subject of sex addiction. It tells the story of a young man named Ian and how his addiction to erotic humiliation sets the course of his life on a downward spiral when his ex Kendra comes back into the picture, forcing him to choose between a future with his loving girlfriend, Liz or one of empty sexual gratification with Kendra. EROTICIDE plans to combine the meditative pace and feel of Michael Haneke’s AMOUR with the visual style of Lars Von Trier’s ANTICHRIST. Needless to say, this will be a rather intense and bleak experience.

***

ABOUT THE ROLES
There are three roles up for grabs and they are open exclusively to Montreal based actors and are recommended for brave and open-minded performers who have experience working in subversive cinema or at the very least, are open to expanding their horizons as actors.

IAN
* Age range: 20s to 30s
* Ian is a sensitive and slightly introverted individual who harbors some deep and dark psychological issues
* Role requires an exceptionally strong actor capable of emoting on a wide range of levels
* IMPORTANT NOTE: NUDITY is involved (not necessarily aiming for full-frontal, as for most of the third act, Ian is on his hands and knees, and will likely be shot from behind or on side, but actor must be comfortable with being nude on camera and with the prospect of certain shots UNINTENTIONALLY turning into full-frontal due to the way certain scenes may pan out; i.e. when character is crawling on floor, camera may pick up certain “appendages”)

LIZ
* Age range: 20s to 30s
* Liz is a suicide case who has found love and is willing to do anything for it
* She’s a tad insecure, but is a very loving and compassionate girl with a very big heart; perhaps a little too big
* Role requires an exceptionally strong actress capable of emoting on a wide range of levels
* IMPORTANT NOTE: Has a simulated sex scene but NO NUDITY is required as characters will be under sheets and scene will be dimly lit; again NO NUDITY WILL BE REQUIRED

KENDRA
* Age range: 20s to 30s
* Kendra is beautiful, manipulative and very dominant in the way she carries herself as a woman
* A master (or rather, mistress) of psychological mind games; she knows how to seize on a person’s weakness and use it to her own advantage
* Role requires an actress comfortable with BDSM/Kink as there are a couple of sequences in which Kendra engages in said activities
* IMPORTANT NOTE: NO NUDITY WILL BE REQUIRED but as previously mentioned, actress MUST be comfortable with BDSM/Kink

***

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
* Shoot will be taking place over the weekends of May 4-5, 11-12 with an additional overnight shoot planned for either April 26th or May 17th (depending on when we lock down a cast)
* Shoot is unpaid but food and transportation will be provided as well as a DVD/Blu-Ray copy of completed film
* Potential cast would have to be available for at least one rehearsal per week leading up to the shoot
* Auditions will be held on weekend of April 6-7
* If interested, please respond to this ad WITH A COPY OF YOUR HEADSHOT AND RESUME. You will then be sent a copy of the script so that you can familiarize yourself with the material. If you’re comfortable enough with the subject matter, you’re to get back to us ASAP so we can assign you sides as well as a date/time for your audition.

***

THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR INTEREST! 🙂

CASTING CALL FOR INDIE SHORT FILM

* Shoot will be taking place over the weekends of May 4-5, 11-12 with an additional overnight shoot planned for either April 26th or May 17th (depending on when we lock down a cast)
* Shoot is unpaid but food and transportation will be provided as well as a DVD/Blu-Ray copy of completed film
* Film material is very intense and bleak (think Michael Haneke’s AMOUR meets Lars Von Trier’s ANTICHRIST) and is recommended for brave and open-minded actors/actresses only.
* Potential cast would have to be available for at least one rehearsal per week leading up to the shoot
* Auditions will be held on weekend of April 6-7

CAST BREAKDOWN

Ian
* Age range: 20s to 30s
* Sensitive, slightly introverted, slim and slender body type
* NUDITY is involved (not necessarily aiming for full-frontal, as for most of the third act, Ian is on his hands and knees, and will likely be shot from behind or on side, but actor must be comfortable with being nude on camera and with the prospect of certain shots UNINTENTIONALLY turning into full-frontal due to the way certain scenes may pan out; i.e. when character is crawling on floor, camera may pick up certain “appendages”)

Liz
* Age range: 20s to 30s
* Suicide case who has found love and is willing to do anything for it
* Sensitive, a tad insecure in herself, but very loving and compassionate
* Very strong actress is required as character goes through a wide array of emotions
* Has a simulated sex scene but NO NUDITY is required as characters will be under sheets and scene will be dimly lit; again NO NUDITY WILL BE REQUIRED

Kendra
* Age range: 20s to 30s
* Very beautiful and very dominant personality
* Knows how to capitalize on a person’s weakness and exploits it for her own gain
* A master (or rather, mistress) of psychological mind games
* NO NUDITY involved, though character has one or two sequences involving kink activities (therefore actress must be comfortable with that aspect of the script); again NO NUDITY INVOLVED

ADDITIONAL NOTES

* If interested, please get in touch by responding to this ad.
* You will be sent a copy of the entire script before given an audition date/time.
* If you are comfortable enough with the script, you will be given a date and time to audition.

Thank you very much for your interest and we look forward to hearing from you! 🙂

The EROTICIDE pre-production train has just left the station!

Met with my Co-Producer / Director of Photography where we sat down to discuss the script and the look for the film. We’re aiming for a cross between Michael Haneke’s AMOUR and Lars Von Trier’s ANTICHRIST. How can you possibly get a look that combines two wildly different aesthetics? Stay tuned! 🙂

We also worked out a shooting schedule for the film and it looks like if all goes well, EROTICIDE will be shot over a period of two weekends (May 4-5 and 11-12) as well as an overnight shoot on either April 26th or May 17th, depending on how quickly we can cast the film, find crew, locations etc.

My Co-Producer / Director of Photography’s name is Kamel Khalifa, and if the name sounds familiar, it should, because he was the D.O.P. on my last film AMY’S IN THE ATTIC. I’m thrilled to be working with him again and quite honestly, it’s thanks to him that this film is even happening.

Kamel was one of my grooms at my wedding and at the reception, he among a few others confronted me in a corner and basically held an “intervention” of sorts on my then “retirement” from filmmaking. He had made an offer to provide full access to film and sound equipment should I ever feel compelled to write a new screenplay.

EROTICIDE was an idea I had kicking around for a couple years now and until Kamel came along, this was probably going to turn into a novel. Well, an unfinished one at least, since the most I’d ever gotten written was “Chapter One.”

But between Kamel and my Executive Producer, there was really no excuse for me to not wrestle these demons out of me and turn them into the bleakest and most personal story I’ve ever written.

***

Cast and Crew call!

I’m currently looking to fill the following positions:

– Camera Operator (we’ll be shooting on a Canon 5D Mark II)

– Assistant Camera

– Production Manager / Assistant Director

– Continuity

– Drivers

– Production Assistants

I’ve sent out some feelers to people I’ve worked with in the past, but it can’t hurt to keep my options open.

Same thing goes for cast. I’m going to wait to see how this weekend goes before officially holding auditions. I’m meeting with a couple of actors who I hope will fit these characters like gloves. But again, when you’re an indie filmmaker, you not only better have a plan B, but a plan B through Z!

BTW: Very important that anyone interested in working on EROTICIDE should know that as is usually the case with indie short films, this will be an unpaid gig. This executive producer I keep referring to is only investing a “security blanket” in the form of a couple thousand dollars to pay for additional equipment, food, etc. So please keep this in mind when applying.

Just had my first official production meeting for EROTICIDE with my executive producer. What’s that? An executive producer on an indie short film? And a real one to boot, not someone sharing this credit with 120 other people who donated a couple bucks via Kickstarter?

Yes indeed!

I hooked up with my executive producer through a play I wrote and had produced back in June 2012 entitled DEATH SPARES NOT THE WICKED. He wanted to bankroll a second run of the show and so we aimed for the 2013 Fringe Festival here in Montreal. Unfortunately, we didn’t get in, but due to the “lottery system” they use to choose plays, we ended up being 46th on the waiting list. Yeah, somehow I don’t think we’re going to get in.

But he really wanted to collaborate with me on a creative project and once he made it clear that I had a “carte blanche” as far as what project I could do, I figured why not pitch EROTICIDE to him.

At the time, the script hadn’t even been written yet and was solely a jumble of scattered ideas. But that was evidently enough to convince him that I was a creative talent worth investing in and that was all he needed to put some coin behind a Sinema Saliba production.

I ought to point out for any potential cast and crew members reading this, that by “coin” I don’t mean to imply there’s thousands of dollars going into this production.

One of the reasons why I was able to convince him to invest in my film was because of my co-producer / Director of Photography who has access to free film and sound equipment (including a Canon 5D Mark II camera). So what would have otherwise cost my executive producer a good $10,000, will now only set him back a quarter of that amount as the money he’s putting into the film, is basically serving as a safety net for things like renting  a dolly, or an extra light kit and for miscellaneous costs such as craft, hair and make-up, special effects, cab fare (in case we go late), etc.

But either way, I don’t have to put a cent of my own money into this, which means my only priority is creativity, and I can’t even begin to tell you how liberating that feels for an indie filmmaker.

***

Already proud to announce that I may have my cast locked down for the film!

I don’t want to name names just yet since in the case of two of the actors, I’m having them come in to read for their respective roles, but if all goes well, the potential cataclysmic nightmare that would be trying to cast an unbelievable dark and gut-wrenching film like this, will have been averted.

The male protagonist, in particular, is going to provide the most trouble as he not only goes through one hell of an emotional roller-coaster, but throughout the third act, he’s completely nude! Now, I’m not necessarily aiming for full-frontal nudity per se. But there’s the strong possibility of certain “appendages” getting caught on camera and given the tone of the screenplay, I’m not looking to compromise the realism I’m aiming for and don’t want to be hampered by restrictions on where I can place the camera or on any actions that this character would naturally do in such a situation.

These readings are scheduled to take place at the end of this coming week, so if all goes well, by the end of Easter weekend, I will have found the bravest, most open-minded actors I have ever worked with and we can start rehearsing.

***

And finally, I sometimes get people commenting on my blog entries from time to time, but today was something special.

I logged onto my account and noticed I had a comment pending approval for my entry entitled, “The EROTICIDE screenplay has officially been completed!”

Lo and behold, it was from none other than legendary indie filmmaker, Albert Pyun who had this to say to me:

 

Congratulations Matthew. Completing a screenplay is no small achievement. Believe me I know the challenge and know hundreds who never finished their screenplays. So the mere fact of seeing the process through and having the discipline and determination to get it done is a success.

Now you begin the next step which is no harder but requires a widening group of challenges.

Best,

The bad “pun” Albert Pyun.

 

Can you believe this? I couldn’t at first. Until I realized that why would someone pretend to be Albert Pyun and write me this message? Of course, once I realized it was him, and that he took the time to write such an encouraging message to me, I felt like such a heel for referring to him as a “bad pun.” I always meant it in a facetious sense, but still, I felt pretty bad about it.

So on the chance that he may be reading this, thank you very much for your kind and inspiring words and rest assured, I thought your version of CAPTAIN AMERICA was far more entertaining than the recent one. 🙂

Photo taken by my wife, Andree-Anne Saliba. ❤

Ladies and gentlemen, the screenplay to my new film EROTICIDE has officially been completed!

It’s taken me a very long time to put this story to paper. It’s by far my most personal film to date and one that will certainly raise a lot of questions and stir a lot of controversy upon its release. But to finally have gotten this out of my system is a relief that’s beyond description really.

My wife was the first person to read it and afterwards, she actually broke down and cried over how bleak and depressing it was. My reaction to this was twofold. As an artist, I couldn’t have been more thrilled. I’ve never written anything that truly spoke to someone on such a deep and profound level before and for this to affect a reader the way it did, was one of the greatest, if not, greatest creative accomplishment of mine to date. On the other hand, she’s my wife and I’m her husband, and I hate to make her cry. So obviously I consoled her after the fact. 😉

As far as what the film is about. I’ve been keeping rather mum about that and will continue to do so until we’re well into pre-production. But suffice it to say, it’s a definitive statement on a subject that’s rather close to my heart. It’s definitely the bleakest thing I’ve ever written, something I’m very proud of. I watch films like IRREVERSIBLE and MARTYRS and just admire the filmmakers for truly portraying worlds in which there is zero hope for salvation or redemption without compromising their vision or resorting to softening the blow at the end. I have to confess that even with a film like AMY’S IN THE ATTIC, which some consider my darkest film, I had to include some kind of humor to remind audiences that this is just a movie and we shouldn’t take this too seriously.

That won’t be the case with EROTICIDE. This film is dark, depressing and very much rooted in realism. I actually got teary eyed while writing the third act, which is definitely the most brutal. My only hope is to find a strong enough (and open-minded) cast who will bring this story to life and take audiences on the emotional journey that I went on while writing it.

So with the script in the can, it’s on to our first official production meeting next week. I’m meeting up with Kamel Khalifa (my Director of Photography / Co-Producer) to discuss the script and the logistics of getting this done. Once we finalize shooting dates, it’s full-speed ahead into pre-production and all the stress and horrors that entails. 😉

Stay tuned to this blog as it will basically serve as the EROTICIDE production diary and will probably be updated more often than when I was using it as a platform to rant about movies.