Archive for April, 2013

We’re 4 days away from shooting! Busy, busy, busy! In the meantime, check out some more gorgeous rehearsal pics by photographer extraordinaire, King-Wei Chu.

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Here’s a selection of the awesome pics that the official still photographer for EROTICIDE, King-Wei Chu, took at our last rehearsal.

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Hey guys!

Sorry for the lack of updates on EROTICIDE, but things have been so busy that I haven’t had much time to blog about them. Which is a good thing.

Today, we’re officially 11 days away from shooting and there’s a lot of work to be done.

Stephanie Van Rijn (Elise) and Jocelin Haas (Yan) developing chemistry.

Stephanie Van Rijn (Elise) and Jocelin Haas (Yan) developing chemistry.

I started rehearsing with the cast (Jocelin Haas, Stephanie Van Rijn and Lisa Di Capa) and I can’t tell you what a thrill it is to see my script being brought to life by such brilliant actors. For the first time ever, I’m actually working with artists who care so deeply for the material that they’re willing to spend hours just discussing their characters and motivations. They’re really keeping me on my toes in that regard and forcing me to really think about the story and world I’ve created and where it is I’m coming from with the script.

On Friday, we’re going to start rehearsing at the actual location of the shoot, which will help tremendously as far as getting the actors used to the physical space and for me to plan my shots better.

One thing that really dawned upon me last night was that after our rehearsal, Jocelin and Stephanie wanted to stick around and watch my “famous” previous film AMY’S IN THE ATTIC. I was initially hesitant, simply because that film is so vastly different in tone and style from EROTICIDE that I didn’t want to give them the impression that this is what all my films look like and especially that EROTICIDE would in any way, shape or form resemble this film. But I figured in the end, why not, it had been a long time since I’d seen the film myself and I was curious to see if it held up.

If there was ever any doubt that EROTICIDE is not only my “comeback” film, but in many respects, a reboot of the entire Sinema Saliba aesthetic, it was made plain and clear by watching AMY’S IN THE ATTIC last night. For what I was trying to achieve with that film, I would say it’s successful. But in the three years that have passed since making that film, I have grown so much as a person and have experienced so many things that have contributed to the maturing of my personal worldview that I couldn’t help but feel a little embarrassed by the film.

EROTICIDE in some ways incorporates some of the elements of AMY’S IN THE ATTIC, namely the BDSM motif in a couple of sequences. But judging from the response people have had simply to the EROTICIDE screenplay, not to mention the cathartic elation I experienced myself after getting this story that had been broiling in my system for over 3 years now, this is going to be a film that will emotionally connect with audiences in a way that I don’t think any of my other films ever could. And I think a lot of that has to be with me finally feeling comfortable enough with letting people into my world and seeing me for what I am, warts and all. I’ve mentioned time and again how EROTICIDE is the most personal, deeply personal, thing I’ve ever written. And I think what’s going to make this film that much more effective is that unlike past attempts to make introspective pieces, I’m not hiding behind the conventions of genre, which may cloud a person’s reaction/interpretation of my work. My willingness to take an honest look at myself has (and will) resulted in me making a bold and dramatic piece that in spite of the more esoteric inclusion of kink, has a sort of “Everyman” quality to it, that people of all walks of life and experience will be able to relate to.

More than I could have ever dreamed of.

We’re literally three weeks to the day when production on EROTICIDE begins and I can’t wait!

I’m also cautiously optimistic about the shoot as I’ve been down this road before with the AMY’S IN THE ATTIC feature back in 2011 only for plans to fall through.

However, things have been going extremely smoothly so far. Almost too smoothly.

Auditions came and went and I was very fortunate to find three incredible actors who will be bringing my story to life. Our first script read-through/discussion takes place on Tuesday and from there we’ll schedule some rehearsals leading up to the production.

One thing I ought to point out, is that because two of our leads are francophone, I’ve had to make a slight adjustment to the script.

One of my biggest pet peeves about films and in particular, Quebec films, is when actors are forced to speak a language that clearly isn’t their mother tongue. You see this all the time at SPASM or Fantasia, where you have these flicks starring francophone actors who are speaking in English just to make the film more “marketable” to the States. The irony of course is that a lot of these films are made by separatist filmmakers who hate anything to do with English, but don’t seem to mind appropriating our language when they want to make a buck.

But I digress.

Since it is absolutely imperative to the success of EROTICIDE that audiences are emotionally invested in the story 100%, I can’t have anything that could possibly distract them from this experience. That’s why I decided that Ian and Liz (or rather, Yan and Elise, as they’ve been rechristened) will be speaking in French to each other during the film. They will only break into English whenever they interact with Kendra (who’s played by an anglophone actress). That way, when audiences hear Yan or Elise speaking with a French accent, they will accept this because we have established from the get-go, that these characters are in fact francophone and would obviously speak with an accent when conversing in English.

The best part about this is now I’ll finally get to have a “un film de Matthew Saliba” credit at the beginning of the film! 😉

My beautiful and amazing wife, Andree-Anne is handling the honors of translating 3/4 of the script into French. The question now becomes, what credit do I give her on the film? Should she get a co-writer credit? Or just a translator credit? What do you guys think?

Besides that, we’ve finally locked down a restaurant for our big restaurant scene. We’ll be shooting at one of my favorite places in Montreal – Burritoville!

Burritoville - Best Vegan / Vegetarian Restaurant in Montreal!

Burritoville – Best Vegan / Vegetarian Restaurant in Montreal!

The best part of shooting here is that they’re closed on Sundays. So instead of shooting two overnight shoots as we originally planned, we’re going to combine both nights into one typical 12-14 hour all-day shoot. I think it’s safe to say that the cast and crew are very happy with that development, as am I.

Besides the script translation, I’m currently working on the shot-list for the film. I plan to re-watch three films that have greatly influenced me in terms of the look I’m going for in EROTICIDE. These films include: David Lynch’s LOST HIGHWAY, which I recently had the pleasure of watching on the big screen in 35mm at Cinema du Parc, Lars Von Trier’s ANTICHRIST and Michael Haneke’s AMOUR, which I’m going to see tonight at the Dollar Cinema in 35mm.

With an amazing DP like Kamel Khalifa and a cast to die for in Jocelin Haas, Stephanie Van Rijn and Lisa Di Capa, I’m more than confident that EROTICIDE will turn out to be my masterpiece.

Ladies and gentlemen, I have found my cast for EROTICIDE! They are three of the most talented, open-minded and brave actors I have ever met and watching them bring my dialogue to life in their respective auditions was an honor that will only be exceeded by watching them bring my characters to life once we actually start shooting.

And now with great pleasure, allow me to introduce to you the official cast of EROTICIDE.

Feast your eyes on what a REAL ACTOR looks like. Playing the unbelievably difficult and challenging role of Ian is one of the most outstanding actors who has ever crossed my path. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Jocelin Haas.

Check out his FB page at JOCELIN HAAS OFFICIELLE.

Jocelin Haas as "Ian."

Jocelin Haas as “Ian.”

Next, playing the kind of role actors dream of getting, but few are brave enough to truly bare their souls on camera for, is an actress who captivated me not only with her beauty but the sheer raw honesty and integrity she brought to her audition. Plus, she made me cry, so extra brownie points there!

Ladies and gentlemen, playing the role of Liz is none other than Stephanie Van Rijn.

Check out her FB page at Stephanie van Rijn

Stephanie Van Rijn as "Liz."

Stephanie Van Rijn as “Liz.”

And finally, what is a Sinema Saliba production without the presence of my absolute favorite actress of all-time to work with? She’s been in numerous indie films over the years, but let’s face it folks, she was forever immortalized as Barbara in my 2010 film, AMY’S IN THE ATTIC.

She’s a woman who’s a REAL ACTRESS in every single sense of the word. Someone without ego, someone without an ounce of pretension about her, someone who is willing to delve head-first into all kinds of subversive roles knowing full well that these are the parts that come to define an actress. Beautiful, bold and a sincere pleasure to work with. Would-be actresses can stand to learn a thing or two from her as she combines professionalism with a warm sense of congeniality.

Ladies and gentlemen, playing the role of Kendra is none other than LISA DI CAPA.

Check out her FB page at Lisa Di Capa – Actress.

Lisa Di Capa as "Kendra."

Lisa Di Capa as “Kendra.”

 

Last night we had our first official production meeting with the majority of the EROTICIDE crew and by all accounts, it was a big success.

Everyone got to meet the “mysterious” Executive Producer, whom I can now reveal to be Rick Creedy. Rick was one of the actors in my play DEATH SPARES NOT THE WICKED last June and we hit it off so well that he wanted to invest in a project of mine and the rest is history.

We have a more or less finalized shooting schedule (depending on the shot list of course), which will see us shooting over the weekends of May 4-5, 11-12 and now an additional weekend of May 17-18. The final weekend will be a brutal one as it will be two overnight shoots (11pm to 6am).

We locked down one of our major locations, which will be at Rick’s gorgeous penthouse apartment. Within this one location, we’ll be shooting in his living room, kitchen/dining room and bedroom. And while it wasn’t really written in the script, we’ll be making use of his magnificent balcony with a view of the Montreal skyline that’s to die for.

Still waiting on confirmation from Maison India, the restaurant we’re aiming to do our overnight weekend shoot in. It’s a beautiful restaurant with lots of possibilities for a distinct look to the film. Should be hearing back by the end of the week. But given Rick’s close ties to the place, I’m confident that we’ll be able to work something out.

My First Assistant Director, Matt Vaillancourt is simply amazing. I met with him last Saturday and in that time, he managed to break down the entire script and create a tech script as well as a rough shooting schedule in time for last night’s big meeting. It’s so refreshing to actually have someone else taking care of what I would normally do on my own with my films. To actually just be able to sit back and focus on the creative aspects of my film is beyond liberating, and I think will result in my best work yet.

Finally, auditions are this weekend. I have so many stories I can tell about some of the more “interesting” candidates who submitted applications. People from 70-year-old men sending me nude pics of themselves to prove they have no issue playing Ian (I guess they forgot to read the actual breakdown and see that Ian’s supposed to be in his 20s/30s) to Indian men sending me pics of themselves in what appeared to be cum-stained PJs were among the “highlights.”

But I did get a bunch of serious candidates and from that bunch, I hope to lock down a cast by the end of the weekend so we can start jumping into rehearsals.

That’s pretty much it from the EROTICIDE front. I’ll be back with a full report on how the auditions went. Fingers crossed! 🙂

Theatrical Viewings:

N/A

Home Viewings:

  1. GAMERA: THE GIANT MONSTER (1965) – directed by Noriaki Yuasa
  2. INCEPTION (2010) – directed by Christopher Nolan
  3. PSYCHO II (1983) – directed by Richard Franklin
  4. PSYCHO III (1986) – directed by Anthony Perkins
  5. PSYCHO IV: THE BEGINNING (1990) – directed by Mick Garris
  6. BLOW-OUT (1981) – directed by Brian de Palma
  7. SEVEN (1995) – directed by David Fincher
  8. WAYNE’S WORLD (1992) – directed by Penelope Spheeris
  9. WAYNE’S WORLD 2 (1993) – directed by Stephen Surjik
  10. BILL & TED’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE (1989) – directed by Stephen Herek
  11. BILL & TED’S BOGUS JOURNEY (1991) – directed by Peter Hewitt

Television:

  1. FAMILY GUY, 9×04-9×17
  2. THE LEGEND OF ZELDA, 1×01-1×02