Kevin Foxe has already had great success as executive producer of The Blair Witch Project but now he’s taking the reigns as director on his first feature film The Ghost Experiment.
The indie project was shot in native 3D on a tough, accelerated schedule in New Orleans recently. A few weeks back, while he was still on set, I hopped on the phone with Kevin to talk about the project, its location, 3D and the existence of ghosts in general.
“Can you create a ghost? Inspired by a real-life incident documented in the 70’s, a group of students attempt to recreate this ‘ghost experiment’ in the present day. Cordoning themselves in an abandoned house in New Orleans, the students attempt to manifest a ghost by tapping into raw human emotion. As their investigation yields shocking results, each slowly falls victim to their own dangerous undertaking.”
Co-written by Kevin Foxe and Valerio Zanoli, The Ghost Experiment stars Megan Rosati, Stephanie Long Lomenick, Chris Sibley, Shane McNicol, Henry Kober, Annie May Gay and Ashton Leigh.
Hit the jump for some snippets of our conversation! Kevin Foxe on the gist of the film, “It’s five college kids who hear a cool lecture based on an actual true event. An experiment a few years ago in Toronto called The Philip Experiment in which a professor got a bunch of his friends together and they held seances for a ghost that they created. A fake ghost. And after months and months of having these seances they built the backstory up to see if they could manifest the ghost. The point was that ghosts aren’t real and that we manifest them from our imaginations and anxieties and fears. So these kids hear that and decide to prove that ghosts are real using the same methodology.”
“One of the kids is rich and they have a house in New Orleans that hasn’t been lived in since Katrina and they come down to stay in this place with the concept that if they can measure emotional frequencies, if they can be measured and metered, they can prove that once a soul goes away it will weigh less and therefore the ghost is real. It’s sort of similar to the ‘21 Grams’ theory.”
And the sh*t hits the fan? “In the process of being in this crazy house in New Orleans they begin to die and they discover that ghosts may or may not be real… and perhaps they are bringing ghosts in there with them. I think the concept is that ghosts actually exist because people have unresolved issues in their lives and that’s what makes ghosts stick around. And of course, as college kids, they have a few unresolved issues. And we all have a ghost in us. There’s something in our past that haunts us and those are our ghosts.
You’re a low-budget indie. Why 3D? “I specifically wanted to do it in 3D for a reason. I thought people weren’t using it in the correct way. One of my all time favorite movies is ‘Citizen Kane’ and I thought if Orson Welles could have shot that in 3D he would have. With immersive storytelling you can put a bunch of actors on a literal stage in front of the audiences. We’ve got these big huge mansion rooms and we’re using that space to make the audience feel like they’re sitting in these room with the characters while stuff goes wrong. It’s cool to watch and it’s a fun process to play with Onset we’re all sitting in front of the monitor every day and moving and peeking our heads around because we’re in the room with them going ‘wow’!”
What’s the biggest challenge of filming in New Orleans? “Yeah, everyone gets drunk all night long. It’s impossible. The party never stops in these towns and we’re shooting in an enclosed space so once I say ‘that’s a wrap’ they’re off and we have to find everybody the next morning.”
Maybe being hungover helps with the performance? “Absolutely. There are two scenes where they have to be hungover, so it helped their performances.”
We’ll have more on The Ghost Experiment as it grows closer to release.