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[Interview] ‘Blood Runs Cold’ and ‘Wither’ Director Sonny Laguna!

Sonny Laguna’s back to basics ultra low budget slasher Blood Runs Cold has barely been out overseas a few months (Bloody Disgusting Selects will release in the States in 2012) and there’s already a follow-up in the can.

Armed with a bigger budget and even bigger crew, Laguna and his team could have something special to show us next in undead horror Wither. Sonny was able to chat with us and spoke on behalf of his production company Stockholm Syndrome as he reflects on BRC and what delightful horrors we can expect in his next flick. How have you found the general reaction to Blood Runs Cold?

Our general reception has been positive which has come as somewhat as a surprise for us. We had low expectations when we wrapped post production. Our vision didn’t get realized fully so we just let it go so to speak.

How hard was it to get the film funded and in the can? Was the production especially difficult for a low budget shoot?

The film was shot for basically nothing, 5.000 USD which we payed for ourselves. We never had any support from anyone else. Creative freedom is always a plus when it comes to low budget shootings but it also restricts you since you can never afford what you really want to do and just have to improvise most of the time.

What kind of films and filmmakers influenced you?

Everything from Raimi and Carpenter to horror video games such as Resident Evil and Silent Hill has always influenced on what we dreamt of doing. We think you’re always under influence from somebody, it’s just about timing really. But as mentioned above, Raimi and Carpenter had their own struggle early on with low budget film making in their era.

Are you totally happy with the film? Anything there you would like to change?

About 50% of the script, chain of events would be fantastic to redo. We love the settings, villain and our choice of actors, we think we nailed some parts, like the last ten minutes. And some parts were just plain awful. Again, time restraints, no money and a blurry vision intend to hurt the script. It may seem harsh to want to change that much, but we wouldn’t grow otherwise. We are practically never satisfied and we think that’s a must.

How did you come up with the main villain?

We had a vision at first about a zombie-like villain which were practically dried out so it would bleed dried blood/sand. It didn’t work out so Tommy and David tried a couple of things and ended up with villain that fits the environment better. They wanted to be able to apply the make up within 30 minutes and thought of a person that had frozen to death and then coming back from the dead in a frozen state.

How did the Wither shoot go in comparison? Can’t wait to see that one!

Blood Runs Cold was shot in about 35 days with practically no money in one of the worst winters in Sweden in a long time. Wither on the other hand was shot over a period of 50 days in the late summer. We had more people behind the camera, higher budget and a more complete vision which made the shooting go easier. But on the other hand we had a lot of make up and gore effects going on, so it just took a very long time. The main crew was still just us three but with the help
of some friends or rented crew certain days throughout the shooting.

Judging from the screen shots online Wither appears to be a zombie movie – what can we expect from Wither we didn’t see in Blood Runs Cold?

Everyone can expect a lot of action, horror and high tension throughout the film. Wither is similar to a zombie movie but more so in the veins of Evil Dead. We searched our own folklore culture and found out about a human like being that lives underneath the ground, invisible to us humans. But we should never disturb them or things will go bad… Which of course happens during the movie.
So we get to see multiple villains, more hard core stuff.

Any horrors out there that have caught your attention? Any you can recommend?

To not try and mention the usual masterpieces, here’s a few that stuck with us: Jeepers Creepers, 30 Days of night, Martyrs, Cold Prey, Psycho II, Wolf Creek, Wrong Turn and many others…

What are your hopes for your film-making future? Anyone you would like to work with?

We want to be able to do this for a living and not have other crappy jobs on the side. There are some actors that we could dream of working with and to name a few, Christian Slater, Bruce Campbell, Kurt Russell, Sarah Wayne Callies and many others…

Any gems of wisdom for aspiring filmmakers out there?

Watch all the high budget movies out there and try to understand why they do certain things. Then use that knowledge as a guideline when you create your own stuff. There are stuff everyone should know about film-making, but in the end it’s up to you to tell the story and how you do it.




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