Wednesday night The Hollywood Reporter broke some news that had a lot of us on the west coast very excited – Paul Solet’s short film Grace would become a full length feature film! Solet has been a close friend of SpookyDan’s and when the news broke he jumped right on the phone with him to get a little more info. Inside you can read all about it – and watch this spot for plenty more on this project as it becomes available. GRACE revolves around Madeline Matheson, an eight months pregnant woman who is determined to deliver her unborn child, Grace, naturally. When an accident leaves Grace dead inside her, Madeline insists on carrying the baby to term. Weeks later, when Madeline delivers naturally, the child miraculously returns to life…
A couple years back I was invited to hang out on the set of a short film called GRACE, which was being directed by my friend Paul Solet. While on set I met Bob Clark, who happened to be stopping by, Damon Packard the crazy Los Angeles indie filmmaker who brought along his drunk manager, and the Icons Of Fright guys who have since become dear friends to me. Needless to say it was quite an eclectic group who stopped by just to see Solet’s vision come to life.
The reason everyone was so inclined to show up was that this short film already was causing stir with its subject matter of a dead baby who comes back to life. Shortly after the shoot, Solet approached me to do the VFX for the film (my day job), I agreed to do them, and a few months went by until the premiere of the short film. Adam Green (Hatchet) got involved shortly there after and through their hard work the feature film was greenlit.
So here we are April 2008 when Solet calls me up from Regina, Canada on the set of the feature length film GRACE. The film stars Jordan Ladd as the mother who gives birth to a dead baby, which comes back to life. The feature version I read a while ago is one of the most disturbing and graphic scripts I have ever read. So needless to say, GRACE is one film I personally am dying to see!
I give you our phone conversation verbatim…(minus my cursing)
Paul Solet: SpookyDan!
SpookyDan: DUDE! Solet, you finally got there!
PS: Were finally here brother, yes we are! We start shooting on Monday!
SD: Are you excited or nervous or both?
PS: I just psyched dude, it has been a long time coming and we have a team of all stars on board! I just can’t wait to get started. It’s like there is a magic in the air, everyone is so psyched and invested in this thing. Its one of those shows that is like `back to the basics’ back to the reason we all got into filmmaking. This is one of the films we get to ALL own! I’m so psyched!
SD: That’s KICK ASS! Tell me about how the script has evolved from the earlier version at the time of the short.
PS: It has really matured. It’s become more broadly accessible on an emotional level. It’s about putting this woman in this scenario and watching the decisions she makes the repercussions involved. All of the characters are more dimensional and none of the characters are caricatures, you know what I mean? They are people they act like people and bleed like people, they are real people! That’s what I think has been missing for so long from the genre stuff that has come out, they just kind of skip over trying to get any authenticity out of the characters.
SD: Well, that is something that you have been very vocal about for a while. I think the first time we ever spoke we talked about getting that realism.
PS: Its what we always talk about! I want to make a movie that I as a horror fan want to watch. It’s time to raise the bar! We cannot (as fans) sit around and bitching if we are not willing to do something about it. This is the chance; there is plenty of talk and its time to do something about it. It’s about telling real stories, we cannot scrimp on the script, it needs to get it right and include the people right from the start. Grace has been through many hands and it needed to be placed with the right people to make it happen. They have to really get it! It needed the right home, and we finally found the right home for our Gracie. As you know, our goal with the short was to make it entertaining; it was never intended just to sit on the desk of an executive. With a short you have to hit hard and hit quick. And with the feature its much more full of atmosphere and subtlety, we have much more time and that’s where we are going with it.
SD: So tell me about the cast you got.
PS: It’s really a testament to the people that are behind the movie, they never got in the way and we really have a phenomenal cast, Jordan Ladd from Grindhouse and Cabin Fever. Gabriel Rose who won a Genie Award is playing our Victoria and the others are so great, it’s like you can just point the camera and go. I sleep like the dead knowing how great the cast and crew is. It’s a dream situation!
SD: I am so excited, and proud of you, and so is Adam Green, that guy can’t stop talking about you!
PS; Dude, we got the guy who shot The Lost for Chris Sivertson! His name is Zoran Popovic and he is ready to blow up, check out his reel online he is a true artist; everybody is a rock star here. The level of detail will blow your mind; you will never see this level of detail on a low budget film. Everybody is so passionate and just giving it there all; it’s all about the show.
SD: So who is doing the FX?
PS: we have different people specializing in different areas, we have the guys at Creative Character building baby Grace, and she arrives tomorrow, as long as she clears customs. I am sure a dead baby will freak a few people out along the border.
SD: Well hey man get back to making the film, I am truly proud of you!
PS: I’m telling you Dan there is magic in the air here!
Watch for more on the film as it comes in.