“Dark Moon Rising” will be the first of at least three movies as the producers begin to build a franchise. In an exclusive interview with International Business Times, the writer and director of the movie, Justin Price, talked about making the movie and some of the challenges he faced while filming.
The main plot of the movie revolves around a group of werewolves looking for a young girl in a small town. The girl is still discovering her extraordinary abilities and is trying to control her rage. Price said that the movie is the first installment in the franchise and “like all movies sweeping the broad scope of character development and fantasy,” they needed to “establish the groundwork and universe,” in which the characters reside in.
“The idea was to allow the characters time to develop on screen and showcase their unique abilities as werewolves and also give a back story to help explain the culminating of all of the moving parts,” Price said. The movie doesn’t release across the U.S. till Aug. 4, 2015, on iTunes, Amazon Prime, VOD and Vudu and later on Redbox and Netflix; but the director feels that the response to the movie by the audience so far has been “great.”
“The audience response has been great. It is almost impossible to gage how an audience will respond to a film, especially one without 50 years of history or graphic novels to build up a following, but we have over 3,000 likes on IMDB and tens of thousands of fans on twitter,” he explained. He later added that the viewers have understood that the movie is only a “grand appetizer” and the next few films will “unfold even more character.”
Price said that they had to “completely disguise” the face of actress Dilan Kotan who plays the role of a werewolf named Jax because they didn’t want her face to be “too noticeable.” Her character apparently plays a “major part” in the “Dark Moon Rising” sequel. The actress is a cast member of the movie “Dracula Untold” and the director remembers that while filming a scene she “jumped out on screen” wearing a “ridiculous wig” that the team had gotten for her to wear in the movie. The extras in the background apparently “couldn’t stop laughing” while filming this scene and Price said that the scene helped break the ice and that he would always remember the funny moment.
The director said that they have “big plans” for Part 2 and Part 3 of “Dark Moon Rising.”
“My company, Pikchure Zero Entertainment, works closely with our distributors, especially Uncork’d Entertainment, in creating diverse and unique stories in order to make films [that] audiences can expect [to be of] high quality and never-before-seen ideas,” Price said.
Talking about what may have been his inspiration behind making movies; Price explained that he has always loved reading comic books and graphic novels. “My producing partner Khu and I are major comic book and graphic novel fans. I grew up loving Anime and Marvel comics since I can remember and have a great collection back home in Blakely Georgia,” he said.
Price also appreciated director Ava DuVernay, who helmed the 2014 movie “Selma,” for her talent.
“I couldn’t be more excited that great independent film makers like Ava Duvernay was offered a chance to direct ‘Black Panther!’ Although she recently turned down the director’s chair for ‘Black Panther,’ anyone familiar with her work knows it’s only a matter of time before we get to see her creative mind explore this amazing sci-fi horror and fantasy genre. I can’t wait to see her viewpoint on it. That’s how talented she is and why I love film making,” Price said.
Talking about the challenges in making the movie, Price explained how he wanted to shoot a scene in which the camera “swoops in from above and holds steady on a foot” but there were difficulties in filming the scene because he didn’t have a jib arm that was long enough. The director added (with a smiley face emoticon) that he later decided to change the foot to a wolf’s claws for this scene.
Talking about his favorite scene in “Dark Moon Rising,” Price said that it was the scene where Eric Robert’s character Henrick “sits at the table and melds Vietnam War and Moonshine together in a perfect soliloquy.” He said that he loved the scene because the actor “painted such a vivid picture that to write it is one thing but to see it executed even beyond the pages, that is where the magic exists.”