Asylum Of Darkness Interview With Jay Woelfel

asylum of darkness poster 750

asylum of darkness poster

What kind of audience have you been targeting for the film?
I’d say fans of supernatural horror are the audience. There is a mystery element to this film. The audience and the main character experience things that could just be insanity or be real supernatural threats and you don’t know until the very end what is really going on. The story should make you curious to find out and to go on the wild ride the main character does to get there.

I see this as a plus, but I guess, or I’m told, there are horror fans who just want horror and gore and don’t want to wonder/figure out what is going on. One of the people at the lab where the film was being finished, the film was shot and finished on 35mm film with almost no digital elements at all, liked the movie but thought it was too brainy for the horror audience. As a part of that horror audience myself, I’d like to think he’s wrong. Horror films don’t have to be simple, they don’t have to be complicated either, though if I had to say which this one is, I guess I’d say it’s the later.

Let me just say I don’t like to make or watch films that you know how it’s all going to end as soon as it begins. I’d rather fail at trying something different than succeed at doing what’s been done before.

How was it working with Richard Hatch?
As you may know I worked with Richard Hatch on more films than any other director in the last 20 years of his life and career. On the first film we did, Iron Thunder, he said I was the first director he had worked with in a long time who knew what he was doing. So that gave me confidence and helped him trust in what I was directing him to do. If/when you have that kind of relationship the actual shooting, as far as the actors are concerned, always goes more smoothly.

In that first film there is a long opening monologue that he did. He did a very good job with it, but he had some trouble remembering all the lines, and it was done in pieces. On this film there is a long dialogue scene right at the beginning, much longer than the monologue in Iron Thunder. On his first day there, we shot a rehearsal of that scene and though he wasn’t required to know the lines he knew them all right from the start. To me this showed he was better then than when we started. I also did much less directing with him on this film, that is part of that process of getting better, but also, of course, a product of knowing each other on all levels.

This next thing sounds like I’m patting myself on the back, but Richard liked what I brought him, especially on a script level, because it was different than what he would usually do. He wanted to be challenged and once you get known, as he was, the jobs you get usually are what you may already be somewhat bored with.

He has to wear heavy make-up in spots in this film and he had never done that before. So he was a little uncomfortable being in a movie where people might not even recognize him. I encouraged him to do it and he did. After this film he played a Klingon in even more make-up and last time I saw him [he] was raving about how happy he was to look completely different. So he was still taking new steps right up until the end. If I helped him take a few of those, even better…

Asylum of Darkness is available now on VOD.

Rock Hard \m/

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