Thursday, June 9, 2016

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Director Eric Blue Talks About His New Film, 'Beacon Point'

I recently had the opportunity to talk with director Eric Blue about his new film Beacon Point and it was a great conversation.  Check out what he said in our interview below:

JAMES DE BELLO:  Hello Mr. Blue, James De Bello here, writer for "Merc with a Movie Blog". I wanted to thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. As an aspiring filmmaker and a cinema lover it's always a pleasure when I get to interview working directors. I'd like to start things off by asking you how was Beacon Point born? I saw that you co-wrote the screenplay, was it something that had been sitting in drawer for a while or was it something that you came up with recently? 

ERIC BLUE:  It was 1994 and I was camping with my girlfriend, deep in the Great Smoky Mountains, a stone’s throw from the Appalachian Trail. We had a really strange experience our first night. We both felt like something was watching us from the darkness. We heard strange noises, it didn’t seem like an animal, and at one point in the middle of the night the birds started chirping wildly. It was really scary and we felt helpless, alone in the mountains. This experience stuck with me and was so intense that I felt compelled to use it as the basis for a story. This morphed into my first feature film, Beacon Point.

JDB:  When you were making this film, what were some of the movies you watched to prepare yourself or to gain inspiration?

EB:  I drew from so many influences. Obviously I watched a lot of horror movies in the woods to see what I liked and didn't like. Ultimately I tried to do my own thing though, to be true to the story, and tell it how I saw it in my head. There are probably influences from Hitchcock, Kubrick and other great directors in there. It's hard not to emulate your idols to some degree.

JDB:  How much time did it take between pre-production, shooting and post-production to make Beacon Point

EB:  We worked constantly. We didn't stop until the movie was completed. It took almost three years from starting the screenplay until our world premiere at Dances with Films on June 10th.

JDB:  What are your hopes for Beacon Point? What would you love audiences to get out of it? 

EB:  I hope it breaks the cliches of the thriller/horror genre and is entertaining as a whole. I hope people talk about it and think about some of the subtle themes in it.

JDB:  As an aspiring filmmaker I would love to hear any advice you have. In particular, can you talk about what the process was like getting this film financed? Did you find the
process easy or exhausting? 

EB:  Financing and selling the movie are the most difficult parts of making a feature movie. Ironically, these are the two things film school doesn't teach you. At least no one taught me these things. It's tough to get money, especially if you are a first time director with no stars in your movie. The key is to believe in yourself and to make the movie. If you can raise a million bucks, great, but if you can't, be resourceful and make a movie within your scale. We've all heard the stories about movies being made on a micro-budget and doing well. If your budget is small, use that as an advantage. Don't take "No" as an answer and don't give up. Get your movie made!

JDB:  What was it that made you want to be a filmmaker? Is there any particular film that opened the door and floored you or was it a slow introduction to cinema? 

EB:  I’ve always loved movies and telling stories. As a kid I was so blown away by movies like 'Star Wars' and 'Time Bandits'. I knew early on that I wanted to be a filmmaker. It seemed so cool and fun. I’ve worked towards this goal ever since.

JDB:  Directing a feature is quite an accomplishment. Can you talk a little bit about the road to get to where you are now and some of the biggest hardships and joys you found in it? 

EB:  Every aspect of filmmaking, from the writing, fundraising, production, and post-production has its challenges. People ask me what it takes to be a director. The answer I always give is the same, you have to really want to do it, because there are a million reasons to give up. I was fortunate to have an incredible team around me. My wife and production designer, Karen Teske Blue, my co-writer, Traci Carroll, and my producers, Matt Ackerman and Scott Salamon, were a huge part of the movie and really helped push the production value to the next level. The movie looks as good as any Hollywood production and we spent a fraction of the money. This is what indie filmmakers do, we stretch our money in creative ways, telling fresh and exciting stories. And most importantly, we never give up. If you want to make a movie, then go out and do it. Don't let anything stand in your way.

JDB:  Who are some of your favourite filmmakers working today and who are some of the people you look up to the most in the movie industry? 

EB:  I was influenced by the impact directors like Kubrick and Ridley Scott had on me emotionally. Their movies are full of suspense and compelling characters. As far as filmmakers working today, I really like Christopher Nolan,Tarantino, and many new directors like Jeremy Saulnier who did 'Blue Ruin' and 'Green Room'.

JDB:  Finally just as a fun question, is there anything you have seen recently in the cinema that you really loved? 

EB:  I loved 'Blue Ruin', 'Ex Machina' and 'Star Wars' (my guilty pleasure).

Check out the trailer for Beacon Point right here:

BEACON POINT tells the story of a group of hikers on the Appalachian Trail who become lost and stumble across an ancient secret that threatens their survival. This film is a suspenseful, surprising journey into fear that'll make you never want to go camping again.

Rae Olivier, Jon Briddell, Eric Goins, Jason Burkey, and RJ Shearer star in this Eric Blue directed film, written by Blue and Traci Carroll.

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