Gregory Dark is a complicated man indeed. The
visionary director, whoís helming this summerís horror feast SEE
NO EVIL, starring WWEís Kane, started his career in the most
unusual of places - adult films. Having
made over 40 sexy adult-themed films, he then went on to do even more
memorable work directing various music videos, including one for Britney
Spears. Itís quite an unusual start
for a guy who graduated from Stanford and whose work has been compared to
visual artists like David Lynch and David Fincher.
SEE NO EVIL, a film about a deranged serial killer, marks Darkís
first foray into the horror genre and he sat down to talk about his early
work, his arresting visual style, and some of his own favorite horror films.
The road for people in adult material is usually one of no real mainstream success. How did you go from doing that, to music videos, to now directing a feature film?
I havenít done adult stuff in a long time. What I did was very kind of conceptual art adult stuff that was really not about eroticism, it was about anti-eroticism. I have a Graduate Degree in Art from Stanford and I used to do performance art. So I thought to myself, if I could do performance art using sexual content, thatís what I would do to, sort of, mess with the adult audience, which is ultimately what I did. I subsequently then did the thrillers for Showtime and Cinemax and many, many music videos.
heard your work compared to the likes of David Lynch.
How would you describe your unique visual style?
David Lynch? You know, Iím very much a music video director. You know, I kind of like working with camera techniques, coloring techniques, every kind of mechanical technique you can imagine that I think Iím probably comfortable with. David Lynch is more, I donít know, heís very surrealistic I suppose, right? David Lynch is a surrealist. So I think a lot of my early work is very surrealistic. Now I try to make itÖinfuse the realism into realism.
are some of your influences in terms of directors, regular and in the horror
In terms of regular directors, David Lynch, (Jean-Luc) Godard, for editing styles; Iím a big post production sort of maven and editing styles and why scenes would play a certain way for French new wave. Horror movies - Wes Craven. Theyíre sort of standard guys; itís just that Iím more interested in a bit more surrealism, surrealism in cinema.
far as Kane goes, did you call him Glen, Kane, or Jacob?
I usually called him the name of the character (Jacob Goodnight), so he constantly identified with the character. Thatís sort of a technique I always use, cause they have to be the character for it to come off at all.
was it like working with Glen Jacobs aka Kane?
Glen, Kane? (Laughs) He was amazing, he truly was the character; he became the character. He has a really great apprehension of acting technique, both Meisner and method. And he only had one line in the movie, but you could see every one of his emotions, you could see every one of his decisions, it was fantastic. He was really this character.
he different then his on screen character, in between takes?
He would stay there, in character. He wouldnít joke around so much; heíd kind of be the character that he was supposed to be. Heíd sit alone in the corner, heíd stare, you know, he was very interesting. But I encourage that because I think that the character becomes more believable. You know, from the time he hit the set, until the time he left, he was Jacob Goodnight.
it a conscious choice for Kaneís character to have little to no dialogue
right from the get go?
but when I got involved I thought he shouldnít talk because I think the
more you talk, the less frightening he may be.
So I thought to myself, shit he shouldnít talk, he should just be
this killing machine, that has all these emotions that we see during the
killing machine aspect of his personality.
what made you want to take on this particular movie?
Iím a big fan that 70ís flicks like Friday the 13th, Halloween, these kinds of movies. And I thought to myself, if I could apply a bunch of music video techniques and also some realistic special effects CGI work to a movie of that kind, I think that would beÖalso that gritty. You see what Iím saying? As opposed to being slick, that would be kind of a really fascinating challenge and thatís what this movie had for me.
do you see as the audience for this film?
for people who play (Grand Theft Auto) San Andreas, videos games, itís
very kind of graphic novel, very gritty, realistic.
are some of your favorite horror films?
the original Eye, the Japanese version, the original Ring, the Japanese
version. I donít like any of
the, sort of, milk toast, PG-13 horror movies that are coming out
periodically lately. Those are
like thrillers - theyíre an excuse to do a thriller.
After Se7en, it was very hard to do a thriller, cause TV does such a
good job. And so now theyíre
trying to thrillers, theyíre trying to put a supernatural overtone to it,
because itís hard to beat TV in thrillers.
the arrival of a new Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Hills Have Eyes,
whatís your take on horror remakes?
I think it depends on how theyíre remade. I mean, I like the original Hills Have Eyes, it was better then the remake that I saw, you know I just thought, it was okay. I think itís hard to remake those movies, I think you have to change them to some degree, if youíre going to remake them. I kind of did like new Texas Chainsaw that Marcus (Nispel) did, although I still like the first one. But you know, I didnít hate that movie. I was engaged and I thought it had an interesting look and he tried to do something a bit different and I think he did a good job.
next for you?
Not sure yet, weíll see what happens, you know, see how this does. I may do a smaller movie; I may not, not sure.