The Arrow interviews Philip Adrian Booth
Haven't heard of DEATH TUNNEL yet? Get ready cause this little flash madness ditty not only got picked up by SONY in terms of distribution but will be an Official Selection at this year's SCREAMFEST (On Oct 17th 2005 at 9.30.pm at the LOEWS CINEMA). I got the chance to exchange punches with hipster director Phillip Adrian Booth and here's what he had to say about the film, its true story tag, it potential sequel and more!
What is your
favorite horror movie?
The Spanish/English Co. productions in the early seventies were very inspiring, "The Conqueror Worm" Ken Russels's "The Devils" Elias J. Mihage's "Begotten" was extremely disturbing, and of course the original "The Haunting" and more currently Jacob's Ladder and The Shining!That's more than one isn't it? Sorry
What ís your background as a filmmaker?
Being scared to Death off doing anything else! My twin brother CHRISTOPHER SAINT BOOTH (Producer of Death Tunnel) and I found a script on a set one day, we were working as PA's at that time, we said "hell we can do this! "
I also worked as a digital compositor and editor on the TV shows XENA and also Hercules, I picked up a film camera when I was directing "Immortal," a 92' Cannes Festival Winner and I said to the camera assistant , "Show me how to use this thing, mate". He did, ever since I've shot everything we work on! I love the art of cinematography!
What was it about the true story of the Kentucky hospital incident in 1910 that moved you enough to want to make a film around it?
Our other Producer SHANE DAX TAYLOR, as a boy was dared to spend the night there, it's a local initiation to prove your bravery! He brought the idea to us at TWINTALK Entertainment and we all said. "My god, there must be some skeletons in that closet! After flying out to the Sanatorium, we were in shock when we saw the place. This was the real thing. After hearing about the history, tragedies and the haunting of the FIVE FLOORS of this massive monument to pain, Chris, Shane and I thought this is our next movie!
How much of a true story is Death Tunnel when taking into account the actual events that inspired it?
This is a great question, Even though the movie is completed, we still have people writing and sending in letters and photos from their grand parents, actual patients and historians, validating the realism of the events. The script was written about the ACTUAL EVENTS, The SUICIDES, The HAUNTING, The FIVE GIRLS dared to spend the night, The PREGNANT NURSE, and most of The DEATH TUNNEL, where so may corpses were transported out secretly, masked under the assumption of them being cured!
Let me share an exciting dose of reality shock, On the web do a search for, for Wavery Hills Sanatorium and help yourself to shiver fest! This a Fantastic story and it is Based on True Events Like any entertaining movie, things were made more colorful, and as typical as it may seem, without the commercial element of FIVE GIRLS dressed only in alluring European nighties I'm not sure we would have been picked up by SONY PICTURES.
How would you describe the
casting process for the picture? Easy flow or arduous?
We had a great casting agent, GREG DEHN, so we had a lot of talent to choose from. It was hard to find good looks, charisma and acting ability, but I have to say our cast can act and that's the bottom line!
The Official Website claims that you've recorded and filmed real poltergeists that were then edited into the finished film? Care to elaborate on that?
Seventy Five percent of all the Haunting sound effects are made from the Actual EVPs recorded and authenticated by the LGHS - LOUISVILLE GHOST HUNTER SOCIETY. These were recorded in the Operating Room, the Death Tunnel, the Solarium and Cafeteria in the Sanatorium.
Actual spectral faces appear within the shadows and fog, particularly on the hanging scene. If you freeze the frame you will see a face appear and the next frame it is gone. Keep in mind we actually filmed on the floors where there tragedies actually happened. Actress, ANNIE BURGSTEDE actually stood on the edge of the Five story tower, where the real nurse jumped from!
This is all documented in the documentary SPOOKED, THE GHOSTS OF WAVERLY HILLS, we decided we had to do a documentary to help tell this incredible experience check out www.spooked.org
You shot the film in the actual hospital where the deaths happened. Spirits aside, what kind of obstacles, if any, did you encounter due to shooting in that location?
Well, Keep camera batteries from going dead all the time, even if they were fully charged! We had to bring in four 10 ton grips trucks and over 80,000 watts of HMI s to light the Sanatorium. There was no power there at all, so three large Generators had to be trucked up there. And then we had lightning storms and the inevitable, people got frightened and unsettled. It was hard looking at girls in just nighties for three weeks!
Where is Death Tunnel at distribution wise? I heard SONY nabbed it; what kind of distribution are we looking at? STD? Theatrical?
Yes John, SONY PICTURES had picked up worldwide rights and the theatrical option is viable
What' s next on your plate as a screenwriter/director? Any projects lined up?
Sleep, Chris and I have had offers to make a comic book based movie, "Vampyre Huntress" Also we have the horror movie "SHADOWBOX "coming out early next year. www.shadowboxmovie.com
Is there talk of a Death Tunnel sequel? And if it would happen, would you be hip to tackling it?
Have you been talking to SONY? As James Bond once said, "Never Say Never"
What was the first drink that you consumed at the Death Tunnel wrap party?
A good Kentucky Bourbon, Maker's Mark of course!
NICE! Great drink!
I'd like to thank Philip for killing on teh site and for the gorgeous macabre eye candy that was Death Tunnel. Looking forward to see where and how far this "little movie that could" will go! Keep kicking man!