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Icons of Fright Interview With THE DEVIL INCARNATE Director L. Gustavo Cooper

unnamed (2)Image Entertainment’s THE DEVIL INCARNATE is set to hit shelves on October 7th, and the director of the film, L. Gustavo Cooper, was nice enough to spend a few moments speaking with Icons of Fright, regarding the film, the technique of making a half found footage/half regular style-like film dealing with one horrific plot. Check it out!

The film deals with some really dark themes. Of course, the main one being a curse. So how did that idea come about?

In college I actually learned about folkloric literature and there are some early stories that have been passed around from man to man. I just became obsessed with the idea of different cultures trying to share this difference and once I got a chance to do something in that field, I just really embraced it and we wanted to do something that had sort of a gypsy Romanians thing. So yeah that’s how that came about.

Films with this nature tend to have stories  of creepy things happen behind the scenes, so did anything explainable happened during filming?

Actually the house that we were staying in was an old plantation house that we were shooting in and apparently the woman of the house brought the whole crew inside because she wanted to tell us the story of how there was these three slave men that were running away and they got caught and lynched in the backyard and it freaked out the whole crew, and that’s how we started our shoot. She was a great woman and even though she was like in her late sixties, she was very cool lady, and definitely fit the tone for the whole movie.

So have you always had an interest in the horror genre and if so what are some of your favorite horror films?

I’ve had an interest in the horror genre since I was a kid. I would sneak in movies like on Saturday nights when my dad was watching something else, and I’d run in there to peek knowing that I would be scared. I would sneak in and see like Freddy Kruger, Pinhead, or POLTERGEIST, and those would freak me out and I’d run back into my room, then I’d come back out and say “I can’t go back in because it’s too dark.” (Laughs) So yeah I guess from a small child I’ve had an interest in the thrill of it. I was a semi professional skateboarder, and that kind of manifested itself into making films. To answer your question about my favorite film I would have to say I’m really into the idea of beautiful art, and what comes to mind, is del Toro. I love Guillermo del Toro, I like PAN’S LABYRINTH a lot, because there’s elegance and their losses are sort of parallels between beauty and macabre. So that kind of gives you an idea of what I’m influenced by.

I loved the way the film was shot. Part of it of course being found footage, and another part of it being completely different, it definitely added a unique vibe to the film. How did you come up with that concept?

Going into the film, we were going to do just found footage. If you have seen some of the early stuff I have done, I’m really into pretty pictures. I like to make really cool landscapes and things like that. Going into this though, I just had a really hard time doing a whole movie as found footage. And as we were going, we started to think about the story, and how the camera would be moving, it kind of became like a character. We sort of embraced it, and we decided we were better off having the movie be entirely shot like this, with the camera telling a portion of the story, and once we get out of that point of view we can get into that normal sort of shooting style that would be in any other film.

Yeah, those styles went perfectly together. It added something different and interesting and audiences will enjoy that.

Yeah, I think it catches people off guard. It starts out as a found footage film, and then it gets to a certain point where it’s like “Wait a minute, this is a normal movie.”

Do you think that with it being shot that way,  it was easier to tell the story of Holly and Trever? Or do you think that it made it difficult to work around?

Some parts. It is really hard to shoot a found footage film. It’s not easy. You have to completely know what you’re going to do. You have to stage everything, and then you have to process it where you can make cuts, but you have to be smart about it and in how you’re going to do it. It doesn’t make it easier, that’s for sure. It was very challenging, and I felt that it could have been a little easier if we didn’t do it, to be honest. But I’m glad we did, I haven’t seen anything done like that and with the found footage element.

Are there any upcoming projects we can look forward to?

The new movie that I’m wrapping up right now is called JUNE. It’s about a little girl who is inhabited by another soul, so essentially she has two souls. One soul she is trying to keep at bay, like a dog on a leash. Once her emotional wall comes down, this thing comes out and terrorizes and destroys things. That movie should be coming out sometime this year. We are going to have our first screening at The American Film Market, in Santa Monica. There will be a trailer coming out within the next couple of months. I have an announcement for a new film I will be working on at the end of this year that I am not allowed to talk about right now, but I am really excited about it. It has to do with some really cool, kind of throwback, bump in the night stuff.