Director talks Suicide Girls Must Die!
What do we mean by reality-based horror? Well, the movie was put together by unconventional means. Various gals from across the country were invited to take part in the photo shoot for a new Suicide Girls calender at a remote location in Maine, all of which would be documented ala the previous Suicide Girl features The First Tour and the upcoming Italian Villa. What they didn’t know was that one by one, the gals would go missing, weird things would continue to happen and all of their natural reactions would be captured on camera to make up the Suicide Girls Must Die! movie. Obviously, no one was really picking off the girls during the shoot, but it was presented to them that something was definitely amiss.
Shock Till You Drop caught up with director Sawa Suicide for an exclusive chat about the challenges of making a film of this kind. Since she was literally about to step out of town, our interview took place quietly over at a LA Laundromat while Sawa prepped for her trip.
“We had been talking about this movie for about a year before we made it,” explains Sawa in regards to the origins of this project. “Iâ€™d been having conversations with Missy Suicide (the founder of Suicide Girls) and we had the thought that obviously thereâ€™s a big horror movie following on Suicide Girls, all the girls themselves love horror so we should do this. All our movies so far have been pretty girls, shooting at beautiful locations and interviewing them for the DVD. Basically, we told these girls, weâ€™re shooting another one of these for a calendar. Our plan was to stage things that would really scare them and have all these cameras going and get their real reactions.”
In order to pull this concept off, there had to be a blueprint of the overall story they intended to tell. “Basically there was a story and we wrote out how we wanted it to go in script form, but when your shooting reality, nothing ever goes as planned. Everyday we were changing the story and I was deciding who was going to die next. Like this girl isnâ€™t reacting enough or she may know too much so letâ€™s kill her off next. And then weâ€™d obviously leave the girls who were freaking out the most for last.”
One of the people that was on-set and helped craft some of the evolving plotlines was writer Paul Solet. No stranger to the horror genre having written and directed last year’s Grace, he was the ideal candidate to help on the movie. “He wrote the first scripts,” explains Sawa. “We had our concepts and went to him and he came up with some of the scenarios, but again it changed a lot once we got there. We had boards up with the girls and storylines we were trying to figure out and we would rewrite the story everyday depending on how the girls would react.”
From a technical standpoint, a lot of people don’t realize that Sawa actually has plenty of previous experience not only as a photographer, but as a camera operator and camera assistant. “I’ve had the chance to work with a lot of film directors and a lot of great DPâ€™s on good sized movies and commercials and music videos,” she tells us. “So that experience was invaluable. I worked on the camera crew with David Fincher right before this on Zodiac, so I was really excited to go from that right into our own little horror movie.”
Experience aside, that didn’t stop the occasional on-set hiccup. “The girl Evan in the movie, she called the cops and told them that we were trying to kill people and film a snuff film, because she was the first one to go. We took her to another house and she freaked out and called the cops and I found out the cops were on their way to the house and we couldnâ€™t have all the girls this early on know what was happening. This was the night we told all the girls they could stay up late, drink, party and sleep in and then all of a sudden I had to tell them ‘you need to get your asses up and get on the boat and out of the house. We just need to shoot some wide shots on the boat.’”
“Everyone was stressed out,” she continues. “We had no cell phones, we were in the middle of nowhere. Even if they figured out it was a movie at some point, they didnâ€™t know what was going on and they didnâ€™t know what was going to happen to them next. They knew something scary was going to happen, but they never knew what it was going to be. At the end of it all, this was a bonding experience.”
The shooting process was far from the end though. Once they went into post-production, they brought on another genre vet who knows a thing or two about horror movies and the Suicide Girls, Jeremy Kasten who directed The Wizard Of Gore. “Thank God we had Jeremy Kasten! It was really hard to edit this. We had cameras going pretty much non-stop for over a week. I think we were full on shooting for about 8 days. We got back with hundreds of 60 minute tapes. It was thousands of hours of footage. We had to log it all and then made the story based on what we had, because there were so many different stories happening, but Jeremy really helped put it together. At the end of the day, our goal was to make a fun movie that every college dorm room should have in it.”
Source: Rob G.