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Exclusive: Gierasch & Anderson Talk Fertile Ground

Opening in theaters this Friday

The last couple of years have been very busy for Adam Gierasch and Jace Anderson. Following the remake Night of the Demons, the duo moved into Fertile Ground, an After Dark original film that marks a decided change of tonal pace for the creative team. In Shock’s interview with Gierasch and Anderson, the pair shed some light on what we can expect when Ground opens this Friday.

Shock Till You Drop: Out of the films released through the Originals line, this one doesn’t appear to have the staple horror boogeymen – no vampires, no zombies…

Adam Gierasch: This is a psychological, slightly supernatural thriller. I wanted to make a movie that was more similar to ‘70s ghost stories like Burnt Offerings, the The Reincarnation of Peter Proud and The Changeling, more of that vibe. It’s got a little bit of Repulsion thrown in there. It’s the story about a happily married husband and wife who have a tragedy and wind up moving from the big city to the country. Their relationship changes…

Jace Anderson: There’s an element of “what’s really going on here…?”

Gierasch: There are a lot of strange occurrences that are happening in this house and we’re seeing the effects of those on the couple.

Shock: After Night of the Demons, you told me this was something you were going to tinker on story-wise, but where did it come from?

Gierasch: This was an idea Jace came up with a long time ago. In some weird way, it’s sort of a semi-autobiographical story that Jace very much relates to. The character of Emily is probably the most auto-biographical character we’ve put on screen.

Anderson: [laughs] People are going to think I’m crying all of the time. It started with an image I had in a dream and a couple of articles I read. I had a vague collection of things I wanted to incorporate into a script and we started to come up with the plot. There are events around that time that we took a writer’s fancy to and it developed from there. Emily is a close character to me, but I can’t give qualifications without giving the story away, so we’ll have to leave it at that.

Gierasch: The less you know about the movie, the better. It’s very different for me, this movie. I’ve never done a movie with so many dramatic elements to it. Where we didn’t rely on blood and demons and arms being chopped off. This movie is such a huge departure for us, to be honest, it makes us a little nervous and we hope people like it. Any time you do something new and different, it’s a bit nerve-racking.

Shock: Jace, did you have a big say in who was cast as Emily?

Anderson: I’m always at casting sessions. And let’s emphasize this is SEMI-autobiographical. We were not searching for the next Jace. I took a lot of feelings and fears that come up in a relationship and used that as a basis for the character. But there was no search for someone who looked like me.

Gierasch: The girl we wound up casting, Leisha Hailey, walked into the room and started reading and it was instantaneous, she was Emily. She’s stone-cold brilliant actress.

Shock: Do you think this film will change the audience’s perception of what you two do?

Gierasch: I don’t know. There’s very little bloodshed in this. It’s entirely different than any of the After Dark films we’re being released with.

Anderson: I don’t know if it will or not. The stuff we write on our own tends to be cross-genre and the stuff that winds up getting produced winds up being straight-up genre. Although it’s something new for people to see from us, it doesn’t feel like a massive departure for us.

Shock: Overall, the shoot went smoothly though?

Gierasch: It was very normal, but I can tell you one story. Where we were in Iowa, every year, the combines come through and scoop up the soy beans. These giant machines come through. That had an unfortunate side effect for us, because these strange beetles were living in with the corn and soy beans. They looked like ladybugs, but they stung. One day, hundreds of thousands of them descended on the house we were shooting in and it was distracting because we’d be doing a take when all of a sudden we’d hear our actress screaming because she was being stung.

Anderson: They looked sweet, but they hurt.

Shock: There’s your new movie.

Gierasch: They were all over. If you look at some of the shots in this movie, you’ll see them on the windows.

To see if the film is playing at a theater near you, visit After Dark Originals.com.

Source: Ryan Turek, Managing Editor