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EXCL: Thomas Jane on Dark Country

3-D thriller marks directorial debut

Unless he has some pull as a producer, it’s not often you’ll find an actor voluntarily sitting alongside his director in the editing room. On Frank Darabont’s The Mist, however, star Thomas Jane has becomes a permanent fixture. “Film school” is what this former Punisher is calling his daily presence through the post-production process – all preparation for his directorial debut entitled The Dark Country. In a Shock exclusive, Jane tells us his $5 million thriller produced under RAW Entertainment – a banner he created with Steve Niles (30 Days of Night) – is revving up for production later this year.

Written by Tab Murphy (Disney’s Tarzan), “Country” – also a starring vehicle for Jane – picks up on a two-lane blacktop where a newlywed couple are trekking across the desert from Las Vegas. “They come across a body in the road who seems to be a terrible accident,” Jane elaborates. “He’s still alive, so they pick him up and try to find a hospital. The guy wakes up in the backseat terrified and freaked-out, wondering if people are after him. [The couple are] trying to get the story out of him but he’s been horribly wounded. He’s just a mess, broken and bloody. He starts talking all paranoid and then attacks the husband. Tries to kill him. They almost crash the car. The husband – our hero – picks up a rock and ends up killing the guy and they don’t know what to do with him. So, they start to panic and bury him out in the desert. Everything goes downhill from there.”

The Hollywood multihyphenate (actor, producer, comic book writer) has pulled together a crackerjack team of techies to bring his vision of “Country” to life in 3D. “It’s a little bit of a challenge, but I’ve narrowed down the technical aspects and I’ve hired a company called Paradise FX who have been doing production on films like ‘Terminator 3D’ – all of those rides you see,” he says. “I’ve also hired Ray Zone and he’s one of the best known figures in the 3D world. He’s done over 150 3D comics and he’s a 3D photographer – knows every aspect of 3D physical production. So I’ve hired him as my 3D producer. The technology has taken this great leap with the hi-def and it’s going to be fun.”

Jane is fully aware that not every theater across the nation is equipped with updated 3D projection systems, so he is taking steps to ensure “Country” is also being shot for traditional 2D presentations without it affecting the production cost. Visually, he stresses, he’ll be steering clear of the 3D funhouse gags you might find in eye-catchers of the early-’80s (Jaws 3D comes to mind). “We’re going for the effect that Hitchcock used when he made ‘Dial M for Murder’ than what we saw in Vincent Price’s ‘House of Wax.’ It’s a more sophisticated use of the technology which is what we’re striving for.” It’s also his chance to steer the genre away from safe teen thrillers. “Up until now we’ve seen all of this PG-13 stuff so I want to do an R-rated adult-oriented 3D thriller.”

Sony is in line to distribute The Dark Country.

Source: Ryan Rotten