THE AV INTERVIEW: TAYLOR RI’CHARD (director of The Final Project)

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ANDERSONVISION: Why set this particular kind of film in a Plantation?

TAYLOR RI’CHARD: When writing this film, we believed that since most people are fascinated with ghost stories, what better way to tell the haunted legend of Chretien Pointe than by doing it in a “real” way? I felt that found footage would help to establish the haunted plantation as a destination that ghost enthusiasts will want to visit after watching the film. I grew up learning and hearing amazing stories about this haunted plantation in Sunset, Louisiana, which is the town right next to the one I grew up in. The legend was as massive as the grounds that the plantation rested on. I remember being a teenager playing truth or dare with my friends about who would be bold enough to simply drive past the place after dark. So for me it was about telling the story of that plantation by utilizing the “found footage” genre to make it more real for the audience.

ANDERSONVISION: What about found footage lends itself to indie productions?

TAYLOR RI’CHARD: Usually the budget for most indie films are under 1 million, so found footage allows you to tell great stories in an edgy way while generally remaining under that million-dollar budget. We believed it was a great way to start our journey in film.

ANDERSONVISION: What films influenced you?

TAYLOR RI’CHARD: In regards to horror most of Wes Craven’s work inspired me. Specifically speaking about the found footage genre I am a huge fan of The Blair Witch Project. In fact, I consider my movie a tribute to The Blair Witch Project.

ANDERSONVISION: Was there anything that you wish you could’ve added to the film?

TAYLOR RI’CHARD: I really don’t think so. I am very pleased with what we were able to create. It was a great beginning, but it’s only the beginning.

ANDERSONVISION: I noticed that you handled the Visual Effects. Outside of Douglas Trumbull, it’s odd to see a Visual Effects guy also direct a film. What does that bring to your approach?

TAYLOR RI’CHARD: At the time I honestly felt like in order to convey what was going on in my head I had to recreate it myself for the film. It wasn’t something I intentionally set out to do, it just kind of happened.

ANDERSONVISION: What is next for you?

RI’CHARD TAYLOR: We are currently wrapping up the script on the next film, it’s going to be a psychological thriller. I’m very excited about this next project because we get to take things to the next level and we have a bigger budget so I’m really looking forward to starting production.

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Release Date: February 12, 2016 in Atlanta and Houston, Feb 19 in Broussard, Louisiana, March 4 in New York and Los Angeles, and then expands nationwide.

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