An interview with BRIAN PULIDO: Director of THE GRAVES
Also the evil genius behind LADY DEATH and EVIL ERNIE amongst other twisted creations!!!
Just first up, I know this was meant to be posted a day after the Clare Grant interview, apologies to anyone waiting for it, I had a personal tragedy happen in my life and then another only twenty four hours ago, unfortunately the transcription ended up taking a backseat. But I decided to finally get my ass into gear and put it up. Apologies to Brian, and I do apologise to you, the reader for the delay, I thank you for being patient.
Brian: Hey Steve how are you!
Steve: Im great Brian how are you! Hows your day been?
Brian: Oh its great I actually came out here for a convention, a comic book convention, what time is it there right now?
Steve: Its 9am, actually forgive me, I started the day out not quite knowing who I was going to speak to in general, I started the day watching The Graves, I had a good time watching it, I saw the trailer the other day and had no idea what I was in for, I realised when watching it that it was very tongue in cheek…
Brian: Yeah, the intention of the movie is for people to have fun, you know, like a girl could bring her boyfriend to it and have a date on, as opposed to one of the more meaner spirited horror films where a woman walks out and has to have a shower afterwards, so the idea that you know, to make people smile is fine by me!
Steve: So basically, its the Anti-Saw! *laughs*
Brian: Yeeeeeah Id say so! *laughs* I really honestly, I wanted to bring back the female audience back to horror, I mean coming from the world of comics that half my readers are women, I know women love horror films but I dont know how comfortable they are watching those films?
Steve: Yeah I know what youre saying entirely. When I saw your name, something sparked, the name looked familiar and I couldnt place it, then I realised youre the guy who created one of my favourite comic characters when I was sixteen, that was Evil Ernie!
Brian: Oooooh yeah, thats like my son!
Steve: Yeah I had like, Smiley drawn on my art book in year 11! I hope that doesnt breach any copyright laws! *laughs*
Brian: *laughs* I dont think so!
Steve: What I was going to ask, Claire said the other day that you were a really nice guy, she was lovely, she said you had fun shooting the movie, and said you managed to find all the sets already built?
Brian: Yeah what happened was, my wife and I travelled around the southwest looking for wierd stuff like for example we found a titan missile museum, theres crazy neat stuff all over Arizona. Around 2000 we found this place called Historic Vulture Mine, this place actually exists! Its like, 30 buildings and its, you can go there as a self guided tour, so that specifically inspired me. I actually went there and cut a deal to shoot a movie with the caretakers before I wrote one word, because if I had a deal I could write a script, if I had no deal, well, I cant write a script, absolutely I mean the place is real. Its pretty sketchy though, I mean the place, has no running water or electricity. No heavy equipment can be on the ground because theres supposed to be tunnels all through the place, theres like six types of rattlesnake, theres scorpions, its pretty treacherous!
Steve: But its still a really cool place to look at!
Brian: Oh its a cool place! I love that stuff! We took that place and our art department Fracesca Pulido and Buzz (sp?) dressed them to make them even kookier!
Brian: So not only was everything there, all the conditions were there too that come with it! Day seven was a hundred and seven degrees but day ten was forty nine degrees and hailing! So normally one can expect eighty degrees, miles of blue skies that time of year in Arizona but we had the craziest weather the whole time!
Steve: How long did the whole movie take to shoot???
Brian: We shot the movie in fourteen days plus two days for second unit shots so it was very fast, it was two six day weeks plus two more days. Translated it was anywhere from five to seven pages per day and we never had a day longer than twelve and a half hours.
Steve: Thats pretty damn quick!
Brian: We were based out of a town called Wickenberg in Arizona and every day we had a half hour travel to the location and half an hour back. So the average day was thirteen hours. Honestly thats not that bad in the world of independant filmmaking. They couldve been these crazy 22 hour shoots, but I didnt wanna get into that, I wanted to make it very professionally run, get in and get out.
Steve: You had a hell of a coup with securing both Tony Todd and Bill Mosely!
Brian: AND Amanda Wyss!
Steve: Oh yes for sure! I was about to say her too! Apologies! How was it working with those three people on the movie???
Brian: Oh they were great, I mean they were *really* great. They all got the script. All three of them brought so much to their roles. The screenplay was a starting point for their roles. For instance, the pig nose, was entirely Bill (Mosely)s idea, he saw how his character would ultimately meet his demise and thought he was ultimately a big pig. So he wanted to try the pig nose, and we said Hey lets do it! and when he put the pig nose on, I looked at the female cast members, I said Ok this is really creeping them out theres just something wrong about it! Once we established the pigman was a go, I started rewriting dialogue for him just to work into that, for example his character calls Abby Graves a runt, makes pig like noises, that sorta thing. With Tony, the same sort of thing, I mean I really look forward to one day working with Tony again, he had a lot of cool questions, brought a lot to the party, had a some requests, wanting to know the history of this character, so what was cool about both these guys, here they were legends, luminaries, they are definitely, arguably the Pacino and DeNiro of the genre, and yet theyre both about the work, getting the most out of the work. So, it was a blessing in disguise, the last thing we wanted was some overpowering bigger than life figure who would hijack a movieset, but these guys were anything BUT that, these guys were all about the process, being part of the process, integrating, supporting us making a good movie, those guys have been fantastic during the whole promotional portion of this whole movie, honestly having those two guys on board was a blessing!
From here we discussed major spoilers which Im not going to repeat, but needless to say Brian was an awesome guy to talk to. I found The Graves to be a fairly tongue in cheek yet fun little independent movie to watch, like Brian said, it strays away from the nasty horror movies like SAW and movies such as that (well, *I* said SAW to be honest), and goes more for fun than anything else… so give it a look!