Domiziano Arcangeli ('The Ghostmaker')
'Boys and Girls, It's Time For a Ghost Story!'
'THE GHOSTMAKER' centers around a group of college friends, who discover a 15th century coffin that allows them to experience the world as ghosts.
While their first adventures in the spirit world are playful and innocent, the Box of Shadows soon brings out the group's most dangerous impulses and desires.
The friends find themselves pulled into a world of evil where they learn the line between life and death is there for a reason.
'The Ghostmaker' stars Liz Fenning, Aaron Dean Eisenberg, Jared Grey, J. Walter Holland, and actor/writer Domiziano Arcangeli, and was directed/written by Mauro Borrelli.
Chatting recently with one of the writers/actors himself Domiziano Arcangeli, I first wondered, as the movie was originally called 'Box Of Shadows,' why the name had changed to 'The Ghostmaker'? “Well, it changed because, I guess ‘Box Of Shadows’ sounds more like it was made for the interior nature of the movie. While, to me, it’s more like a supernatural thriller of genre. It is true that the script at the beginning had a few sections that were more in tune with the lives of these people. While the movie at the very end it still brings the message, but it’s definitely more concentrated as a supernatural thriller with special effects. It was changed because it’s definitely more of a title that makes you think of more action, more ghostly, more supernatural adventure. But ‘Box of Shadows’ seems more interiorized.”
“Would I have preferred the first to the second, I think my answer is already told,” he laughs.
Was that coffin built from scratch and in full working order for the film? “Yes, that was built from scratch by the director of the movie, Mauro Borrelli, who has been for years an illustrator, a production designer and a costume designer. On many films. He has worked with very important directors, such as Francis Coppola and very recently Tim Burton. So he created it himself, designing it first, and then he built it with some help. But really by himself.”
Does Mauro still own that coffin or was it smashed at the end like it was shown to be?! “It got broken, unfortunately. Yeah. I mean, there are some parts, or course, I think that Lions Gate - the studio - still own some parts, sure. But no, it‘s not in its entirety now.”
The film concept is very original - you must be very proud of your script “Oh yes, I am. Also because it’s the second movie that I’ve done as a director as the writer and the producer. From the start, from scratch, from the get-go. I have produced a few films that were packaged similarly, but in this case we really worked together in complete harmony. It was a great creative aspect, which is what making movies should be. And then in pre-production we joined in the crew and the cast and go through choices that like to be shared, obviously. Everyone has something to say. It does make you proud though to think that it started with the three of us.”
Is 'The Ghostmaker' actually based, as it states, on a "true story"?! "I believe it is based over a few true stories of people we all knew, and, who were experimenting with drugs. I am not sure it went all like that, but, definitely some of those guys truly existed. And, some otherworldly, mysterious situations, at times, did take over reality. It's been a life of darkness for many, while, we all are always looking for "a coffin", for an escape ... don't you believe?"
I could see this film being a comic book - has that ever crossed your mind? “No, not at all. Maybe Mauro has, because he is very fond of comics. But that happens often that a comic book becomes the source for a movie. I must say that when it’s done with style, like ‘Sin City’ that very much interests me. But when it becomes more like the Marvel comics it bores me to no end,” he laughs.
The main drug dealer, Marcus (YOU!) looks like Vince Neil from Motel Crue!! “Yeah, that would be me, for sure,” he laughs. “I’ve heard this actually, from a couple of people who have viewed the movie. I swear I was not thinking of him. I knew the guy. I’ve even seen the guy live before. But I was never that aware of that on set. But the set is lit in a certain way and it’s shot by a certain angle. So it’s never the actual image of what we see of ourselves at the time in our minds. And I try not to think about those things anyway as they can take away from the performance completely. Really I was helped, of course, by a costume designer and the director’s advice. I think we just had fun in creating that character and to make it not the usual stereotypical drug dealer. Even if there is such a thing at this point. I don’t think so. Not in Los Angeles, anyways.”
"The ending, I think, not everybody gets it. It also shows you that when you touch certain drugs, certain hard drugs especially, even if you manage to get off of them, life is never the same. And that’s something that we all thought on set. We were very aware of that, as it was going to be seen by kids and that. It’s not living a life of real emotions. It’s just not real. It’s all unreal. Simply delusional. And so that was the main question.”
Was all that stuff about "7hz" (the frequency) actually real? "A supernatural thriller needs to always take you to a dreamy place, ideally, that eventually will turn against you! There you have it. I don't believe there's a formula to make a film, but certain genres must have a few, at least, of the ingredients necessary! I think the "frequency" was definitely one of those!"
The end statement of the film, “Death always walking with us - just waiting for the time” is morbidly creepy, and yet true! Do you yourself believe in the Afterlife, perhaps? “Oh I do. Yes. I profoundly do believe in the Afterlife, yes. Absolutely. In fact I am a Hindu and I go to a temple in Hollywood called the Vedanta Society which was created by a very, very famous, English writer Christopher Isherwood."
"Christopher is such a wonderful person and I was so lucky to have met him. He was also a writer in Hollywood in the 1930’s. And I guess being a gay man back in 1930’s England was full of atrocity. People saying they hated him, but he still tried to set up a different lifestyle which was possible there."
"He then went off to Germany for a little time, and then came here and got a job in Hollywood and became fascinated with Los Angeles. He then loved all the space we have here for meditation. And it is possible that if someone can find the time for it they will see it. Just take a look out at the ocean at dusk. It’s a wonderful feeling. I‘ve also actually produced and acted in several plays to raise money for the Association.”
Finally, you have acted in 18 new projects since this was filmed! Do you ever sleep?! "Sundays, mostly! No, truly, life is just moving so fast these days I have barely the time to think to go on set, at work, or to do my emails, to see my sons, and, before I even know it, I am all of a sudden in another place. Already!"
"Maybe modern life has became a little of a supernatural thriller per se? I definitely sleep way too little lately, but again, I just love what I do. My life is separated by my business, but yet finding time for all the things I do during a day it's been a challenge! Maybe there's a dimension we do not truly know or perceive that has changed!"
"And certainly the internet has its faults! Life is never the same after a movie, you can imagine, what it must be after so many. I must be grateful for the work, but I am often torn about time and its meanings. That is why I try to meditate during long segments spent staring at the sunset over the Pacific! Maybe the sense of absolute only nature can convey. It is calming and does infuse me with some rest, after all! But sleep, real sleep? Oh, these days it's a huge achievement!"
Interviewed by: Russell A. Trunk
If you would like to win an AUTOGRAPHED (and personally dedicated-to-you) 'The Ghostmaker' poster, just answer this question about the film's music: The soundtrack includes the track "Echo," which is written by Ryan Christopher Danley and Joe Chopski, but actually performed by ... whom?!
Send us your answers and if you're correct you'll be in the running to win an AUTOGRAPHED (and personally dedicated-to-you) 'The Ghostmaker' poster! Just send us an e:mail here before February 1st, 2013 with your answer and the subject title CONTEST: THE GHOSTMAKER SIGNED POSTERs to: email@example.com
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