Friday, September 23, 2011

New Short Film From Derek Dubois At 13th Annual Pawtucket Film Festival This Weekend

[From New England Post]
Fallout, the new thriller from Rhode Island independent filmmaker Derek Dubois, will be included in the 13th Annual Pawtucket Film Festival this Sunday. While the official schedule has not yet been released, Dubois told the New England Post that the screening will indeed take place on Sunday at 4:30.
Derek Dubois was kind enough to sit down with the New England Post for this short conversation.
NEP: Are there things you want people to know about Fallout before seeing it or would you prefer they just sit down, let the lights dim and enjoy the show?
DD: With Fallout I definitely prefer the latter. There are certain ambiguities about the relationship between the main players and the nature of the conflict that I think are designed to roll out when they do. Fallout is a thriller. Dim the lights, crank the sound. That's all you need to know.
NEP: Did the idea for the Fallout screenplay come from somewhere specific or was it simply a case of a genre you felt like tackling?
DD: Believe it or not Fallout was inspired primarily by two films I'd seen in very quick succession: Anton Corbijn's The American and Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain. While these films are very different on the surface both center around very quiet, internalized male protagonists. If you look back at my previous films you'll find, historically, that I've often been far more concerned with female characters - they always seem much more complex and richer to me (maybe it's my feminist-film theory background). But on the heels of these two screenings I really wanted a straight no-frills genre plot but populated with an introspective male character that forces the spectator to really dwell on contemporary American masculinity and what the expectations of being "the man" in that scenario entail.
NEP: What films inform the screenplay and visual style of Fallout?
DD: Since Fallout is my first exercise in pure genre, I really wanted to play with the best of the best. This is a film whose entire time-span is relegated to one very small location: a fallout shelter. The central question became: how can we transmit that intense claustrophobia onto the audience without boring them? We found our answers in several disparate places: The setting is very inspired by something like Ridley Scott's Alien. One of those locked down locations that'll make your characters stir-crazy. But we chose to often keep the camera moving (albeit subtlety) to consistently put new information into the frame.
Funny enough, we stole our framing setups from The King's Speech. One very interesting thing I had originally noticed about that film was how inventive (and daring) it was in breaking with traditional framing designs. Speech often weighed their characters to the wrong side of the frame generating tons of negative space. We felt that approach was perfect for inspiring the right atmosphere during the uncomfortable interactions between our two main characters.
NEP: Talk a little bit about the production design and sets.
DD: Production Design was by far the most rigorous element of any of the stages of filmmaking. We instantly knew that shooting in an actual fallout shelter (if we could obtain access to one) was impossible because there would be no room for camera setups. So the crew's original discussions led us to consider scouting for a "mill basement" or something that was already practical for us to work with that would look like a Fallout shelter. I was never sold on that idea and secretly began construction on a set in my family's basement - not knowing if I could pull it off. I designed it so that each wall of the four-wall set would be entirely removable - thus permitting total visual freedom. I have absolutely no construction abilities whatsoever but over the course of two-months things slowly began to take shape. If you become a fan of Fallout on Facebook you can see a time-lapse photo album that charts the building of our little set. But excuse me, I have to go, my family's been on my case to start ripping it down.
NEP: Other than Pawtucket Film Festival this weekend, where else can people see Fallout?
DD: Fallout has thus far been accepted to three festivals. This coming Sunday Fallout will play on the opposite side of the country at the 2011 SoCal Film festival. Also, we were accepted into the 2011 Shockerfest Festival, which is an interesting genre-specific festival (horror and sci-fi), that airs it's films on a local cable station to a potential audience of 1.5 million people. Finally, as of last week, we have released the film online. Anyone interested in seeing Fallout can simply visit to view the film in full.
NEP: What are you working on now?
DD: Now that Fall has arrived I'm back at the head of the classroom leading a new group of Rhode Island College students in learning the joys and wonders of film analysis and, for the first time, screenwriting. I'm also hoping to put down the camera for a little while and try to sell a feature length script. I'm shopping around a horror-feature entitled Miss Diagnosis with several production companies at the moment.
(In the interest of full disclosure I feel I must point out that I composed the original music for Fallout. My work as a film composer however does not effect my work as a journalist in any way, shape or form.)