Apparitional: Not Just Another Horror Film
By Tammi Lynne
The second full-length feature directed by Andrew Jones, Apparitional will soon grace audiences with stellar fright, intrigue and good old fashioned paranormal fun. Set in an abandoned prison the film follows a paranormal reality television show crew in desperate search of a good time for their audience and good ratings for the network.
The multi-talented filmmaker sat down recently to discuss Apparitional's great potential to terrify audiences worldwide.
How did you get started in the film industry?
I was 18 when I moved from San Diego to Los Angeles and started in the special effects field. I knew people in the industry so I got right in and very quickly opened up my own shop. In the 90's I worked steadily on features, commercials and sitcoms.
Kings of the Evening was your first feature film, how did that come about?
It started mainly with my father who passed away a year and a half ago. He was a novelist and an advertising copywriter and always encouraged me to write. He would say, "Learn to write. It will serve you well in life." He was right. His passion was screenwriting and we wanted to work together so we wrote and produced Kings of the Evening. I loved working with him, he was my hero in every way. It took 28 days to shoot the film and it was the happiest time of his life.
You met your wife, actress Linara Washington, after casting her in Kings of the Evening and you two co-produced your new film Apparitional. How is it working so closely together?
It's fun. Apparitional was my wife's first project as a producer. It was very eye opening for her as an actress to see what happens after the actors leave the set. Now she understands the depth of the work that goes on behind the scenes. And as for the partnership, we weren't sure how a total emersion in a business venture was going to work for our relationship but, it strengthened our bond. We also financed the film so the whole process was experimental and risky. We're so happy it worked so well.
Andrew Jones and Linara Washington
You were not only a co-producer, you wrote, directed, edited and scored the film. Linara stars in the film as well. Was it difficult wearing so many hats?
It's really difficult but I enjoy all aspects of filmmaking. It challenged Linara but she proved to herself she could do it and do it well. As for the many hats, it's true we did. I even built some of the set pieces in our hotel room.
Apparitional marks your second full-length feature and it's quite a departure from Kings of the Evening. What made you decide to go the supernatural thriller route?
When we decided to launch into producing micro-budget films we picked a genre that's evergreen, one that can show overseas and have a wider audience base than Kings did. So we cast the net farther and chose the thriller genre because it's very popular right now. It was a business decision first. Secondly, I love anything paranormal. At the end of the day, I'm looking for something to watch on On Demand myself so, I made my own opportunity.
How would you describe the film?
It's a paranormal thriller set in an abandoned prison. The storyline follows a television crew in search of paranormal activity for their show. It's a bit of a throwback to a time when movies focused on character first and special effects second. I think filmmakers are losing audiences because now films tend to focus on effects first. This film is more character driven.
Are there any film features you'd compare it to?
In a small way I would liken Apparitional to Poltergeist or The Conjuring mostly because the films are largely about the characters. The characters are well-drawn and relatable. They're fun and have a tongue in cheek kind of humor.
You've worked in the industry for several years now, what are the biggest changes you've seen?
With the advent of digital filmmaking so many things have changed. The cost has come down so much that people don't have to learn the craft anymore. Anyone can pick up a camera, shoot and then edit with some friends and make a movie. It's caused a glut of content that makes distribution harder. A filmmaker really has to find a way to stand out. Apparitional looks like a big budget movie mainly because I have 30 years in the business and I've learned my craft well.
In the future, do you plan to produce and direct your projects?
Producing is my least favorite task. I'd like to partner with others and allow them to do the business side and let me just be the artist. I love to write, direct and edit. I love the creativity in filmmaking. That said, I'm working toward changing the paradigm between filmmakers and distributors. At the moment, filmmakers look like they're in a place of desperation. I want filmmakers to stand up and put a value on what we do. I'm doing what I can in my own small way to make that shift.
Are you working on any new projects?
While we are fielding offers for Apparitional we are also looking for the next project. It might be a sequel, or one of the other scripts we've developed. We proved that we can make a micro budget film look and feel big. So now we're looking for financial partners for the next one."
Andrew Jones' years of experience in the film industry led him to the formation of Picture Palace Films, LLC. Making use of his extensive talents the company is currently developing a number of feature films and television shows.
Click here to view trailer of Apparitional
For more information about Picture Palace Films, LLC visit www.PicturePalaceFilms.com
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