Geschrieben 16. Juli 2003, 23:23
der trailer hat ne effektive tonspur- die fhm-bunnys und der haunted house-touch gefallen mir hingegen überhaupt nicht...
Geschrieben 17. Juli 2003, 06:49
Ich bin schon sehr gespannt auf den Film! Kann sogar von sowas wie "Vorfreude" sprechen.
Geschrieben 17. Juli 2003, 17:06
Constantin kündigt den Film übrigens, laut Presseserver, vage für den Oktober diesen Jahres an.
Geschrieben 17. Juli 2003, 17:12
Immo sagte am 17.07.2003, 17:06:
Constantin kündigt den Film übrigens, laut Presseserver, vage für den Oktober diesen Jahres an.
Geschrieben 17. Juli 2003, 17:14
Ich hatte außerdem das Gefühl, dass in dem Film unnötig viel mit Farbfiltern und dieser morbiden SIEBEN-Ästhetik gespielt wird. Das steht den meisten Horrorfilmen nicht, das ergibt nur glatte Oberfläche, wohingegen der erste TCm-Film auf ewig für seine rohe, wilde Darstellung einer meiner Lieblingsfilme bleiben wird. Textilien statt Textur!
Geschrieben 17. Juli 2003, 17:36
Das ist doch bei 90% aller Hollywoodfilme der letzten 10 Jahre der Fall.
Geschrieben 17. Juli 2003, 17:58
Oskar sagte am 17.07.2003, 18:36:
Das ist doch bei 90% aller Hollywoodfilme der letzten 10 Jahre der Fall.
Geschrieben 17. Juli 2003, 18:07
Heutzutage muss man seinen Film doch nur im Stil eines Musikclips drehen und schon ist (sogar) die Fachpresse begeistert und lobt die vermeintlich wunderschönen Bilder in höchsten Tönen.
Geschrieben 17. Juli 2003, 18:19
Oskar sagte am 17.07.2003, 19:07:
Geschrieben 17. Juli 2003, 18:36
Oskar sagte am 17.07.2003, 19:29:
Dass Filme schon immer so aalglatt ausgesehen haben ist mir neu.
Geschrieben 17. Juli 2003, 20:17
Ich finde es irgendwie befremdlich, dass alte Filme - gerade aufgrund ihrer nicht so "perfekten Ästhetik" (ich kenne keinen besseren Ausdruck, aber Du verstehst sicherlich, worum es mir geht) - auf mich wirklichkeitsnäher wirken als diese auf Hochglanz polierten Filme, die Hollywood seit einigen Jahren produziert.
Geschrieben 17. Juli 2003, 20:23
Oskar sagte am 17.07.2003, 21:17:
Ich finde es irgendwie befremdlich, dass alte Filme - gerade aufgrund ihrer nicht so "perfekten Ästhetik" (ich kenne keinen besseren Ausdruck, aber Du verstehst sicherlich, worum es mir geht) - auf mich wirklichkeitsnäher wirken als diese auf Hochglanz polierten Filme, die Hollywood seit einigen Jahren produziert.
Geschrieben 17. Juli 2003, 20:42
Ich habe mich falsch ausgedrückt. Mir geht es darum, dass die Ästhetik vieler aktueller Hollywood-Filme dieser billigen und völlig unoriginellen Videoclipästhetik entlehnt ist. Ich kenne keine Fachausdrücke, um mich verständlich auszudrücken, deshalb versuche ich es noch mit einem Hinweis auf die häufig vollkommen andersartige (rohe, ungeschliffene!) Ästhetik nichtamerikanischer Filme.
Geschrieben 18. Juli 2003, 05:11
Oskar sagte am 17.07.2003, 08:06:
Na ja, da greifen wohl zwei Prinzipien des Authentischen:
1. Das Alte, dass in der Retrospektive immer authentischer wirkt.
2. Das Dokumentarisch, das sich u. a. über das "schlechte Material" mitteilt. Da es roher aussieht, wirkt es weniger inszeniert.
zu TCM: Ich halte den alten Film ja auch für ein Meisterwerk. Aber der neue Film wird das auch nicht ankratzen können (im Inside gab es ja mal die sehr merkbefreite Diskussion darüber, ob ein Remake seine "Quelle" schädigen könne ). Vielmehr dürfte der neue TCM doch eine sehr gute Studie darüber werden, was man heute noch an TCM für wichtig hält ... quasi eine Rezeptionsgeschichte (und damit sozusagen auch wieder eine Würdigung des Hooper-Films).
Geschrieben 18. Juli 2003, 11:03
Max.Renn sagte am 18.07.2003, 06:11:
ich bin gespannt
Geschrieben 18. Juli 2003, 11:17
Max.Renn sagte am 18.07.2003, 06:11:
Deswegen halte ich es wie kazanian und bleibe ebenso gespannt.
Bleibt zu hoffen, dass Constantin den angekündigten Termin vom Oktober diesen Jahres halten kann, wäre ja immerhin zeitgleich mit dem US-Start. Ich habe so meine Zweifel dahingehend, ehrlich gesagt. Und auf der Constantin-Website ist ja noch gar kein Hinweis auf den Film zu finden. Wird wohl mitunter auch vom Erfolg von WRONG TURN (auch Constantin, Ende August) abhängen, der ja inhaltlich und ästhetisch in eine sehr ähnliche Richtung zielt. Von dem erhofft man sich wohl in der Tat eine Wegbereitung.
Geschrieben 18. Juli 2003, 17:21
The first three Texas Chainsaw Massacre remakes were hell to make and hell to watch. Why should the new one be any different?
WHEN MICHAEL BAY, THE ARCHITECT of such blockbusters as Pearl Harbor and Armageddon, announced that he would be producing a remake of the 1974 classic The Texas Chainsaw Massacre this summer in and around Austin, he had to expect some skepticism from the locals. Austin is now as much movie town as music town (if you don't believe it, round up all the people who have seen Spy Kids and see how many of them own Bob Schneider records). Every computer in the city has at least one screenplay-in-progress tucked in the recesses of its hard drive, and every video-rental clerk thinks he could be teaching film history if he lived anywhere else in Texas. For these folks, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is the birthplace not just of modern horror but of the very film community that protects them from grown-up jobs and having to shave every day.
But if Baz Luhrmann can give the Pulp Fiction treatment to Romeo and Juliet and SCTV can make Strange Brew out of Hamlet, what's so sacred about the original Chainsaw? For Bay's new production company, Platinum Dunes, which specializes in low-budget films ("low" representing a price tag of $20 million or less, which is low compared to Pearl Harbor's $152 million), the answer is plenty. "This was the movie that changed the genre," says Bay's co-producer, Andrew Form. "In the eighties and nineties, campiness was added in. We wanted to go back to the old type of horror. No jokes, just straight terror." The new film is a "reconceptualization," Form says; rather than recreating the original film, it will depict the events that the original was based on (never mind that they never actually happened). Form says the new Chainsaw will be "somewhat stylized, darker, crisper." Bay has said it will be "hipper," playing down the gore in favor of the more thrilling elements of the story. A crew member told me on the sly, "You see the hack coming, you see the limb that's about to be hacked, and then you see the hacked limb on the ground. It's a Blair Witch kind of suspenseful."
With a budget Form says is somewhere between the $3 million rumored in Austin and the $16 million reported in Variety and a cast of hard-bellied young heartthrobs that includes former 7th Heaven star Jessica Biel and Six Feet Under's Eric Balfour, the film should make its money back within a few days of its planned release on Halloween, 2003. Name recognition alone should guarantee it—Form brags that "everyone in the world has heard of" the Chainsaw franchise—but not taking any chances, he and Bay are keeping a tight lid on the production. Crew members, for instance, were made to wear badges, and invited guests were unceremoniously booted from the set whenever Leatherface, the villainous protagonist, was about to step from the shadows. "It's like Spider-Man," Chainsaw publicist John Pisani told me as he escorted me to my truck the second time he canceled a scheduled set visit. "The producers of Spider-Man didn't want anyone to see Spider-Man until the movie opened. We're building that kind of buzz."
Or maybe there was something besides Leatherface that they didn't want anyone to see. The new Chainsawhad built a buzz all right, and it was that the production was not running smoothly. There was talk of dissension on the set. The actor playing Leatherface had to be replaced the first week of filming, and the special-effects department had threatened to quit. Given the egos, the deadlines, and the money involved, feature-film work is always high stress. But even by those standards, this film was said to be tough, and tense, and troubled. Those sneering Austin video clerk-types took to calling it the "Michael Bay of Pigs."
TO PARAPHRASE THE POET, THE makers of the new Chainsaw should have known the job was dangerous when they took it. Everybody knows sequels stink. It's one of those rare beliefs held by all people, no matter where they worship, whom they vote for, or how much money they make. Some sequels wilt in comparison to a beloved original. Some suffer because there wasn't enough meat on the bones the first time to make another go of it. Some are just jinxed. Any wiggle room created by the universally cited exception to the rule, The Godfather Part II, was wasted when Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed lamely struggled to their feet when the referee should have counted them both out at the end of Rocky II.
Bay's effort will be the fifth installment of the Chainsaw franchise, and if a marathon viewing of the previous four is any indication, the momentum is with the rule.
Director and screenwriter Tobe Hooper's original version was, of course, a masterpiece—a wrong-turn thriller that rewrote the horror-movie template. Co-screenwriter Kim Henkel said the reference point was Hansel and Gretel, recast by him and Hooper in hard-country Texas. The plot specifics are now familiar but always a treat to nutshell: Five hippie kids looking for a skinny-dipping hole wander one-by-one into a farmhouse filled with bones, blood, and a family of very bad men. Leatherface, the overgrown, chain-saw-wielding half-wit who wears masks crafted from his victim's faces, is the "hero" of the piece. One of the hippies gets out. The rest get eaten.
Despite its reputation as a bloodbath, most of Chainsaw's terror was implied. It came from what you imagined Leatherface and his kin were capable of rather than what you saw them do. It came from watching the way they carried on in production designer Bob Burns's claustrophobic, bone-filled farmhouse. It came from cinematographer Daniel Pearl's brilliant hand-held camera work and grainy 16mm film, which made you feel like you were seeing an actual nightmare unfold through hands covering your face. The most famous scene, when Leatherface hangs a girl on a meat hook, flies by so fast that you don't realize that there's no puncture and no blood. When the camera cuts to a shot of her feet suspended above a washtub, your brain fills in the blanks.
"Horror movies were revolutionized in the seventies," says Austin Chronicle editor Louis Black, the unofficial mayor of the Austin film community. "In the thirties, horror was monsters: Frankenstein, Dracula, the Wolfman. By the fifties, it was science run amok: the Colossal Man and the 50-Foot Woman. After Chainsaw, the horror was us." Harry Knowles, the Austin movie maven and gossip guru who runs the Ain't It Cool News Web site, says, "What Tobe did was pioneer the stalker-as-unstoppable-killing-machine." Sure enough, the horror that followed—Jason in Friday the 13th, Michael Myers in Halloween, Freddy Krueger in Nightmare on Elm Street, even Child's Play's Chucky—grew out of Hooper's man-eating man-child. That he pulled off a genre-defining feat on a shoestring budget in, of all places, Texas, signaled a new era of independent regional filmmaking.
The original Chainsaw is now a pop-culture touchstone. There's a copy of it in the Museum of Modern Art's permanent film archive and a song about it on a Ramones record. In Texas it's one of our icons, as much a part of our shared identity as grease on Tex-Mex and spilled beer at frat parties. Paying to watch a Chainsaw remake makes as much sense as shelling out $20 to hear a Willie Nelson tribute band. If the original film is available at the neighborhood video rental and Willie will be back through town in a couple months, what's the point?
So for all the nightmares caused by Hooper's slasher prototype, the real terror to the good people of Austin has come every ten years or so, when a film crew hits town to shoot another chapter of Chainsaw. The spree began in 1986, when Hooper took a stab at creating a first sequel, a tragedy I remember well from my own small but pivotal role in the film. I played a drunk college student in a hallway scene opposite the star, Dennis Hopper, delivering a performance so convincing that I didn't take another role for almost ten years for fear of being typecast. (My next part, by the way, was as a white guy with a receding hairline eating dinner in a crowded restaurant in Nora Ephron's Michael, which starred John Travolta. I nailed that one too.)
The script for Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 was written by Dallas native L. M. "Kit" Carson, best known at the time for having penned the 1983 art-house favorite Paris, Texas. But he'd also created a hipster update of Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless that same year, complete with Richard Gere reading Silver Surfer comics and a Joe "King" Carrasco song on the soundtrack. Carson's Chainsaw 2 script amped up the camp even higher, keying in on the humor that he and Hooper felt audiences had overlooked the first time. It was meant to be a statement on Reagan-era consumerism—the victims weren't hippies but yuppies. "We made this one about family," Carson says today. "It was when those horrible John Hughes teen films were making all that money, so we decided to take their happy family premise for a ride." The poster for the film was an intentional knockoff of the one for Hughes's The Breakfast Club, with the murderous clan, now named the Sawyers, posed just like Molly Ringwald, et al.
Carson also emphasized the Texas setting: The Sawyers were Dallas' top caterers and chili cookoff champions, and the killing took place over Texas-OU weekend. There's at least one Big Red or Shiner Bock bottle in almost every scene, and Leatherface's first victims are UT frat boys driving daddy's Benz to the Cotton Bowl. Hopper played lawman Lefty Enright, a retired Texas Ranger who happened to be the uncle of some of the victims from the original film. He'd been trailing Leatherface ever since, and he had armed himself for their inevitable showdown with four heavy-duty saws, two of which he wore in holsters like six-shooters. "To make a sequel you have to reinvigorate that original spark," says Carson, "which in this case was to go back and punch the button labeled 'Outrageous.'" Indeed, there was nothing subtle in Chainsaw 2, from Leatherface's Vietnam vet brother Chop-Top, who had a habit of eating fleshy nubbins yanked from the perimeter of the exposed metal plate in his head, to special-effects supervisor Tom Savini's gruesome handiwork—one victim is shown with his head sawed in half, another gets field-dressed.
As a rule, crew members recall the production as the strangest of their careers. When workers opened up the old, abandoned Austin American-Statesman plant, where the interior scenes were filmed, they found black mold growing on the walls so thick that mushrooms had popped up. After a pipe spewed thousands of gallons of funky water, almost everyone on the set got sick and missed a couple days of shooting (set designer Cary White caught walking pneumonia, and another person was diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease). Then came the fire, a small blaze that started accidentally and rushed through the Sawyers' supremely creepy underground lair with enough intensity to send some cast and crew running for their lives while braver souls scrambled to distinguish prop fire extinguishers from real ones. By the time Austin firefighters arrived, the inferno was out, but they still had to be sure things were safe. So with expressions of uneasy disbelief, they trudged through White's set, a multilevel labyrinth of twisting tunnels and chambers filled with dozens of dummies done up to look like barbecued cadavers.
Fire and flood aside, the wrath that doomed the film was fiscal, not biblical. Hooper had to edit the picture while he was shooting so that he could deliver a finished film by the do-or-die deadline set by the production company, Cannon Films, which also demanded that he emphasize the murderous family at the expense of Carson's satire. "We had a test screening," remembers Carson, "and the audience loved it. It made them laugh, but it also moved them. Cannon couldn't handle that. They said, 'Give us the monsters.' So we had to displace some of the emotion from the film." The result was an uneven movie with a first half that lasts about thirty minutes and a second half, all set in that subterranean lair, that drags on for an hour. It also meant that all of my feature film debut except a split-second glimpse of my left shoulder and leg wound up on the cutting-room floor.
Next came a 1990 update, filmed entirely in California, that was a Texan massacre in title only. The sense of place in Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III is provided by a "Don't Mess With . . ." highway sign and characters with poorly faked rural accents. The unlucky couple at the film's center take their wrong turn off a mountain-skirted desert highway and quickly find themselves at the clan's shack, surrounded by a swamp. Despite one of the most stomach-turning scenes in the whole series (an opening sequence with close shots of Leatherface using a razor blade and scissors to cut flesh for a new mask) and a nice nod to Carson's cartoon (one of Leatherface's brothers gives him a chrome-plated chain saw with Carson's best line, "The Saw Is Family," engraved on the blade), the film is easily the worst of the series.
Kim Henkel brought the franchise back to Austin in 1994 for the sequel that came to be known as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation. This was the famous but seldom-seen Matthew McConaughey-Renée Zellweger edition, filmed when the two were considered stars only by their parents and friends from high school. The action tracked the original's with slight twists and a handful of new characters, but the only truly new development was a suggestion that the family was responsible for assassinating JFK. Like the other two sequels, this one would have died a quick, quiet death were it not for the budding careers of the leads. But any help that might have meant at the box office was squandered when the film showed in only nine cities nationally. In a lawsuit later filed in Los Angeles, Henkel and his production company alleged that the scant distribution was part of a conspiracy to protect the investment that Hollywood was making in its young stars. Although the suit names McConaughey and not Zellweger as a defendant, it seems more likely now that the starlet would be the one who wanted the film forgotten. McConaughey's performance as the handsome, charming rogue of the family of killers plays like a screen test for a remake of Hud. Zellweger, on the other hand, plays essentially the same character she did in that movie about the chunky British girl with the diary. She might not have pulled so many Oscar votes if the Academy had seen that she wears the same pout whether she's worried Leatherface is going to dismember her or Hugh Grant is going to dump her.
"HIPPER?" SCOFFS HARRY KNOWLES. "Like a movie about a cannibalistic family running a barbecue stand in Texas could be any hipper." Of course Austin's number one professional film fan is critical of Bay's production. Not only has Knowles seen Hooper's original many times, but he even owns the chair made of bones that sole survivor Sally Hardesty was tied to during the famous dinner scene. What's more, Hooper is a Knowles family friend, old enough and close enough that the wrap party for the first film pulled double-duty as little Harry's second birthday party. "My earliest memory is of Gunnar [Hanson, the actor who played the original Leatherface] running through our house with a chain saw and pretty girls with baskets of bones and body parts that they passed around as party favors."
Still, when the project was announced, Knowles was inclined to give Bay's low-budget approach the benefit of the doubt. "It would be retarded to shoot this for fifty million dollars," he says. But alarm bells went off when the director was announced: music video and commercial auteur Marcus Nispel, who had never shot a feature film before. Likewise the cast. "They're WB kids—acne-free genetic miracles." His primary beef, though, is with Bay's "gore versus thrills" distinction. "I'm worried about the whole concept, because calling the first one gory means they have no idea what they're talking about. They must have seen it twenty years ago and forgotten it entirely." For Hooper, who spent hours on the phone with the Motion Picture Association of America during the filming of the original to make sure he understood what he could get away with—he was hoping for a PG rating but settled for an R—Bay's dissing of the original as a gorefest is hard to fathom. "I think someone's confusing it with the slasher films that came later," he says.
Producer Form has seen the original enough times to agree that it's not as bloody as Bay remembers, but there is plenty of other scuttlebutt that would concern Knowles and Hooper, and I was able to confirm much of it with crew members who talked to me privately. The production indeed needed a second Leatherface. Apparently the first one had difficulty lifting the chain saws over his head. But before the special-effects crew was asked to make new saws light enough for him to lift, he threw his back out trying to drag a victim through a hallway in the farmhouse.
And, I'm told, the special-effects crew did threaten to quit after a row between effects coordinator Rocky Gehr and the director. Nispel was unwilling to address safety questions that Gehr thought were necessary on a set with running chain saws, causing the effects team to pack their things. Only a threat from Bay to pull the plug on the whole production if Gehr's instructions weren't followed kept the crew in place. (Form denies that this was anything more than a misunderstanding over scheduling.)
The level of friction between Nispel and Gehr, a veteran of sixteen features, including Bay's Pearl Harbor, is reportedly atypical for most movie sets. "There's tension from the budget and from the heat," another crew member told me, "but also from the commercial people being used to doing things one way and the feature people wanting to do it another." While Nispel is used to telling his stories in thirty-second bites shot in three-day blocks, the crew member explained, the feature veterans expect more time to get the shots and the story right.
Toward the end of shooting, the official word was that any earlier turmoil had been cleared up. The second Leatherface hit his marks, and all the members of the creative team were on the same page. Nispel's dailies are said to look great, and there should be no problem wrapping by the mid-September deadline. Then, whether Bay's "reconceptualization" makes a mint at the box office or jumps straight to curiosity-rental status, Austin can sleep safely. At least until that old Chainsaw gets revved up again.
"I was always killing myself, but it was always the bystander who died."
Geschrieben 25. September 2003, 17:47
I went to an advance screening tonight.
Rest assured - this remake was made with great care. It's no run of the mill teen slasher. The movie - like the original - takes place in 1973. The performances - including Jessica's - are very good for a movie like this.
The direction and lighting are outstanding. The mood is incredibly dark and gruesome. Yes, Marcus Nispel is a slick director but think about "Seven" in terms of mood and you will get the idea. He successfully creates a real sense of dread.
There are some changes from the original - nothing too major - but enough so that those familiar with the story will not be bored.
Also be warned - it's pretty gory for a Hollywood movie.
I know I tempt the wrath of the faithful but this Leatherface creeped me out a lot more than the original. There I said it.
Yes you will see some cliches. It's to be expected but it doesnt come close to ruining the experience. The new Texas Chainsaw is a real rollercoaster right through the very last second. And no one paid me to say this. It was a pleasure to be frightened at the movies after having to sit through the almost sleepy pace of 28 Days Later.
Definitely see this on the big screen - you'll jump more than a couple of times.
One thing - does anyone know who is singing that cover of "Song To The Siren" in the trailer? It does not play in the movie at any point - even over end credits -so there was no listing. It can't be This Mortal Coil, can it? Please msg me back if you know.
"I was always killing myself, but it was always the bystander who died."
Geschrieben 25. September 2003, 20:27
Ich bin gespannt auf die PV!
Geschrieben 25. September 2003, 20:47
Max.Renn sagte am 25.09.2003, 21:27:
"I was always killing myself, but it was always the bystander who died."
Geschrieben 25. September 2003, 20:50
Deep Red sagte am 25.09.2003, 20:47:
Max.Renn sagte am 25.09.2003, 21:27:
alle zur ältesten Festfreude des Menschen gehörend, alle insgleichen im anfänglichsten
Geschrieben 25. September 2003, 21:18
Max.Renn sagte am 25.09.2003, 21:27:
Geschrieben 15. Oktober 2003, 10:16
Hier mal das Presseheft im digitaler Form, vielleicht interessieren irgendwen ja Infos aus erster (allerdings auch PR-) Hand.
Sommer 1973: eine Gruppe junger Leute ist im VW-Bus über die staubigen Straßen von Texas nach Mexiko unterwegs. Die Stimmung ist ausgelassen. Plötzlich erscheint wie aus dem Nichts eine Frau auf der Landstraße und wird fast von dem Bus erfaßt. Sie scheint verwirrt zu sein, redet unverständlich und von Todesangst gezeichnet vor sich hin. Widerwillig läßt sie sich von der Gruppe mitnehmen, doch als die Fahrt sie scheinbar an den Ort des Horrors zurückbringt, dreht sie völlig durch.
Auf der Suche nach Hilfe stößt die Clique in einer kleinen, abgelegenen Stadt auf deren bizarre Einwohner. Die Tankstellenwirtin, der Polizist und der alte Mann im Rollstuhl scheinen etwas Schreckliches zu verbergen. Unter mysteriösen Umständen verschwinden nach und nach die ersten Freunde, die Gruppe wird auseinandergerissen. Und dann hören die Übriggebliebenen zum ersten Mal das Geräusch einer Motorsäge...
„The Texas Chainsaw Massacre“ ist ein echter Klassiker seines Genres. Die erste Verfilmung von 1974, die in Deutschland unter dem Titel „Blutgericht in Texas“ in den Kinos lief, fand drei Fortsetzungen, die Cineasten wie Fans des Horror-Genres zugleich schockierten und begeisterten. Nun schlägt Michael Bay ein neues Kapitel auf...
MICHAEL BAY’S TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE ist ein erbarmungsloser Schocker, der die Nerven bis zum Anschlag reizt und schlaflose Nächte garantiert!
THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE
On August 20th, 1973, police were dispatched to the remote farmhouse of Thomas Hewitt, the former head-skinner at a local slaughterhouse in Travis County, Texas. What they found within the confines of the cryptic residence was the butchered remains of 33 human victims, a chilling discovery that shocked and horrified a nation in what many still refer to as the most notorious mass murder case of all time. Wearing the grotesque flesh masks of his victims and brandishing a chainsaw, the killer, known as “Leatherface,” would gain infamy when sensational headlines were splashed across newspapers throughout the state of Texas: “House of Terror Stuns Nation – Massacre in Texas.”
Local authorities would eventually gun down a man wearing a leathery mask and declare they had their killer, which abruptly closed the case; however, in the years that followed, many close to the grisly murder case would come forward to level accusations that police had botched the investigation and knowingly killed the wrong man.
Now, for the first time, the only known survivor of the killing spree has broken the silence and come forward to tell the real story of what happened on a deserted rural Texas highway when a group of five young kids inadvertently found themselves besieged by a chainsaw-wielding madman, one who would leave a trail of blood and terror that would forever become known as “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.”
New Line Cinema presents The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, a terrifying journey into a heart of unimaginable darkness as five young adults are stranded in a rural Texas town, only to find themselves fighting for their lives against Leatherface and his bizarre clan. Inspired by the 1974 classic film of the same name, the new film stars Jessica Biel, Jonathan Tucker, Erica Leerhsen, Mike Vogel and Eric Balfour. Co-starring are screen veteran R. Lee Ermey, Lauren German, David Dorfman, Andrew Bryniarski, Terrence Evans, Heather Kafka and Marietta Marich.
Marcus Nispel, the mastermind behind many of the most powerful images and story-telling themes in contemporary music videos and commercials, makes his feature film directorial debut. New Line Cinema presents in association with Michael Bay and Radar Pictures a Platinum Dunes/Next Entertainment Production. The film is produced by Michael Bay and Mike Fleiss. The executive producers are Ted Field, Jeffrey Allard, Guy Stodel, Andrew Form and Brad Fuller. The screenplay is by Scott Kosar (based on a screenplay by Kim Henkel and Tobe Hooper).
The creative behind-the-scenes team is led by cinematographer Daniel Pearl
(who also served as director of photography on the original 1974 release), production designer Greg Blair, costume designer Bobbie Mannix, special effects make up artist Scott Stoddard, special effects coordinator Rocky Gehr, editor Glen Scantlebury and composer Steve Jablonsky.
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
The original The Texas Chainsaw Massacre has achieved staggering success since it first shocked and stunned audiences in 1974 with its bone chilling realism. The horrifying story, drawn from a series of true events, is considered by many to be one of the greatest thrillers of all time and a landmark of terror that has influenced countless films in its wake. Although the film was made on a budget of less than $150,000, it has grossed more than $100 Million worldwide and established itself as a cult classic to legions of fans around the globe. The film has entered into the iconography of popular culture by way of its menacing evil character, “Leatherface.” The character remains one of the most recognizable classic villains, while the film has become the benchmark of terror by which modern films are measured.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre marks the film debut of production company Platinum Dunes, a joint producing venture between filmmaker Michael Bay and Radar Pictures. Bay founded Platinum Dunes along with partners Andrew Form and Brad Fuller.
“The idea was floated right before we started this company,” explains producer Michael Bay. “I wanted to do The Texas Chainsaw Massacre because of name value alone. It has a mythical quality to it as one of the very first movies of its kind.”
Executive producer and Radar CEO Ted Field also recalls, “when Michael and I decided to go into business together, we quickly realized that The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was the perfect film with which to launch the Platinum Dunes label. It is an iconic story, one that immediately establishes what Platinum Dunes is all about and sets the tone for what is to come.”
“We loved the idea because the core audience of this movie is males under 25, and although almost all of them have heard of the title, 90% of them have not seen the original film,” adds executive producer Andrew Form.
Though several increasingly diminishing sequels to the original film have been made throughout the years, the filmmakers felt the most chilling elements of the original had been left behind. “The first misconception of the original film is that it was a gory film,” explains executive producer Brad Fuller. “It had many extremely disturbing moments, but only four seconds of blood. It was more conceptually horrifying than it was visually.”
To get the project off the ground and generate interest from film distributors, Bay directed a teaser comprised of a black screen with sounds of Leatherface stalking and chasing a young woman in and around an old house. A quick visual was inserted in the last 10 seconds, along with the whine of a chainsaw. The results were amazingly effective.
The teaser generated incredible buzz throughout the industry, which resulted in deals for domestic distribution through New Line Cinema and international distribution throughout the world with Focus Features.
Ted Field explains, “we were able to raise the money to produce the film with incredible alacrity. While international audiences usually respond well to thrillers, the reactions to Michael’s trailer exceeded our wildest expectations.”
“None of us could have expected the overwhelming positive response the trailer received,” Brad Fuller remembers. “It seemed to hit a nerve with everyone and conveyed the raw emotion we wanted audiences to feel when they were watching the movie.”
There was once a potential complication, though: Radar Pictures and Platinum Dunes had an extremely small window within which to assemble a working project. “We were able to secure the rights for only six months,” explains Field. “We had to come up with a final script and a vision for the production within that time. It was a challenge.”
“We wanted to find a screenwriter who could mix the best elements from the original and inject the basic story with some fresh ideas,” says Andrew Form.
“When The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was released nearly 30 years ago, a large number of the people who saw the movie thought it was a snuff film. When audiences use their imagination rather than being shown everything, it really keeps them on the edge of their seats, which is what the original film did so well.”
That mandate led the filmmakers to screenwriter Scott Kosar, who had previously written the screenplay for The Machinist. “We wanted the film to be about psychological fear, as opposed to just being visceral,” Brad Fuller comments. The filmmakers wanted to ground the terrifying elements of the film in a collection of very real lead characters who find themselves in an unreal situation. “When we met with Scott Kosar, he pitched us an opening sequence with the hitchhiker which was so devastating that it completely set the tone that we wanted for the film,” adds Andrew Form.
Kosar was already a fan of the original and relished the prospect of revisiting the setting in a new way. “When I first heard that they were remaking the film I was a little daunted by the idea of trying to rewrite a classic,” the screenwriter comments. “After my first meeting, I realized they didn’t want to delve into an exploitation of the material, but instead were hell bent on making a very frightening version of the original that would operate on the level of suspense and psychological terror as opposed to repulsion.”
With Kosar hammering out the first draft of the script, the filmmakers’ search for a director led them to the highly touted and successful contemporary commercial visualist Marcus Nispel. Ted Field had been a longtime Nispel admirer: he brought him aboard to direct music videos for Interscope Records artists (most notably, No Doubt) and had previously developed several projects with him.
Though there were numerous other directors interested, Michael Bay was immediately drawn to Nispel, as well. “I’ve always liked Marcus’ work,” he says. “Growing up in the business and seeing his work, I always thought of him as a really talented guy and wanted to work with him. He’s got great vision and is an amazing shooter.”
Nispel, who has won almost every award within the advertising and music industry while directing over a thousand commercials and music videos, was drawn to the project by the willingness of the filmmakers to go against the grain in terms of their creative choices. “I like movies that deconstruct,” Nispel notes. “When I first read the script I couldn’t take it out of my hands.” Nispel came well prepared to his first meeting with the producers. “He brought some amazingly twisted photography and magazine photos for reference,” Bay recalls. “He had a lot of good ideas.”
The first time feature director was also excited by the prospect of working with producer Bay. “I felt that it was a unique opportunity to work with somebody who really changed Hollywood by blending the best of both the commercial and film worlds,” he says. “Commercials are sprints and movies are marathons, and like no one else in town he allowed me to utilize the best of the sprinters and the best of the marathoners in putting my crew together.”
The first person Nispel brought onto the project was cinematographer Daniel Pearl, with whom he had collaborated on many of his award-winning commercials and music videos, and who had also previously worked with Michael Bay. Coincidentally, Pearl served as director of photography on Tobe Hooper’s original production in 1974, presenting the cinematographer with a unique opportunity to both re-envision the chilling story and make cinematic history in becoming the first cinematographer to shoot a remake of his first film.
“Daniel had talked about the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre a lot over the years,” says Nispel. “I liked what he did with the original and wanted to bring this film back to it’s realistic vibe yet give Daniel room to add what we had learned through years of working together. After much thought, he responded with an incredible line when he said to me ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is everything I am and if I screw this one up now, I am nothing.’ I knew I could count on him.
For Pearl, it was a serendipitous turn of events that would find him returning to Austin, Texas, the city where he attended college and started his film career. “It was a very strange coincidence that this project fell into place because over the last five or six years I’ve done some my best work and had the most fun collaborating with Marcus on commercials and videos,” says Pearl. “The film wound up in the Museum of Modern Art, so doing a remake of it was such a monumental challenge for me. So much of who and what I am today is based upon where I started with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.”
The decision to shoot the film in and around the city where the original was shot was one that the filmmakers felt was vital in order to capture the visual authenticity of rural Texas. “The nice thing about Texas is that it has a lot of different looks,” comments Michael Bay. “There is a lot of Americana there, places where time has stopped. Plus, it’s an extremely photogenic place. They’ve got great skies. They’ve also got great crews there.”
Bay sent Richard Klotz, the film’s location scout, to scout Texas locations and take some photographs prior to traveling to Miami to start Bay’s film, Bad Boys II. “He went out there for a week and came back with some amazing photos and creepy places that looked as if they were lifted straight from the script,” says Bay.
Though Marcus Nispel was initially considering shooting the movie in Palmdale, California, to save money, Klotz’s photos won him over. “Marcus was thinking of saving money by not traveling to a location,” remembers Bay, who had shot on location in Texas previously. “But I said, ‘Marcus, you’ve got to shoot in Texas. You’re going to be blown away by what you can get there.’”
Nispel ascribes the film’s high production values to the Texas locations they were able to access. “In Texas, nothing gets thrown away,” he says. “We needed 25 locations for the film, which was problematic considering the 39-day shooting schedule. We circumvented this by finding three main locations that had so many different facets and faces to them, we could shoot a majority of the film in those locations.”
With Austin locked in as the shooting location, the filmmakers began to focus on the critical task of assembling a cast that could bring to life the legendary story of five young college students traveling in a van through rural Texas. “When we first started casting the film, we had to get the message out that we were not making a slasher film,” explains executive producer Andrew Form. “In the first half hour of the original film, not much happens in the way of terror. You meet these kids in a van and you hang out with them and get to know them. We wanted to do the same thing with this film. When people in the film community began to hear that we were tackling the material in an unconventional manner, it opened up a lot of doors in terms of the caliber of actors we were able to approach.”
The first and most vital selection in the casting process was finding an actor who could play the lead character of Erin – a headstrong natural beauty who finds deep reserves of strength and determination to escape unimaginably brutal circumstances. The character is the focal point and driving force of the story.
“When the script was written, Scott Kosar gave a description for each character and Erin’s was she would be Miss Texas if she wasn’t such a tomboy,” recalls Form, who with Brad Fuller, had taken Biel to a Lakers game in order to get to know her. “We were both smitten from the moment we met her,” he remembers.
“This is a tough role to play – a female hero,” Michael Bay says. “You have to empathize with her and believe her when she shows her tougher side. She’s a female hero, and Jessica brought both toughness and sexiness to Erin. She also brought an honesty to her performance that people will respond to and empathize with.”
“I have always loved scary films,” exclaims Jessica Biel. “I’ve been interested in the genre ever since I was a kid because I love being scared and freaked out. I loved the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre and the script for this film was so realistic. I had no doubt in my mind that I really wanted to play Erin. She is one of the stronger characters in the film because when things really start to go bad for her and her friends, she doesn't lose her mind. She desperately tries to hold everyone together.”
In the film, Erin is the social conscience of her close-knit group of friends. When her boyfriend Kemper (played by Eric Balfour) barely misses hitting a listless young teenager aimlessly walking in the middle of a deserted road, she tries to convince him to turn around and help her out. Kemper must decide between Erin’s Good Samaritan ways and the rest of the group’s selfish desire to keep on trucking to a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert in Dallas. It’s a decision that unknowingly leads the group into life-threatening jeopardy.
Kemper is the group’s natural leader, but defers to Erin’s conscience as they struggle to come to grips with the circumstances they have found themselves in. “Kemper wants to do right by both his girlfriend and friends,” explains Eric Balfour, best known for his recurring role of Gabe on the acclaimed HBO series “Six Feet Under.” “He’s strong in an old school kind of way and I think it’s a beautiful thing when you have characters who do things out of desperation because they have no other option.”
As the situation grows increasingly dark, Kemper keeps his head. “He makes the final decision on whether to report the sudden grisly turn of events in their van to the local sheriff,” says director Marcus Nispel. “He loves Erin and knows she expects him to do the right thing and go for help.”
Marcus Nispel specifically asked to see Balfour for the role after first noticing his work on “Six Feet Under,” and then seeing him again playing the devil in a car commercial. “I knew Eric had to be the type of guy who is at his best when he is playing a character who is slightly mischievous,” comments Nispel.
“Eric was completely the character of Kemper,” notes executive producer Brad Fuller. “If you have dinner with Eric, he is the guy at the front of the table telling the jokes and deciding what everyone is going to eat. That is Kemper in this film, he is taking care of his friends and you believe that he can get them through the mess they have gotten into.”
Jonathan Tucker plays Morgan, an acerbic, cerebral college student and self-professed expert on all knowledge that is trivial and meaningless. “Morgan is the ultimate pragmatist of the group,” says Tucker. “He is smart, very sarcastic, witty, pretentious at times, but not overly pedantic. He is always laying out the facts to his friends and saying exactly what he and the audience sees. He is trying to get everybody to pull back and make a more educated decision.”
For Tucker, securing a role in the film was the result of some ingenious and persistent determination. “Even though Jonathan was the best actor we read for the part, he didn’t have the physical look of the character,” explains Marcus Nispel. As Tucker persisted, Nispel described the character to the young actor as “a little bit of John Lennon combined with Richard Dreyfuss in Jaws.” Determined, Tucker enlisted a makeup artist friend to transform him physically by applying sideburns, a moustache and wire rimmed glasses, then read for the part one more time. “I hired him immediately after I saw the audition tape and the look he created for himself,” Nispel comments with a laugh.
Everyone knows somebody who always seems to say the wrong thing at the most inappropriate time. In Erin and Kemper’s group of friends, that honor falls squarely on the loose tongue of Andy, played by Mike Vogel. Kemper’s best friend and a fellow mechanic, Andy’s boy-next-door charm is offset by poorly timed crass comments and behavior. “Andy is a guy that means well, but says the wrong thing at the wrong time,” Vogel comments. “He doesn’t mean to insult anyone, but always ends up unintentionally doing it anyway. Andy also injects moments of comic relief, which disarms the group when everything gets too tense. He always has a stupid comment that is so inappropriate for a particular moment that everyone turns and says ‘I don't believe he said that,’ and then starts to laugh.”
When the film begins, the group has already picked up one hitchhiker – the beautiful, free-spirited Pepper (played by Erica Leerhsen), who forms an instant bond with Andy. “Erica was the first person we cast in the film,” reveals Andrew Form. “Her audition was unbelievable and what stuck in my mind was that she could belt out these blood curling screams.” Adds Brad Fuller, “Erica is the best screamer that I have ever heard in my life, and it was completely disturbing to watch her sit in a blown out fluorescent lit room pretending to be chased around by Leatherface.”
“Pepper is a total hippie,” Leerhsen describes. “She is out to have a good time and just loves Andy from the moment she meets him because they have this intense, passionate connection.”
In the film, Erin persuades Kemper to go back and help the battered and bloodied teenage girl (Lauren German) who they nearly hit with their van as they speed down a rural Texas road. Once aboard the van, the young stranger is eerily silent before a shocking act forces the group to seek help from the local sheriff, played by acclaimed character actor R. Lee Ermey, who Marcus Nispel calls his “secret weapon.”
“When we were looking at actors for the role of Sheriff Hoyt, R. Lee was always the guy we hoped we could get, but didn’t think was possible because of budgetary constraints,” Nispel comments. “He has the ability to bring a demented comedic element to the role, which Michael Bay always felt was vital for the character. Any other actor saying the character’s lines wouldn’t have worked, but R. Lee has the ability to pull it off by making it funny and disturbing at the same time.”
One of the most crucial pieces of the casting puzzle was finding an actor that could withstand the physically demanding role of Thomas Hewitt – aka Leatherface – one of the most notorious mass murderers of all time. Not only did the role require an actor with great athletic ability and strength, but someone who could endure running in the 100 degree Texas heat with both the Leatherface flesh mask and heavy costume.
“What is terrifying about the Thomas Hewitt character is that there is no premeditation to him; he is simply a killing machine,” explains Brad Fuller. “This is a character that has no conscience. There is nothing stopping him from doing whatever he wants.” The executive producer feels one of the most disturbing qualities of Leatherface is his inscrutability. “We want people to make their own conclusions about why Leatherface turned out the way he did,” Fuller notes.
The filmmakers cast Andrew Bryniarski in the infamous role, going through great pains to shroud the actor’s identity in secrecy during production. Rounding out the talented supporting cast of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is David Dorfman (The Ring) as the young Texas boy Jedidiah, Terrence Evans as the wheelchair-bound Old Monty, Heather Kafka as Henrietta and Marietta Marich as Luda May.
Once casting completed, the filmmakers were ecstatic about their ensemble. “After we had finished the first round of auditions, we wrote down a wish list of actors and we ended up getting every single one of those people,” declares Marcus Nispel. “It sounds like a cliché, but it’s the truth. Every person we went after had the same reaction and passion for the material that we did.”
Executive producer Andrew Form agrees, “When we decided The Texas Chainsaw Massacre would be the first film Platinum Dunes would produce, our goal was to make a film that was something more than what’s been out in the marketplace. Part of the formula is a great script by Scott Kosar; part of it is having a visionary director like Marcus Nispel helming the film. The last piece of the puzzle is trying to create an eclectic and surprising cast. What we are trying to accomplish with this film is something that really hasn’t been done in a long time, and luckily the actors we cast in the film saw the merit in that.”
With the casting process completed, the filmmakers began to prepare for the 39-day shooting schedule that would take place in outlying towns of Austin, Texas. With the start of production growing near, the filmmakers made the unusual decision to shoot the film in script sequence. “I tried to give Marcus every lesson that I’ve learned through all my mistakes,” notes producer Michael Bay. “If you can shoot it in sequence, do it. Any director that can shoot it in schedule would, because not only does it help the performances and how they build, it maintains continuity. You’re opening up a Pandora’s box when you shoot it out of order. But they were able to schedule as much as possible in sequence and I think it was really helpful.”
One byproduct is to prepare the actors mentally for the film’s most grueling, and terrifying, moments. “It helped Jessica’s character arc naturally and made it easier for her to deliver the deeply emotional and physically demanding performance we needed from her,” comments Andrew Form.
Another benefit was that it allowed the production to flow from day to night shoots as comfortably as possible. “Rarely are films shot in sequence, but we thought it made sense to shoot this film that way because it’s timeline starts at two or three in the afternoon and ends at six in the morning,” Form adds.
One of the biggest challenges of shooting the film in sequence was completing all of the dialogue-driven van sequences in the first week of the shooting schedule. This required the actors to quickly acquire the idiosyncratic rhythm of longtime friendships before the start of principal photography in order to give the scenes the truly organic feel the filmmakers desired.
Says Brad Fuller, “If you can achieve that level of character development, it really raises the stakes in the second and third acts. We felt that in order for that dynamic to show up on-screen we had to give the actors time to get to know each other.”
The filmmakers proposed the five leads come to Texas two weeks prior to the start of production to get to know each other as friends. “They rehearsed during the day and we took them out to dinner as a group every night,” Fuller remembers. “After the first week an amazing thing started to happen when they all started to take on the persona of their characters. Their friendships evolved naturally; it wasn't anything we manufactured for the film. When you see them on-screen together it is very palpable that they genuinely like each other.”
Jessica Biel agrees, believing that “it was incredibly helpful that we were able to come to Austin a few weeks before we started shooting and really get to know each other in a social environment. Everyone bonded really quickly and it genuinely felt like we had been lifelong friends. We’re all around the same age, so everyone was in the same kind of headspace in which no one takes themselves too seriously. We were all determined to have a good time and make the performances as authentic as possible.”
With the sweltering Austin summer in full swing and the thermometer topping 105° Fahrenheit, principal photography commenced in a 1970s van traveling on a lonely back road in Taylor, Texas. With temperatures in the van soaring to over 130°, the actors used the difficult conditions to their advantage.
“I knew going into the film that the Texas summers were hot, but nothing can prepare you for spending the day with five actors, director and camera crew in an old sweat box of a van,” laughs Eric Balfour. “It was really tough at times, but it also injected the scenes with an intensity that you couldn’t have gotten without those extreme conditions.”
“That first week was completely draining,” recalls Marcus Nispel. “It was the hottest week of the entire shoot and being cramped in that tiny van with lights and cameras just drained you of all your energy. In those types of difficult conditions, the movie you are making and the production start to become one. The actors are so hot that they forget about acting and just switch into being, which translates into a heightened sense of reality and genuine performances in those opening sequences.”
After the film’s dramatic opening sequence, Erin persuades Kemper and her friends to stop and find the sheriff, which leads them to the ominous Hewitt Farmhouse, which serves as the foundation of terror, one that soon engulfs Erin and her friends.
The farmhouse used for the shoot was built in 1854 on the University of Texas campus and moved out by horse and buggy to a 750-acre farm in Taylor, Texas in the 1930s. Before filming began, the six-bedroom house had been vacant since the 1960s. To the delight of the filmmakers, the production was able to shoot six different working sets on the property.
“The Hewitt House is over 150 years old and is one of scariest, most unsettling houses I have ever seen,” declares executive producer Brad Fuller. “It’s extremely creepy,” Michael Bay adds. “There were bills and checks in there from the 1920s.” “It was a really a disturbing place to be, and if we did our job properly, audiences will feel that emotion,” says Fuller.
Marcus Nispel notes that the locations in many ways define what’s scary about the film. “We were lucky enough to find locations that all came with a lot of history,” he reflects. “When people think of great thriller movie houses, they think of the houses from Psycho, The Amityville Horror and The Silence of the Lambs. Those houses have etched themselves into people’s collective conscious in a way we hope the Hewitt House will.”
From the first day of the shooting schedule, the filmmakers were tremendously impressed by level of commitment and physical presence Jessica Biel brought to the set of the film everyday. “I don’t think we could have gotten this movie done with anyone but Jessica,” declares Andrew Form. “She had a vested interest in her character and cared deeply about the authenticity of what she was doing and saying. Whether it was hotwiring a car or hiding in a meat locker, she was very clear and vocal on how she would do it, which was a tremendous help to us because she literally became Erin and knew the character better than any of us.”
Form adds that Biel insisted on doing many of her own stunts, drawing the line only when safety concerns precluded her from performing them. “She wanted to do everything that basically wasn’t life threatening,” he describes. “It allowed us to shoot scenes where you see the lead of the film and it’s not just a shot of her feet or her back. You can actually see her climbing a wall, jumping down and being chased.”
For Biel, the role tested her physical and emotional limits. “It was really challenging physically,” admits Biel. “Every day I was running through the woods and jumping over things or dragging someone around the house. I’m pretty athletic, but by the end of the shoot I had cuts and bruises all over my body. It was hard work, but it makes it so much scarier when audiences are able to see a character’s face in those situations.”
The shoot was equally challenging for Biel’s costars, including her unflappable onscreen boyfriend Kemper, played by Eric Balfour. “It’s been a wild ride,” laughs the actor. “I broke my hand during the first weeks of production and had this special little cast that I could take off when we shot. I also got to spend a couple of hours hanging upside-down as they poured water and blood all over my face. Every once in awhile, I would remind myself that this is The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which was a dream come true for me because I grew up watching The Exorcist and Poltergeist and have always wanted to be in a movie that had the potential to completely terrify audiences.”
With the deeply disturbing content of the material and spine-chilling practical locations that included abandoned houses, cotton gins, a functioning meat packing plant and long stretches of deserted rural roads, the lines between fact and fiction often became blurred during the intense night shoots which made up the final six weeks of the film’s shooting schedule.
“In my personal life, I am constantly in a scary movie state of mind,” admits actress Erica Leerhsen. “I’m just naturally someone who gets scared by everything. Marcus was very meticulous about putting us in a working environment that captured the harsh reality of what was happening to these five kids. I was constantly getting freaked out because the entire cast had become so close that I honestly felt that I was trying to save my friends.”
Director Marcus Nispel notes that the weather and rigorous action in the script challenged cast and crew alike but brought a dimension of reality he was seeking for the film. “It was either so hot, which was mentally draining, or you were exhausted from shooting nights in the rain,” he recalls. “Whether we were shooting in a location ankle deep in mud or in the rain late at night, the environment we created affected the performance of the actors in a positive way. By the end of the shoot, Jessica had lost her voice from screaming and her eyes were swollen like a prizefighter’s from infections and crying. When you combine that kind of reality with the terrific performances, it infuses the film with a heightened sense of reality that captivates audiences and makes them feel like they’re part of this terrifying journey into darkness.”
Despite all of the challenges that arose from an ambitious shooting schedule, director Nispel’s often imitated infectious battle cry of “We shoot!” became the adopted catchphrase that motivated both cast and crew to push themselves to their physical and artistic limits.
“Marcus was as committed to directing this film as anyone could humanly be,” says executive producer Brad Fuller. “He lived this movie for six months and his passion and energy for maintaining the quality of the film while creating an engaging experience for everyone involved was unsurpassed. He is so visceral, which enabled he and cinematographer Daniel Pearl to take a film like this and implement a visual style filled with colors and textures that you just don’t see in a lot of films these days.”
Having previously collaborated with Nispel on many of the director’s award-winning commercials and music videos, cinematographer Daniel Pearl shared an invaluable shorthand with the director during the short and intense preparation schedule for the film.
“Marcus is a very proficient in what it takes to tell a story and has a very strong graphic sense,” says Pearl. “We have worked together 25 or 30 times a year over the last four years and in that time have developed a visual shorthand that allows us to discuss things very honestly. We essentially arrived at a high style of shooting and lighting that was more of a continuation of the work I had been doing with Marcus over the years, but with a dark, edgy big screen twist.”
For Nispel, having Pearl behind the camera gave the director a strong second eye. Pearl also didn’t hesitate to inject his own creative ideas into the mix. “Daniel’s strongest attribute is not being afraid to speak up for what he thinks is right,” says Nispel. “That’s very important to me because I am very strong willed and need to work with someone who is willing to tell me what they need to get the shot. It’s almost like having another director on the set, which is a great bonus for me.”
To capture the film’s signature look, Nispel and Pearl’s shorthand enabled some enterprising techniques. “I like to light through openings in windows, doorways and holes in roofs as much as possible because it allows a director to move freely within the space,” comments Pearl. “The tone of the film was established through a combination of lenses, camera angles and most importantly, lighting. We used mostly 14mm and 17mm lenses and the style of lighting was minimalist, generally with a single source key light combined with a back or rim light.”
The unique stylistic approach Nispel and Pearl used in capturing the characters and moments in the film effected and infused the production design of several key locations and set pieces.
“First and foremost the practical locations and use of color were the key elements in determining the production design of the film,” says production designer Greg Blair. “We wanted to drain the film of color and keep the palette in the range of sepia, gray and rust. We kept all of the sets in those muted tones and the only color we wanted to introduce was the red of the blood. We also built and designed many of the sets in terms of how Daniel Pearl could light them. In the basement set, we put Leatherface’s work table right in front of the only window so he could be silhouetted while he was working on his victims.”
With many of the film’s sets located in practical locations, production designer Blair took advantage of the hidden treasures that came with shooting in locations that were 100 to150 years old. “A lot of the practical locations lent themselves to giving us a great starting point in terms of the production design,” he describes. “There were so many great locations, each with their own unique history, but the Hewitt House and Leatherface’s basement were my favorite sets to design.”
Nispel wanted the Hewitt house to contain “shrines to death.” “The idea for the basement set was that metaphorically you were going into the belly of the beast,” says Blair. “We wanted it to drip and ooze like you were entering the bowels of Leatherface.”
An added bonus of the Hewitt House was that production adopted a lot of the original furniture and contents of the house, in addition to cutting holes in walls, removing floors, and adjusting the house at will. “It was the best of both worlds because we were able to shoot in an authentic location that we could alter and maneuver in like it was on a studio soundstage,” Nispel comments.
Adds Blair, “the house was actually more of a found treasure in my mind because most of the furniture and set dressing we used was already in the house. We had to completely rearrange it, but most of it was there to start. We also sanded and stained the hardwood floors so we could get some good sheen off of it when it was backlit. We also added wallpaper in Leatherface’s bedroom because Marcus wanted to show that he had grown up in this house and still had the cowboy and Indian wallpaper from when he was a child.”
Like Daniel Pearl, production designer Blair was also part of the filmmaking team on many of Nispel’s previous directorial efforts. The prior collaboration proved invaluable for Blair, who was designing his first feature film. “Greg is a great problem solver,” says Nispel. “We didn’t have to talk a great deal about the details because we work largely by osmosis. He did a great job at taking full advantage of what Austin naturally offered to us.”
“Marcus is so visual and knew exactly what he wanted, and Greg Blair did an amazing job in deciphering his ideas,” says executive producer Andrew Form. “Greg and his art director Scott L. Gallagher were able to make all of the locations in the screenplay come to life in a manner which added so much to the physical look of the film. They didn’t have the luxury of being able to build anything they wanted and were forced to find practical locations that they could tailor and change for the film.”
Although The Texas Chainsaw Massacre takes place over the course of one day, the film presented many unique challenges for costume supervisor Kathy Kiatta. Like the production design, the colors in the clothing were to be washed out earth tones. They also had to have a vintage look but go through as much of a transformation as the actors themselves. “It would have been nice to do real 70’s vintage pieces,” notes Kiatta. “But because we needed doubles, triples and quadruples of everything, we had to buy new stuff and make it look old by aging the clothes.”
The costume supervisor notes that after initially creating a worn look for the clothes, by beating them and over dying then washing them, the costumers had to launder the clothes after their use in a set-up. “We finished every piece of clothing off by applying dirt to them,” says Kiatta. “Every time we did laundry we had to reapply the dirt, which made it a very intensive show. Jessica’s character alone had her clean look, her dirty look and then her almost dead look which required three different stages of aging her tank top.”
Though the budget is modest by Hollywood standards, Michael Bay feels the artistry and care Marcus Nispel and his team infused into the film will transcend any preconceptions audiences have about it. “That’s the school I come from,” Bay comments. “Even though we had no money to do this, we had to have high production values. Marcus is a great shooter and it starts with him. But I had to beg, borrow and steal, and call in every favor I had in terms of sound mixers and musicians. I guess [New Line Cinema co-chairman and CEO] Bob Shaye said it best. He said, ‘You can tell it was very lovingly produced.’ We took care. I think it’s a really good-looking movie.”
With the production schedule – which included practical locations in the Texas towns of Austin, Taylor, Martindale, Hutto and Walburg – nearing its final days, cast and crew alike grew to emulate the characters’ bonds in the film. “I didn’t go into this with too many preconceived notions of what this film was going to be,” says Marcus Nispel. “I had definite ideas in terms of authenticity, performance, and a certain reverence where death was not peppered with a joke or anything gratuitous. Sure, I wanted to do some damage and break a lot of things and make a lot of noise, but almost from the first day it turned into something where the main focus of the film was these five young adults. They were not just cannon fodder for Leatherface. They suddenly became people who you want to root for and hopefully everyone will really care about what happens to them.”
As principal photography wrapped in Austin, Texas on September 21st, 2002, all involved felt they had shared in a unique film experience. “Everything about this film totally surpassed all of my expectations,” Jessica Biel reflects. “The material really tested my emotional and physical limits, but one of the things that gave me great comfort was having filmmakers like Marcus Nispel and Michael Bay at the helm. Everyone involved had a really great time making this movie, which usually tends to bleed into the final product. I hope that everyone who sees this movie, along with being completely terrified, gets a sense of the great enjoyment that our cast and crew had making it.”
“What we’re trying to do is create a visceral experience,” says Michael Bay. “We want a no-holds-barred, not-joking-around movie about your worst nightmare. You’re stuck in this town and you can’t get out. It’s like a bad dream. I just wanted to go back to the thrillers that I grew up with, where the terror was real.”
“Audiences are going to be devastated by what happens over the course of the movie,” predicts Andrew Form. “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is about raw emotion and terror, and with the exception of The Silence of the Lambs and The Exorcist, I can’t remember a movie where the terror and fear resonate so deeply as they do here. This film isn’t about flying limbs and blood spurting at the camera, it’s about watching these characters make decisions that every audience member would make in those life and death moments.”
to be continued ...
Geschrieben 15. Oktober 2003, 10:17
Jessica Biel (Erin)
Jessica Biel, with her striking good looks and wide range of talent, made her television series acting debut on the WB’s number one rated show “7th Heaven” and has since emerged as a breakout star. The same year she was named to People Magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful” list, her soccer team went undefeated and won the league championship – all while she was juggling a busy television and film career. Currently, Biel is filming New Line Cinema’s Blade: Trinity, the third film in the popular Blade series, in which she costars with Wesley Snipes and Kris Kristofferson.
Biel was most recently seen in Lions Gate Films’ The Rules of Attraction for director Roger Avary. The movie follows the lives of college students entangled in a curiously surreal romantic triangle.
As a child, Biel initially pursued a career as a vocalist, performing in musical theatre. Starting at age nine, she starred in such productions as “Annie”, “The Sound of Music” and “Beauty and the Beast”. She soon turned to modeling and commercial work by competing in International Modeling and Talent Association’s Annual Conference in 1994.
Biel recently signed an exclusive contract with L’Oreal as their new spokesperson. With her natural beauty, youthful spirit and self-confidence, she joins the ranks of other wonderful women in promoting the prestigious beauty company.
In an impressive display of versatility, Biel garnered rave notices for her portrayal as the rebellious daughter in Victor Nunez’s critically acclaimed film, Ulee’s Gold, with Peter Fonda. Selected as the Centerpiece Premiere for the 1997 Sundance Film Festival and presented at Cannes, the movie opened to glowing reviews. She also starred on the big screen in the Warner Bros. romantic comedy Summer Catch, co-starring Freddie Prinze Jr. and in the Disney holiday film, I’ll Be Home For Christmas, with Jonathan Taylor Thomas.
Jonathan Tucker (Morgan)
Actor Jonathan Tucker, 21, first plunged into Fox Searchlight's The Deep End opposite Tilda Swinton. Tucker portrayed Swinton's sensitive teenage son in the thriller about a devout mother who instinctively reacts to cover-up a death in an attempt to avoid her son's implications. Directed by Scott McGehee and David Siegel, The Deep End and the performances embodied within have been described by critics as "mesmerizing," "enlightening," and "invigorating."
Also enlightening was Tucker's previous effort, Sofia Coppola's The Virgin Suicides. Produced by Francis Ford Coppola's American Zoetrope Films, the film featured Tucker as Kirsten Dunst's voyeur teen neighbor and attempted savior. He also co-starred as the young Billy Crudup in Barry Levinson's acclaimed Sleepers and appeared in the comedy Two if by Sea with Sandra Bullock. Tucker has also appeared in an arch on David E. Kelley's hit drama "The Practice" and immediately segued into a guest starring role on Steven Bochco's "Philly."
Next on the horizon is the Toronto International and Los Angeles Film Festival entrant Ball In The House. Tucker assumes the starring role of a troubled youth who copes to regain control of his life by confronting his drug and alcohol addiction. Jennifer Tilly and David Strathairn round out the impressive cast. Tucker also wrapped a starring role in the independent film Stateside opposite Rachel Leigh Cook and Val Kilmer, and will also portray younger sibling to John C. Reilly in the Soderbergh/Clooney-produced con-themed feature Criminal.
Tucker is next set to start production in Montana on the independent feature Love Comes To The Executioner, in which he portrays a prison executioner.
Though a Boston native, Tucker has had the opportunity to travel the world over, including a couple of years in Paris as a young boy, thanks to his renowned art historian/professor/curator father, Paul Hayes Tucker, and marketing analyst mother, Maggie Moss-Tucker. By third grade, he was starring in the Boston Ballet's production of "The Nutcracker." He graduated from Ojai's Thacher School and plans to attend Columbia University.
Erica Leerhsen (Pepper)
Erica Leerhsen made her feature film debut as the sexy siren in the highly anticipated sequel Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2. She recently appeared in the role of "Connie" in Woody Allen's film Anything Else opposite Allen, Christina Ricci, Jason Biggs and Danny DeVito. Anything Else marks the second film on which Leerhsen has worked with Woody Allen, the first being his 2001 film Hollywood Ending.
On the small screen Leerhsen was a series regular on the series "The Guardian" and has also appeared on MTV's "The Party" and HBO's Emmy Award winning series "The Sopranos." A Summa Cum Laude graduate of Boston University for the Arts, Leerhsen starred in many regional theatre productions including "Tamicanfly," "Hurricane," "Emma," and "Right On America."
Mike Vogel (Andy)
Mike Vogel most recently starred as Heathcliff in the MTV musical adaptation of "Wuthering Heights." He also recently starred in the Warner Bros. skateboarding film The Grind. He starts production this fall on Havoc, an independent film opposite Anne Hathaway and Bijou Phillips, directed by Barbara Kopple.
A Philadelphia native, the young actor got his start as a model. Vogel made his foray into the world of television last season when he played Dean Piramatti on the Fox television series "Grounded For Life."
Eric Balfour (Kemper)
Eric Balfour is best known for his work on the Golden Globe winning HBO series “Six Feet Under” for creator/writer Alan Ball, in which Balfour plays Gabe, the drug addicted troubled boyfriend of Claire (Lauren Ambrose). Additionally Balfour was seen on the FOX hit series "24" as the character Milo. Joining the series in the fifth hour, Milo is the smart and eccentric resident computer expert at the CTU. Other television credits include "NYPD Blue," "The West Wing" and "Chicago Hope."
On the big screen Balfour has appeared in a number of films. Most recently he was seen in New Line Cinema’s Secondhand Lions and in the Revolution Studios/Joe Roth film America's Sweethearts, opposite Julia Roberts and John Cusack. Other credits include the Paramount Pictures/Nancy Meyers film What Women Want, opposite Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt, Can’t Hardly Wait and Trojan War.
In addition to his work as an actor, Balfour is also involved in many other endeavors. As the lead singer of his band Fredalba he sells out headlining shows at clubs around Los Angeles including The House of Blues and The Viper Room. With a lively sound that mixes reggae, hip-hop, soul, rock and funk, Balfour and his band members just released their first album "Uptown Music for Downtown Kids."
David Dorfman (Jedidiah)
David Dorfman made his feature film debut as William H. Macy’s son in the acclaimed drama Panic, and then played Gwyneth Paltrow’s son in Bounce. Dorfman has also been seen in the independent film 100 Mile Rule, the feature thriller The Ring, as well as in the musical comedy The Singing Detective, playing a young Robert Downey, Jr. Dorfman will next be seen in the thriller The Ring 2.
On television, Dorfman stars in the central role of Charles Wallace Murry in the upcoming miniseries “A Wrinkle in Time”, based on the beloved children’s book by Madeleine L’Engle. Dorfman’s other television work includes the recurring role of Kathleen Quinlan’s son on the series “Family Law”, a guest star role on “Ally McBeal” as Robert Downey, Jr.’s son, and an upcoming recurring role on “ER.”
R. Lee Ermey (Sheriff Hoyt)
Golden Globe nominee and Boston Society of Film Critics Award Winner for Best Supporting Actor in director Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket, R. Lee Ermey, after more than 25 years in the business, is one of the most successful and talented actors in film and television today.
His numerous roles in feature film include: Switchback, starring opposite Dennis Quaid and Danny Glover, Dead Man Walking, Seven, Leaving Las Vegas, Murder In The First, Life, The Frighteners and Sommersby as well as his critically acclaimed role opposite Jared Leto in Prefontaine. He continues doing numerous voice-over roles which span from “The Simpsons” to Toy Story (1 and 2).
Ermey served 11 years active duty with the U.S. Marine Corps. He rose to the rank of staff NCO, served two years as a drill instructor and a tour of duty in Vietnam. Medically retired in 1971, he used his G.I. Bill benefits, and enrolled at the University of Manila in the Philippines where he studied drama. Francis Ford Coppola was filming Apocalypse Now in the area and cast Ermey in a featured role. He has since gone on to star or appear in approximately sixty films.
Ermey is no stranger to prestigious television either. He has starred in numerous telefilms including HBO’s “Weapons of Mass Distraction”, TNT’s “The Rough Riders” and TNT’s “You Know My Name”, starring Sam Elliot, as well as Showtime’s “The Apartment Complex”.
Ermey starred with Elizabeth Pena in the feature On the Borderline. Just before that, he was in the feature film Skipped Parts, with Jennifer Jason Leigh and Drew Barrymore.
Recently, Ermey starred in Saving Silverman, with Jason Biggs, Jack Black, Steve Zahn and Amanda Peet. He appears opposite Jeff Bridges in Scenes of the Crime and Harvey Keitel in Taking Sides. For New Line he appeared in Run Ronnie Run, and starred in the remake of Willard with Crispin Glover. Ermey also is hosting his own show for the History Channel, called “Mail Call”, which focuses on military technology past, present and future. It continues to be the History Channel's highest rated series.
Lauren German (Hitchhiker)
Lauren German was recently seen opposite Mandy Moore and Shane West in the hit A Walk to Remember. She also starred in the independent features A Midsummer Nights Rave and Dead Above Ground.
Other credits for the young actress include Down To You and MTV's television series "Undressed." In 2002 German was named to E! Entertainment's "Sizzling 16" and Maxim Magazines "Hot 100."
She's currently shooting the independent feature Piggy Banks opposite Gabriel Mann.
Andrew Bryniarski (Thomas Hewitt / Leatherface)
Andrew Bryniarski has combined brawn and humor in his performances to singular effect. His motion picture roles have included Scooby-Doo, Rollerball, Pearl Harbor, Any Given Sunday, Necessary Roughness, Tim Burton's Batman Returns, John Singleton's Higher Learning, The Program, Hudson Hawk, Street Fighter, Cyborg III and the upcoming Be the Man.
Bryniarski's numerous television appearances have included guest spots on "Cheers," "L.A. Law," "Renegade," "Lois & Clark," "Barefoot in Paradise," "Conan the Adventurer," "The Sentinel" and a recurring role on "Nightman.”
Terrence Evans (Old Monty)
The career of screen veteran Terrence Evans has spanned over three decades with film credits that include Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Welcome Home Roxy Carmichael, Crocodile, The Silencing, 24-Seven, The Runner, Thick as Thieves, The Last Embrace, What’s Love Got To Do With It and Pale Rider.
His many television credits include “ER,” “Star Trek: Voyager,” “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” “The Golden Girls,” “Hill Street Blues,” “The A-Team,” “The Dukes of Hazzard” and “The Incredible Hulk.”
Marietta Marich (Luda May)
Marietta Marich’s numerous screen credits include Lone Star Struck, Rushmore, Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering, A Perfect World, Leap of Faith, and Simple Men.
Her television film credits include “Picnic,” “Two Mothers for Zachary,” “She Fought Alone,” “In the Name of Love: A Texas Tragedy,” “A Woman of Independent Means” and “The Fulfillment of Mary Gray.”
Heather Kafka (Henrietta)
The film credits of Austin, Texas native Heather Kafka include Where the Heart Is, Natural Selection and the Wim Wenders’ presented Three Days of Rain. On television, her credits include the films “Beyond the Prairie: The True Story of Laura Ingalls Wilder,” “The Secret She Carried,” “The People Next Door” and the critically acclaimed miniseries “Murder in the Heartland.” She also appeared on the television series “Going to California,” and starred as “Chloe” on MTV’s “Austin Stories.”
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
Marcus Nispel (Director)
German-born Marcus Nispel started his career in advertising as an art director for Young & Rubicam in Frankfurt, Germany. He came to America on a Fulbright scholarship in 1984 at the age of 20 and made his directing debut in 1989 with a series of music videos for C&C Music Factory.
While living in New York, Nispel founded and operated his own production company, Portfolio Artists Network, before merging with RSA-USA, and then joining MJZ in 2000.
To date, Nispel has directed over 1000 commercials and music videos. His commercial clients include: AT&T, Audi, Canon, Chase, Coca-Cola, Dr. Pepper, Fidelity, Kodak, Levi’s, L’Oreal, Marlboro, Mercedes, Motorola, Nike, Panasonic, Pepsi, RCA, Showtime, Sprint, Sprite, Unisys, UPS, US Postal Service and VISA Gold as well as MTV, ABC, CBS and NBC.
His music videos include over fifteen #1 songs and several breakthrough videos for artists such as the Spice Girls, Simply Red, Puff Daddy, Bush, No Doubt, the Fugees, George Michael, Janet Jackson, Elton John, Billy Joel, Aretha Franklin, Cher, Mariah Carey, k.d. lang, Tony Bennett, C&C Music Factory, Bette Midler, LL Cool J, Bryan Adams and Gloria Estefan.
Nispel has been awarded numerous international advertising accolades including several Clio Awards, the Moebius Award, the Grand Prix at the BDA Awards, honors from the New York, Houston and Chicago Film Festivals and the Art Directors Club. His work has garnered 12 MTV Music Video Award nominations resulting in four MTV Music Video Awards, including a 1993 MTV Best European Video Award for “Killer/Papa was a Rolling Stone” by George Michael. Nispel has won two Billboard Awards and Music Video Filmmaker Association Awards as well as the MVPA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001.
Marcus Nispel has been the subject of two documentaries and was featured in Time Magazine’s year-end issue “Best of 1996” for his Fidelity Investments campaign, “A Time Has Come Today.” In 1997, Nispel was featured as a speaker at the AICP MOMA Show. The AICP has honored him with several awards and his work is now part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art. His work has been highlighted and screened at the New York Film Festival, the Art Director’s Club and at the Film and Broadcast Museum in Frankfurt.
In 1996 he was honored at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s “Cross Cultural Dreams” retrospective of his music videos. He was featured in a chapter of Armond White’s book on the pop revolution and was a recipient of the Black Achievement Award for the positive portrayal of African Americans in mass media.
Nispel has been featured in Vogue, Vanity Fair, Details, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, AdWeek, AdAge and Creativity.
Michael Bay (Producer)
Filmmaker Michael Bay's five movies have grossed over $1.5 billion in worldwide ticket sales. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre marks the first effort from Bay's production company, Platinum Dunes. Bay most recently directed the summer 2003 hit Bad Boys II, his fifth collaboration with producer Jerry Bruckheimer. Prior to that, he directed Pearl Harbor, on which he shared producer credit with Bruckheimer. The film grossed over $450 million worldwide. His first feature film, the original Bad Boys, starred Will Smith and Martin Lawrence; it wowed critics and audiences alike and grossed over $140 million worldwide, making it Columbia Pictures' top-grossing film of 1995. The following year saw the release of Bay's second film; starring Sean Connery and Nicolas Cage, The Rock eclipsed Bay's blockbuster debut, taking in more than $300 million worldwide. His third directing effort, Armageddon, which he produced with Bruckheimer, starred Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck, and Liv Tyler; it took in over $550 million around the globe.
Bay began his career in the advertising industry, directing commercials and music videos for Propaganda Films. In 1995, he was honored by the Directors Guild of America as Commercial Director of the Year. At age 24, he made his first foray out of film school into the music video business. His works for such acts as Meat Loaf, Aerosmith, Tina Turner, Donny Osmond, and the DiVinyls won him huge recognition and led to a number of MTV Best Music Video nominations, and the coveted prize in 1992.
Bay's first television spot - for the American Red Cross - was a Clio winner, and it heralded an expeditious rise from anonymity to renown. Within three years, the Los Angeles native and Wesleyan University graduate had directed some of the best known and professionally acclaimed advertising campaigns in the world. Nike, Budweiser, Coca Cola, Reebok, and Miller Lite were just a few of his clients.
Bay is the youngest director to have won nearly every award bestowed by the advertising industry. He won the Grand Prix Clio for Commercial of the Year for the irreverent "Got Milk?/Aaron Burr" commercial; this famous spot, along with two others in the "Got Milk?" campaign created by Bay, won Best Campaign of the Year at New York's Museum of Modern Art. In Cannes, the world's largest competition for commercials, Bay won the Gold Lion for "The Best Beer" campaign for Miller, and the Silver Lion for the "Got Milk?" spot.
Mike Fleiss (Producer)
Having achieved runaway success in the television medium as one of the most prolific creators/executive producers of prime time television in a generation, top reality producer Mike Fleiss and his company, Next Entertainment, are also busy feature filmmakers. In addition to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, they also have the upcoming feature The Quest.
Fleiss recently launched the third season of the wildly popular “The Bachelor,” an original one-hour primetime reality television series, which gives one lucky man the opportunity to meet the woman of his dreams. Additionally, he “turned the tables” with “The Bachelorette,” with 25 men interested in winning the hand of Trista Rehn, first runner-up in the first series.
Fleiss’ foray into the reality series genre includes “High School Reunion,” Fleiss’ one-hour reality show for The WB Television Network, which follows former high school classmates as they embark on the ultimate high school reunion.
Fleiss, who has a deal with Telepictures Productions to create original series for network, syndication and cable marketplaces, is a leading producer of reality programming and has made a significant impact on the genre. In total, he has produced over 100 hours of television including, “Who Wants to Marry A Multi-Millionaire,” “Million Dollar Mysteries,” and “Are You Hot?”
Prior to forming Next Entertainment in 1999, Fleiss teamed with Bruce Nash of Nash Entertainment to produce “Breaking the Magician's Code: Magic Secrets Finally Revealed I, II and III” and “TV's All-time Favorites” for CBS and ABC's “Before They Were Stars.”
Prior to his work in television, Fleiss authored two comedy books entitled Sports With An Attitude and Hollywood With An Attitude. Previously, he worked as a sports writer for several northern California newspapers before moving to Los Angeles in 1991. He holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of California at Berkeley.
Andrew Form (Executive Producer)
Andrew Form is a partner at Platinum Dunes, which has a first look deal with Radar Pictures. Form has also produced the features The Shrink is In, starring Courteney Cox and David Arquette, Kissing A Fool starring Jason Lee, David Schwimmer and Bonnie Hunt and Do Me A Favor with Rosanna Arquette.
A graduate of the University of Arizona, Form also produced documentaries on the making of Crimson Tide and Bad Boys.
Brad Fuller (Executive Producer)
Brad Fuller is a partner at Platinum Dunes, which has a first look deal with Radar Pictures. Fuller has also produced the features Emmett’s Mark staring Gabriel Byrne and Tim Roth and A Better Way To Die starring Natasha Henstridge and Andre Braugher.
A film graduate of Wesleyan University, Fuller previously was a manager at Pure Arts Entertainment where he oversaw the talent department.
Ted Field (Executive Producer)
Ted Field is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Radar Pictures.
Beginning in 1982, as founder and Chairman of Interscope Communications, Field served as producer (or executive producer) responsible for over 50 major theatrical motion pictures generating cumulative worldwide box office gross receipts of over $2.5 billion, including Runaway Bride, Jumanji, Pitch Black, Mr. Holland’s Opus, The Hand that Rocks the Cradle, Three Men and a Baby, Cocktail, Bird on a Wire, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and Outrageous Fortune.
Since forming Radar four years ago, Field and his team have assembled a slate of over 25 active projects embracing a wide range of styles and featuring some of the finest filmmakers working today. In addition to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Radar’s productions include The Last Samurai, starring Tom Cruise; Merchant-Ivory’s Le Divorce, starring Kate Hudson and Naomi Watts; How to Deal, starring Mandy Moore; and The Chronicles of Riddick, starring Vin Diesel.
In 1990, Field and Jimmy Iovine created Interscope Records, one of the most successful record labels in history. With Universal’s acquisition of PolyGram in 1999, Field and Iovine became the heads of the largest record label in the world, combining such venerable labels as A&M and Geffen under an Interscope-led record group. The combined label is home to diverse, platinum-selling artists such as U2, Eminem, Sting, Nine Inch Nails, The Wallflowers, Dr. Dre, No Doubt, Limp Bizkit, Hole, The Brian Setzer Orchestra, Beck, Marilyn Manson, Garbage and Sheryl Crow.
In April 2001, Field became Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ARTISTdirect where Field also formed a new record label, ARTISTdirect Records. ARTISTdirect is a music and media company that combines an online music network with integrated offline assets to provide a single-stop solution for music fans, artists, labels and advertisers.
Until 1984, Field co-owned Field Enterprises, Inc., a media conglomerate that controlled numerous television stations as well as the Chicago Sun Times. Subsequent to the liquidation of Field Enterprises, Field acquired Panavision from Warner Communications and actively invested in partnerships formed for the purpose of acquiring control of public corporations such as Crown Zellerback.
Field was born Frederick Woodruff Field and grew up in Chicago and Anchorage. At age 21, Field settled permanently in Southern California where he pursued one of his personal passions –race car driving. In 1979, Field was a member of the three-man team that won the 24 Hours of Daytona.
Field’s extensive philanthropic work includes support for organizations ranging from the American Foundation for AIDS Research (AMFAR) and the Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Association, to the Los Angeles Music Center and the Sundance Institute, to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Rainforest Foundation and the Rape Treatment Center.
Scott Kosar (Screenwriter)
A graduate of UCLA, screenwriter Scott Kosar’s second feature, The Machinist, a psychological thriller starring Christian Bale and Jennifer Jason Leigh, is now in post-production. Kosar is currently writing Salem, a supernatural thriller for Columbia Pictures.
Daniel Pearl (Director of Photography)
Within months of receiving his Master’s degree from the University of Texas in 1973, Daniel Pearl photographed the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, a legendary independent feature which is part of the permanent film collection of the New York Museum of Modern Art. He spent the next several years shooting low-budget fright flicks with high production values, most notably She Came to the Valley, The Stuntmen and Invaders from Mars.
Pearl began shooting music videos during the early 1980s, initially to fill the spaces in between narrative film projects. But his use of narrative storytelling - exemplified by "Billie Jean" by Michael Jackson - breathed life into the music video art form. Pearl's work quickly became the benchmark for all music videos. He won the inaugural MTV Award for Best Cinematography in 1984 for "Every Breath You Take" by The Police, and again in 1992 for "November Rain" by Guns & Roses. Pearl has earned eight MTV Video Music Award nominations - most recently for "Take a Picture" by Filter in 2000.
His contemporary work includes collaborations with Hype Williams, Billie Woodruff, Paul Hunter, Marcus Nispel, F.Gary Gray and Rebecca Blake. Pearl's easily recognizable and highly influential reel is dotted with Grammy winners and the biggest names in the music industry, including: Mariah Carey, Garth Brooks, Toni Braxton, R. Kelly, Meatloaf, Lauren Hill, Aerosmith, Shania Twain, Cher, Whitney Houston, The Rolling Stones, Puff Daddy and Janet Jackson.
Having photographed over two hundred commercials, Pearl also manages to create some of the advertising industry's best images - earning industry-wide acclaim for his work on Motorola's "Wings" spot in 1999, which is also in the permanent collection of the New York Museum of Modern Art.
Bobbie Mannix (Costume Designer)
With over 1,700 commercial credits under her career belt, Bobbie Mannix is well known within the industry as the “Queen of Commercials.” She books, preps, fits, wardrobes and styles on-time and on-budget for Nike, Gatorade, Coca Cola, AT&T and Nintendo as well as hundreds of other “A-listers”. It’s not that Bobbie hasn’t forayed into the feature world -she has and loves it. Her feature credits include working with stars like Arnold Schwarzenegger and directors like Peter Bogdanovich and Walter Hill. Bobbie’s varied slate of work also includes videos for some of the hottest names in music but her passion is the hustle and bustle whirlwind of the ever-evolving commercial biz.
A veritable fireball of perpetual energy and creativity, Bobbie enjoys the challenges presented to her on the dozens of projects she tackles each year. Whether it’s recreating the looks of the Old West, Ancient Egypt or capturing the constantly changing look of contemporary America, Bobbie’s attention to detail is unparalleled. Her 2,000 square-foot warehouse is constantly purged and re-stocked to always remain timely and original.
Bobbie, a New Jersey native, attended Philadelphia Museum College of Art. After school she moved to New York and landed a job as a design assistant to the late Anne Klein. Before moving to Los Angeles Bobbie also worked as a talent agent. By blending her clothing design and talent agent backgrounds Bobbie began her career as a costume designer and stylist for television commercials. Her work in television commercials eventually lead to work in feature films and music videos.
With all her contagious energy, it’s not hard to believe that Bobbie Mannix is a fifteen-year survivor of breast cancer. After a single mastectomy, she opted not to have reconstructive surgery and instead focused on staying fit, healthy and relaxed. “Stress is a huge contributor to so much disease”, she explains, “The trick is to truly enjoy your work so that you remain stimulated but not stressed. I make a point not to ignore my life when I’m working hard - I live life to the max!”
All her hard work recently paid off when Bobbie won the Costume Designers Guild Award for her work on an epic 4-minute commercial for T-Online (Germany).
In addition to her work as one of the industry’s top costume designers and stylists, Bobbie is a personal shopper for a diverse clientele, which includes celebrities and royalty. Despite the fact that she’s constantly working, she still craves more. “I love creating something unprecedented,” she explains, “I am fueled by what I do and each time I hit the ground running on a project, I’m just as excited as the first time.”
Gregory Blair (Production Designer)
Gregory Blair graduated from Claremont McKenna College in 1982, and went on to the Graduate Film program at NYU-Tisch School of the Arts. His first film projects included the cult classic Not of this Earth starring Traci Lords, Roger Corman’s The Drifter, and Arthur Hiller’s The Lonely Guy starring Steve Martin.
Blair began working on commercials and videos in the late 80’s and has collaborated with many of the film industry’s top directors and cinematographers including: Marcus Nispel, Paul Hunter, Steve Chase, Antoine Fuqua, Daniel Pearl and Thomas Kloss. Since teaming up with director Marcus Nispel in the late 90’s, Blair has production designed over 100 commercials and music videos, lending his visual style to a number of diverse projects. Recent work includes Marilyn Manson’s “Mobscene”, commercials for Target, Bud Light, T-Online, Taco Bell, Aquafina and Gatorade.
Scott Stoddard (Special Effects Makeup)
In addition to creating the different masks for Leatherface and various effects, special effects make-up artist Scott Stoddard also created the “Fat Bastard” suit for New Line Cinema’s Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me and Austin Powers in Goldmember. His next projects is the much-anticipated prequel to the Exorcist.
Stoddard’s other film credits include AI: Artificial Intelligence, Pearl Harbor, Jurassic Park: The Lost World, The Six Sense and the telefilm “Earth vs. the Spider.”
Rocky Gehr (Special Effects Coordinator)
With over 27 years of film production experience, Rocky Gehr has worked on numerous film and television projects. Over the years, he has worked as a Special Effects Coordinator for films such as The Perfect Storm, The Mask of Zorro, Spiderman, Face/off, Jingle All The Way, In The Line Of Fire, Sister Act, Over the Top and Greedy.
He has also worked as a Supervisor/Foreman for films such as Pearl Harbor, Windtalkers, Speed, Outbreak, The Rookie, Throw Mamma From The Train, Ruthless People and Star Trek III: The Search For Spock.
Gehr also has substantial experience in television production with numerous television credits, which include, “Baywatch,” “Happy Days,” “Three On A Match,” “Why on Earth” and “Mork and Mindy.”
Glen Scantlebury (Editor)
Glen Scantlebury was born and raised in Annadale, Virginia, and attended Virginia Commonwealth University. A pioneer in the art of editing feature films on video, in 1987 he cut the Tom Waits concert film "Big Time" on video.
He subsequently worked at Zoetrope Studios for five years where he co-edited Dracula and was an additional editor on Godfather: Part III. He served as a film editor on Simon West's debut film, Con Air, in addition to The General's Daughter and Tomb Raider. Scantlebury also worked on the team for the hit film Armageddon, as well as providing additional editing on The Rock.
In addition to feature films, Scantlebury has edited numerous music videos and documentaries including Neil Young's “Muddy Tracks” and Werner Herzog's “Little Dieter Needs to Fly.”
Scantlebury is also an independent filmmaker who teamed with his wife Lucy Phillips to produce the indie feature Steel America. Scantlebury currently resides in Los Angeles.
Steve Jablonsky (Composer)
Steve Jablonsky was first introduced to music at the age of twelve, when his Grandfather bought him a clarinet as a birthday gift. He quickly developed a passion for music, performing in several orchestras during his teenage years and graduating from the University of California, Berkeley, with a degree in Music Study.
His interest in film music started at an early age, influenced in particular by film composers Ennio Morricone and Hans Zimmer. Jablonsky states “I’ve always been drawn to their music because of the amazing melodies they write and the way they use melodies to tell a story.”
In 1996, Jablonsky’s talent was noticed quickly by prominent film composer Harry Gregson-Williams. Working with Gregson-Williams, Jablonsky fostered and refined his skills as a film composer. As their relationship grew stronger, Steve’s musical talent developed. He collaborated with Gregson-Williams on numerous films including dramatic scores for Smilla’s Sense of Snow, Deceiver, The Magic of Marciano and Twentieth Century Fox’s hit teenage film Light it Up. Action films The Replacement Killers, Jerry Bruckheimer’s Armageddon and Tony Scott’s Enemy of the State followed. In addition to these, Jablonsky has also scored several independent films including Border to Border and Sorrow’s Child.
Jablonsky’s talent can also be seen in comedic and animated films. He has composed additional music for The Borrowers, Dreamworks’ acclaimed Antz and Chicken Run, as well as Disney’s The Tigger Movie.
As Jablonsky’s musical talents grew more diverse, he met new challenges when asked to participate in the scoring of the popular Video Game “Metal Gear Solid 2,” as well as the acclaimed ESPN television series “Sports Century: The Century’s Greatest Athletes.”
Jablonsky recently collaborated with Hans Zimmer on various projects including Ridley Scott’s Hannibal and Jerry Bruckheimer’s blockbuster Pearl Harbor, in addition to his work on the DreamWorks animation theatrical release, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimmaron, as well as completing an original score for the Emmy nominated HBO original film “Live from Baghdad,” starring Michael Keaton and directed by Mick Jackson.
Jablonsky recently paired with acclaimed director Michael Bay, composing original music for the Sony Pictures release Bad Boys 2, starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence.
Jablonsky is currently scoring the new ABC drama “Threat Matrix,” and later this year will compose the original score for the Japanese Anime Film entitled Steam Boy, directed by renowned Akira creator, Katsuhiro Otomo.
Geschrieben 20. Oktober 2003, 21:32
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Bloodshed continues to rule at theaters. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the remake of the 1974 horror tale that helped launch the modern slasher genre, debuted as the top weekend movie with $29.1 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.
Quentin Tarantino's bloody vengeance saga Kill Bill — Vol. 1, the previous weekend's No. 1 movie, slipped to second place with $12.5 million, lifting its 10-day total to $43.3 million.
The John Grisham court thriller Runaway Jury, with Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman, John Cusack and Rachel Weisz, opened in third place with $12.1 million.
After a strong debut in limited release a week earlier, Clint Eastwood's Mystic River— starring Sean Penn and Tim Robbins — expanded to wide release and came in at No. 5 with $10.36 million.
Playing in 3,016 theaters, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre averaged a strong $9,649 a cinema, compared to a $4,298 average in 2,815 theaters for Runaway Jury and a $7,059 average in 1,467 cinemas for Mystic River.
Cate Blanchett's Veronica Guerin, in which she plays a real-life Irish journalist slain during an investigation of Dublin druglords, bombed with $603,000 in 472 theaters, averaging just $1,278.
In limited release, Sylvia— Gwyneth Paltrow's film biography of suicidal poet Sylvia Plath — opened strongly with $56,132 in three theaters in New York City and Los Angeles, averaging $18,711.
Pieces of April, a Sundance Film Festival favorite that stars Katie Holmes and Patricia Clarkson, debuted with $48,000 in six New York City and Los Angeles theaters for an $8,000 average.
The overall box office soared, with the top 12 movies grossing $105.3 million, up 43% from the same weekend last year, when the horror tale The Ring was the top movie with $15 million.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre stars Jessica Biel as one of a group of friends stranded in a Texas town, where they are preyed on by a clan of cannibals, including chainsaw killer Leatherface.
In its first weekend, the movie took in three times its $9.5 million production budget. Three-fourths of the audience was younger than 25, while the crowds were evenly split between men and women.
Biel's presence helped draw women into a gory genre flick that more typically appeals to men, said Russell Schwartz, head of domestic marketing for New Line, which released The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
"But also, women love to be scared, perhaps more than men," Schwartz said. "It's only the gory part that helps turn off the female audience, not so much the scary part."
Runaway Jury played to an older audience, with 82% of viewers age 25 and older, said Bruce Snyder, head of distribution for 20th Century Fox, which released the movie.
The opening-weekend gross came in on the low side of the studio's projections, but Snyder said movies aimed at older audiences often stick around longer at the box office.
"Adults don't necessarily run out to see a movie the first weekend," Snyder said. "We hope it'll be around for a good long time."
This past week, Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl inched past $300 million, the year's second movie to cross that mark, after Disney-Pixar's Finding Nemo. It was the first time one studio had two movies topping $300 million domestically in a single year.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at North American theaters, according to Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc. Final figures will be released Monday.
[Quelle: USA Today]
"I was always killing myself, but it was always the bystander who died."
Geschrieben 31. Dezember 2003, 14:36
"I was always killing myself, but it was always the bystander who died."
Geschrieben 03. Januar 2004, 07:15
Wie, Sie sind anderer Meinung...??!
_________"Wolle Rose kaufe...???"
"Realität ist eine Illusion, die durch Alkoholmangel hervorgerufen wird!" - ein Unbekannter
"Wenn Du zwei weiße Eltern hast, wirst Du nie ein Halbfarbiger!" - Dieter Bohlen
"Als Johannes Paul der II. gestorben worden war..." Andreas Englisch In einer Talkshow
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