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Filmmaker Brian Feeney has editing credits that range from
the recently released William Castle documentary SPINE TINGLER! and UNSPEAKABLE
to documentary featurettes on BLADE: TRINITY and RESIDENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE, and
now his feature directing debut, THE ECHO GAME, hits DVD today. He spoke to
Fango about the project, and sent a couple of exclusive photos.
“I wrote the script with my longtime friend John Ross,”
Feeney tells us. “It’s about a young lesbian couple who must protect their
daughter from a rogue scientist on a murderous rampage to steal the girl’s
psychic powers for herself.” The movie, being released by MTI Home Video, stars Alisha Seaton, previously seen in THE FOURTH
KIND, and Jeannie Bolet as the couple, with Melissa Lee as the gifted child and
Judy Clement as the villainous Anne Cassavettes. “At its core, this is really a
supernatural slasher film in the tradition of the Italian greats,” Feeney says.
“It’s a great horror romp with a strong emotional core, centered on this
lesbian couple, but without making a big deal out of the lesbianism—a step
we’re quite proud of.
“It does have plenty of gratuitous gore and nudity from some
of the supporting characters, though,” he continues. “In this age of ’80s
hyper-nostalgia, we’re doing something better than remaking an old ’80s movie;
we’re taking that aesthetic and doing something fresh with it.”
“We didn’t want to make another SAW ripoff where audiences
squirm in their seats and check their watches,” adds Ross, who also produced
with Doug Spice and Asa Shumskas-Tait. “Instead, we focused more on suspense
and buildup centered on key moments of shock and terror. The result is more of
a ride with thrilling ups and downs, not just a mind-numbing gorefest.”
“We shot the film over a period of several weeks,” Feeney
continues. “It was a tough shoot, but the entire crew really wanted to make
this something special, and they were willing to go that extra length in order
to achieve it.” Low-cost or not, Feeney decided early on that he wanted to give
THE ECHO GAME a classical cinematic look, and steered clear of handheld
camerawork for the most part. “That seems to be a crutch filmmakers tend to
lean on lately whenever they aren’t sure how to stage an action scene,” says
the director, who prepared by storyboarding the entire film in preproduction.
“THE ECHO GAME is low-budget, but looks great [Jeffrey Waldron served as
director of photography], and we got some great gore out of it too.” To add the
right touch of aural creeps, GRACE’s Austin Wintory was tapped for the score.
“THE ECHO GAME was a challenging project,” says Spice, “but
I believe that all projects worth doing must ultimately be challenging. We all
knew from the start that we were working with a very limited schedule and budget,
but after reading the script and listening to months of Brian’s infectious
enthusiasm, I agreed that it was something we could do, and do better than
anyone else. My production company [Psychic Bunny] had developed extensive
experience in working with the best people available to push what can be done
on small budgets far beyond expectations. This was no exception, and while we
lived on the edge during the filming, ultimately we are all extremely proud of
what we achieved. It’s a sophisticated-looking film that goes far beyond the
money we spent on it.”
The ECHO GAME DVD includes audio commentary and a
behind-the-scenes segment. See the trailer below, the official website here and the Facebook page
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