Fantasia ’13 exclusive: “SLEEPWALKING CANNIBAL” director on “OZ”-inspired “EMERALD FALLS”
Among the filmmakers who previously screened films at Montreal’s Fantasia festival and returned this year for the Frontières Co-Production Market was Boris Rodriguez, who attended last year with his off-the-wall horror/comedy EDDIE THE SLEEPWALKING CANNIBAL (pictured above) and is now developing the similarly unusual EMERALD FALLS.
Written by Phil M. Rosenberg, EMERALD FALLS is a contemporary story that incorporates motifs from the world of THE WIZARD OF OZ, or as Rodriguez tells Fango, “It’s a teen sex comedy with killer chimpanzees with wings. It’s essentially about four Pennsylvania high-schoolers on a road trip trying to get to senior week—a week of camping and drinking and whatever else goes on during such things. They get lost and stumble upon an abandoned private zoo owned by a crazy old woman who has an army of killer chimps—some of which can fly.” The movie, Rodriguez promises, will showcase “completely, unabashedly no-holds-barred sex and violence. But it’s even lighter than EDDIE was; with this one, we’re doing away with the gravitas and just going for the straight-up fun.”
Like EDDIE, however, EMERALD FALLS will be grounded in terms of the way it will be shot. “I’m hoping to do it with a very classic, theatrical approach, going back to the studio films of the ’50s, but with the crazy, outlandish, fantastical elements. There will be no handheld camerawork; I love the old shooting styles, I love taking my time to block things properly, to light things properly, to strike that balance where you let the actors internalize the scenes to an extent, but still within the context of a very visually driven movie. It’s not easy, but that’s what I’m going to try to do.”
As of now, no cast is attached and none of the EDDIE team are involved; as Rodriguez notes, “It’s still in the very early stages. We’re looking for a producer, and when that happens, it’ll pick up the steam it needs so we can be doing it very soon.”