Tuesday, May 08, 2007


Let's just say it: every filmmaker has their influences. Quentin Tarantino took the plot of Reservoir Dogs from City on Fire and The Taking of Pelham 1, 2, 3 and Kill Bill from Lady Snowblood and Death Rides a Horse. Brian DePalma borrowed from Hitchcock's entire filmography and Blow Out is an unofficial (and better remake) of Blow Up. Star Wars is a meshing together of Flash Gordon, Buck Rodgers, Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress and another, much rarer Japanese martial arts/monster film called The Magic Serpent. And is Quentin Tarantino a bad filmmaker? Of course he's not! He's a fucking great filmmaker. People don't seem to understand that he steals and homages because he LOVES the source material so much. Brian DePalma was a great filmmaker until after he made Scarface, then it really started getting dodgy. George Lucas, well, okay, I'm not a big fan of Star Wars anymore.

Concerning J.L. Carrozza, the single biggest influence on
Dream House was actually a story I heard once about a girl who's guardian angel protected from some guy who was about to rape her. Apparently it really happened too. That story kind of stuck in my subconscious and I decided to make a film based on it late last year.

Late last year I had another film going called
Film Club, which was to be a sort of live action Otaku no Video about a gang of movie obsessed nerds who can't get laid. Unfortunately (or should we say fortunately), the film fell completely apart. I couldn't get some of the roles cast in time, everyone had fucked up schedules, etc. Eventually, I just totally lost my interest in the source material and I decided to shoot a different film instead. That different film ended up being Dream House.

Though the film is merely based on an urban legend, stylistically and in the script, there are a lot of references to filmmakers and films I enjoy. Mario Bava was a big influence, as was Dario Argento. There will be moments that bring Brian DePalma's films to mind and the use of long takes I want to seem very Alfonso Cuaron. One film that especially influenced this film was the Shaw Brothers horror anthology Haunted Tales, the first segment of which, directed by
Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan and Killer Clans' Chor Yuen, features a young newlywed couple moving into, you guessed it, their dream house and the wife beginning to have frightening visions. Another film with similarities to Dream House is Bava's Shock, though I had not seen it while writing the script. And last but not least, they'll be some tips of the hat to Quentin Tarantino of course and even some to Martin Scorsese and Sam Peckinpah (I'll leave it up to you to discover those once the film is finished).

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