The Vicious Brothers - Colin Minihan and Stuart Ortiz (INTERVIEW)
The found footage genre has been slashed more times the Freddy Kreuger's victims ever since 'The Blair Witch Project' back in 1999. Very few films have managed to capture the claustrophobic thrills of Eduardo Sanchez' ground breaking classic. Until 2011 when The Vicious Brothers bought us 'Grave Encounters'. One of the few films that has managed to recover a genre over ten years later. We caught up with Colin Minihan and Stuart Ortiz to chat about the film and the plans for things to come.
How did you come up with the idea of GE, the source material is all over it but is there any stories to how the film got created? We were inspired by other found footage films such as the 'The Blair Witch Project' and thought a paranormal TV show would be a cool vehicle for a found footage film. We knew it would be a fun ride for the audience to watch a group of ghost hunters making a reality TV show (which is anything but real) and they came across something truly haunting and terrifying. Have you ever watched 'Ghost Adventures'? We sure as hell can't watch that without thinking Lance Preston... Lance Preston is the ultimate ghost hunter. Did you ever imagine GE would have the success it has, especially being your directorial debut?
We had no clue what to expect. We just wanted to make a film that we thought would be a scary fun ride and have a dark and disturbing tone throughout. None of our distributors really shelled out any real money in marketing the film in order to get the word out. We very much attribute its success to the merit of the film and it spreading via word of mouth online. Using the found footage genre and standing tall where so many others have fallen, did you find it difficult to make it feel fresh? There are indeed a lot of crappy found footage films. A lot of amateurs try and make found footage movies probably because its cheap and it doesn't require a lot of man power. Making our film was not especially difficult, we shot it in 12 days and did about a month of pre pro. We knew the tone and style that we wanted to have for Grave Encounters very early on and we knew that we were going to make something enjoyable. The hardest part was finding the right Lance Preston but then we found Sean Rogerson and the rest is history. With 'Grave Encounters' you had the stamp of inspiration all over it but with 'Grave Encounters 2' you completely flipped it on its head. How did you come about the twists and turns that made it so engrossing? With GE2 we wanted to make an incredibly meta film for the younger fans of GE1. We wrote the script knowing full well what we were embarking on was a very challenging project... as to not alienate the fans of GE1 too much and retain the same tone from the first film once inside the building. Writing the script is a blur at this point and involved a lot of drugs. Was there any reason you passed the Directors baton on to John Poliquin for the sequel? We were too busy developing another film. We stayed heavily involved but handed the duties of directing to a great talent in John Poliquin. The film is open for a third instalment, any plans to continue the 'Grave Encounters' saga? There is loose plans, but it depends on the financial success of GE2. Maybe if it makes a ton of money on home video in the UK or makes bank in theaters in Italy etc. The international markets will decide weather or not there is a demand for a 3rd film. We would however love to close off the thing as a trilogy. We wrote a treatment for GE3 already just to have in in the back pocket for now. You keep teasing your next project, 'The Visitors'. What can we expect from that? Alien Abduction
Do you have any other plans for the future? Any new projects floating around in the spiritual airwaves? Yes, we have several other scripts we are eager to have produced. Follow our twitter @viciousbros to keep up to date.