John F. Uranday and Bobby Cloud (INTERVIEW)
Director John F. Uranday and fellow writer Bobby Cloud talk to us about vigilante thriller TROLLED wherein a series of trolls become the victims of their own doing and learn lessons along the way. Like kindergarten with more broken bones.
Hi John. Hi Bobby. Hello there. Thank you for joining me. First of all, appreciate you've had a long flight back from from Cannes. I I bet you've still got jetlag.
Yes, we did sleep quite a bit once we got home.
So, we're here to talk about TROLLED. So do you want to just give us a brief overview of this.
So TROLLED the story. It's a dark web feel, so that you're watching this film but imagine watching a dark web show but comments and everything else on show. And what he does is he travels through the city and he is contacted by sponsors. So he travels city gets contacted by people that are victims of being told and essence hired him and he does a background.
Firstly in Kentucky, we find out everything about these people. So when the movie opens you have four people in a basement. They're tied and blindfolded and he tells you, "Welcome, then moving on, this is episode two Cincinnati. We'll be here for another month with time for one more. I'll be in Boston next month, so I'm exciting things."
We're all going to learn together and he in essence teaches that the lesson that you cannot hide behind the keyboard.
Cool sounds like wonderful family entertainment.
Sure, probably not.
So, where did the idea for TROLLED Come about then?
I'll not talk too much about myself, but I'll tell you anyway.
So we're all locked down. We're home. And we're online. And, and I make sure to not be too much online. But online, someone disagreed with something I said and I tried to deal with it. Kindly they did not want to be and we've had all this time in our game.
So I'm there, they're sending me messages and a cursing at me and they're saying horrible things and wishing horrible things upon me. And I think to myself, I'm gonna know where you work. I can see a picture cover with you, like what am I doing? I know where you live now and you would never see me.
Coming by I could have chose retribution. But instead of retribution, I chose the idea of TROLLED.
It was probably the most correct answer to take in this path.
I think that. Yeah, certainly many people are so brave online, like they think that hiding behind a computer screen and a keyboard keeps them safe.
And TROLLED as a movie that reminds people that you're actually have consequences.
Absolutely. You mentioned brave. I think it's more gutless rather than brave. I think there's a lot of negativity with that kind of activity. And I think the idea of TROLLED, is certainly a welcome one in specifically, as you mentioned, since the lockdown era and ever since that we are in a cyber world... Even now where everything is online I mean we're talking today over over the internet.
Well you could easily take it to some darker territories, you know, these kinds of behaviour just creates an animosity. TROLLED, kind of handles that in quite a way, just judging by the trailer at least. Well, that kind of the idea is, who you are and what your responsible for is every action you do.
There's no play in the world we call them the Troll because he trolls, when I was a boy and I said something, I said it to a person's face and I had to risk the repercussions getting punched in the face.
As I said, the wrong thing. And it's a brave world that we live in to be, open with people on the internet.
You've just shown another film, DEPTH OF FIELD, over and Cannes, how did the film go down there?
The film was great. We got some very good notes on it.
The way we shot it. We shot it in a way, It's an interesting way. So there's six cameras, four behind each individual person. That's there. There's four victims. There's the main camera and then he wears a POV because he's trying to play you an audience, but all of the cameras are running all of the time.
So it's not a traditional one shot, one shot, one shot. And one of the things that was said is like how in a world Did you guys put it together in a way, where it looks like it's happening in real time. And we practise how many weeks great reads we answering the refers to the absolutely play control.
Okay. And, and his day job, he's the lawyer. So he told me a while back. So he worked some courtroom. We actually were able to shoot it in one day, the entire feature that is the cheese that is an achievement to make a film in within the 24-hour period.
I mean, obviously you take the editing into account, but, you know, take that as an achievement that you've been able to produce that, you know, within that short period of time and come out with, with the footage you've had.
Well, we were scared that after the shoot, like we were, just like, we didn't touch the footage for probably like two or three months.
It was terrifying. Yeah. It's like, did we do want to look at it? Like man is probably a max it's probably just gonna be horrible. And when we finally did look at it, it was we were very happy with it. We're very happy with the end and it was, it's very disconcerting because he's not cool.
And you would assume that the character would be this cruel angry person, he doesn't curse, he doesn't lose his temper. And he does this thing where he took them on the shoulders, these obstinance and it gives them the I'm gonna be here with you the whole time. If you do, right, We'll make it through this together.
So then he breaks your fingers, you know, and as you do
So we have these actors come in from Los Angeles. All of them were great but instead of giving them a traditional script will begin is we only gave them the background of their character and what they've done. And so they had never seen the troll in his get up until the cameras are rolling in the blindfold comes off.
We took a break in the middle and we're having lunch, and all of them were like, okay, so I'm kind of confess. All four of them are, like, I sent my location. I sent my pictures of you guys to my friends. I told him if you never see me again you know that this is why it happened and I was like, oh my gosh, why?
They're like, well, you did take me into a basement with plastic on the floor and type me to a chair after. Now, that's immersion. You know what? Even with no script, they all did an amazing job improvising and really, just going with what he was giving them big in the mixture and amazing.
Absolutely. Amazing job blood curdling streams. Yeah. Yeah, it would. I don't think that was the other term fighting part is, you know, there's no script so kind of way and you don't know the fact that we're gonna, you know, go and improvise in a look at it, you know, and if it's written there already, so it have them improvised where they did was really, just amazing.
They're so good. Yeah, it was great to see them work and the depth that and and real. They gave themselves over to the part and without them, it wouldn't have been, it wouldn't, it wouldn't have been a success. It would have been something we would have to throw away.
So there's no script. You've pretty much filmed this within 24 hours and nobody knows where they are. Are you telling me you've made a snuff film?
That's what they were thinking. We're in a placement with two guys. And like this one girl were tried to chairs. Like are we getting out of here?
That is true authenticity right there. And I've seen that the films are being compared to the likes of THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT and SAW. I can kind of see all of that coming together now. And how does it feel to be compared to such behemoths of the genre?
Humbling but at the same time, they were inspiration, you know, a simple story that's terrifying and it was during lockdown. There's me and four other actors. There's John with the makeup person and that was the entire department because we had to keep contact your minimum and we really thought it was a test when we were doing it.
It was something that was possible, but the test ended up better than than we could have done it later.
Now, it's really good to hear. Is there any news on distribution?
Yeah, We have something exciting things I, you know, don't want to change it, but we have some exciting things.
There's some people in Cannes we were telling the story to someone and it was physically physically jumping like, oh my gosh, and it's like, I'm like, okay, well I think we have something and the reactions to the people that saw it or they were chilled and uncomfortable which is what we were aiming for some, it's not grotesque, but it is very disconcerting.
And I think the reason is because it's so relatable. You understand what it is? it's tragic, but people really react with the way we wanted them to react. It really is a relatable idea. You understand why the people are there?
You understand how they got there. And the victims are relatable.
Yeah, they're very relatable and you understand what the troll's doing. You know. He's there to teach everyone to lets and not just the people in the room but the people watching that's great nothing. That's the one of the best things.
There's a, there's a kind of nuance with with villains that if you could if they become more relatable, then suddenly the the tables get turned and then becomes a bit cut and mouse between the victim and the slayer. And, you know, this sounds like you've got a nice balance between the between the two and thank you very much for taking the time out to speak to us about that today.
Absolutely. Thank you very much and have a great day.