IAR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Darren Bousman Talks '11-11-11'

Tuesday, 24 April 2012 11:16 Written by  Dana Gardner
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IAR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Darren Bousman Talks '11-11-11'

Darren Lynn Bousman is a filmmaker who quickly became one of the most sought after directors in the film industry after his first three major films Saw II, Saw III and Saw IV opened at #1 at the box office three years in a row. He then went on make his passion proect, Repo! The Gentic Opera, which was a combination of Blade Runner and Rocky Horror Picture Show. Darren also directed the horror film Mother’s Day and, most recently, 11-11-11. Darren is also working on a monster movie entitled The Barrens, and a short-film series called, The Devil’s Carnival. 11-11-11 arrives on Blu-ray and DVD today, April 24th.

11-11-11 is supernatural horror film that focuses on Joseph Crown, a famed, best-selling author who is coping from the recent and tragic death of his wife, Sarah, and son, Cole, who died in a fire caused by an insane fan. One day Joseph suffers a horrible car accident but comes out of it miraculously unscathed. The accident occurs at exactly 11:11 AM. Joseph begins to discover that 11 is a number that was somehow important in his past life and that he and his loved ones may be doomed to suffer from it in the future.

I recently had the chance to speak with Darren Bousman about 11-11-11. He discusses internet piracy, how an unfinished version of his movie was reviewed by mainstream sites and downloaded over a million times online before he was even finished making it, what extras we can expect on the DVD, how his new short-film series The Devil’s Carnival has become a road show/burlesque act, his upcoming monster movie The Barrens, as well as his upcoming numerically-themed horror flick Ninety, and his love for Harry Potter.

Here’s what the talented director had to say:

IAR: So I wanted to talk to you a little about Internet piracy today. As I understand it, your movie Mother’s Day was leaked all over the web, and you had a similar experience prior to the release of 11-11-11. Can you tell me a little about when you first found out 11-11-11 was leaked?

Darren Bousman: Even talking about it makes me f*cking furious. I was on the sound stage mixing 11-11-11. Actually, I think it was a week before that. I was sitting there and saw a review for 11-11-11, and it wasn’t a review from a blogger or anything, it was a mainstream review. I was like how the f*ck do these so called critics have a review of a movie that’s not finished yet? Then you have Critic A who writes a review and then you have Critic B who takes Critic A’s review and puts it on his website and suddenly in a 24 hour period of time the reviews are up everywhere of a movie that’s not finished yet or screened. I called the studio and I was like, "What the hell guys, how did this happen?" Basically, what had happened was that an old cut, six months before the one we were working on was put out there. The equivalent of that for a filmmaker is like you’re a mother and father and your son was in a brutal accident and he’s lying spread open on a doctors table and guts are hanging out. You’ve got f*cking brain matter or whatever and the doctor calls the parents and he says, "Hey look at your son, isn’t he great?" No! You wait till after the f*cking operation’s done and the kid’s sewn up and then you call the parent’s and you say "Hey, look at your son!" And to me it was serious. There’s nothing you can really do. It’s out there, it’s on the torrent sites, and there’s a sense of entitlement. People feel entitled about being able to watch sh*t whenever they want without actually watching it the correct way.

What was different about the copy that was leaked?

Bousman: Quite a bit. I finished the film a year ago and then I went off to do The Barrens and it was sold to the company that’s releasing the film right now. They took about 14 to 15 minutes out of my cut. There was a lot of little stuff that’s different. My original version is a lot slower. In the end we sped that up to make it more accessible to a wider audience instead of keeping these long lingering kind of shots.

Do you personally know anyone that downloaded it illegally and how does that make you feel?

Bousman: Yeah, my sister! I was sitting somewhere and I got a call from my sister and she said, "I’m watching your movie on the TV." My sister’s this huge redneck. At that point you know to just give up. I mean my own f*cking sister downloaded the movie. It’s pretty bad in the entertainment industry right now. I called the critics out. If you know anything about me and about my blog I don’t have a problem calling people out. I called the critics out that were reviewing it and they gave me this lame ass excuse. I’m not going to say the name of the website but it was a massive mainstream website. They were reviewing the movie about two and a half weeks before it opened. They were still making the movie up until five days before it was released. So I asked the guy and said "I’m the director of this film, how the hell did you see this movie," and he said, "Oh, I went to an early screening of the movie." Well, there were no early screenings. We were so up against the wall with this movie that we didn’t have time for an early screening. At that point I realized there’s no way to stop it and you just have to deal with it.

What would you like to say to that particular website or other media outlets who don’t seem to have any qualms with illegally downloadingcopyrighted material?

Bousman: I was talking to Terrance Zdunich about this who is the co- creator of The Devil’s Carnival with me. We’ve introduced a new part of the Devil’s Carnival: The Devil’s Carnival Road Show. It’s much more different than a movie. It’s an actual interactive experience. So we’ve talked about torrents and downloading and there’s no way to stop it. If people are going to download my shit they’re going to download my shit. What I will do, and what I hope to do with things like The Devil’s Carnival, and I think from this point on any movie that I do, is to try to give the audience an experience they can’t download and to do something that makes them go to the movie. In the case of The Devil’s Carnival it’s part live action, part burlesque show, fire eaters, sword swallowers and that kind of sh*t. It used to be that downloading a movie was a bitch and now it’s kind of this commonplace thing to do and I think people justify downloading movies because it’s commonplace. I think what I want to say to everyone is for someone like myself who operates outside the system, I make movies that don’t have backing, we spend years and years ofour lives making this thing. A movie like this may only be in 10 or 15 theatres. It’s not like Saw, which was in 3,000 theatres. So when your movie is only seeing 10 theatres and you’re on Pirate Bay and your movie is being downloaded a million times it’s not equivalent to when Saw or Pirates of the Caribbean gets downloaded a million times. It completely cripples you. There’s nothing I can really say. I’ve tried to talk to torrent sites and whatever and the reality is you’re not going to win. So you just have to find a way to still work within that system and I think The Devil’s Carnival is our answer on how to do that. The equivalent of a sell out show, to me right now, makes all the difference in the world.

What’s going to be on the DVD? Are there any extras that we should be looking forward to?

Bousman: I think my commentary is pretty hilarious. I did a commentary with my wife who is one of the producers of the movie. We get into everything from Piracy to the difference between what I wrote and what actually got filmed which I think is pretty interesting. I think the behind-the-scenes footage that my wife shot is pretty awesome too. The whole experience of shooting the movie was pretty horrific. If you go and Google or YouTube behind the-scenes of 11-11-11 you can see some of the weird sh*t that happened on set. We had a very horrific, kind of haunted location. I don’t want to ruin it. I was talking about it on my blog and it seemed like I was just trying to hype the movie but it had nothing to do with hype. Everything you see behind the scenes is one hundred percent real.

Is your new movie, The Barrens, going to be a monster flick in which we will actually get to see a monster?

Bousman: I’m excited for The Barrens and yes and no. Yes it is a monster flick and yes you do get to see the monster, but it’s more likeThe Shining than anything else. I wanted to make a monster movie where the monster was secondary to the human drama that was going on it. Yes, you absolutely see the monster in it but it’s more about Stephen Moyer’s character’s decent into madness.

Is that monster going to be CGI or practical or a mix?

Bousman: All Practical. The coolest experience in moviemaking is when the things are right there. When you go back and look at movies like Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal, it’s so much more magical than when you see Harry Potter. I love Harry Potter, I enjoyed the films a lot but when you’re seeing the massive CG things and the majority of the fantasy movies now are CG, there’s just something that’s not as real as when you’re sitting there looking at the Dark Crystal and you’re seeing these weird, crazy puppet creatures. So I wanted to have a realistic monster that the actors could actually act off of. So whenever you see the monster with Stephen Moyer or anyone else, it’s really them.

You have another numerically themed movie in the works called Ninety. Can you tell us a little about that?

Bousman: It’s ninety kills in ninety minutes! It’s a really fun, over-the-top, crazy Natural Born Killers type of movie. I wanted to make a movie that didn’t take itself seriously and Mother’s Day was an extremely serious film. Ninety is my answer to that. It’s ninety kills, ninety minutes; it’s fun, and the kills are all unique, individual deaths. It’s not like we throw a grenade in there and kill thirty people.

Lastly, what’s your favorite horror movie?

Bousman: It’s the Polanski three. It’s Rosemary’s Baby, The Tenant, and Repulsion.

11-11-11: The Prophecy releases on Blu-ray and DVD today, April 24th.

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