Saturday, February 13, 2010

Neil Green - Black Eve, Dark Writing and Slasher Films: An Exclusive Interview

Neil Green is a producer, scriptwriter, and a graduate of York University. Green got into filmmaking early after graduation and his first script, Highway, was produced by Kevin Lane. Green is also a music maker and founder of the hip-hop group Hit N' Run, which has worked with G Unit. Very versatile, this Canadian impresario takes some time out from a busy life in the entertainment industry to talk about his latest horror project, which he stars in, produced and wrote, Black Eve (and others). Green also talks about the Jamaican Posse, a Toronto gang, and their influence in his writing.

(Michael Ross Allen) Hi Neil, where are you coming in from today?

(Neil Green)I am in Brampton.

(MRA) Brampton, Ontario?

(NG)Yep, where are you at, Vancouver, or Victoria?

(MRA) I am in Victoria and things are pretty crazy here with the Olympics.

(NG) I can imagine. I have been to Nanaimo and Tofino. The island is so relaxing.

(MRA) Definitely, especially when there is no snow. So, your latest feature is Black Eve, is that right?

(NG) That is right. Black Eve is our latest feature. It is a Fusion Film Entertainment production. It is our second feature project.

(MRA) And in the film you play Black Eve, the villain. Is that true?

(NG) Yes, I play the killer in the movie. He goes by the name of Black Eve, or the Man. This is kind of a different script, as no one is referred to by their name, only by their costume. It is Halloween.

(MRA) Right now, you are in the middle of production?

(NG) We are filming, literally, as we speak. We broke it up over a month. We have been trying to get our shots in. It is going great right now.

(MRA) Who are some of the actors that will be in your film?

(NG) We have a really good cast. We have Veronika London (Stripped). She just finished an HBO series and she is filming another movie called Jane Doe. This is a pretty big Canadian slash Hollywood film. We have another cast member. His name is Peter Jackson. This is the first time he has done any acting for a feature. He is a Canadian hip-hop artist. He has done a lot of music videos.

(MRA) He is comfortable being in front the the camera, then?

(NG) Yeah, he is a very cool guy. He is very relaxed. So is Veronika. I have worked with all these people before except for Peter Jackson.

(MRA) Can you go over the synopsis for fans?

(NG) Black Eve centers around this girl, her name is Jewl, and she is kind of an outcast. There is this reunion type party at this abandoned mall. It is on Halloween and she goes there, but is shunned a little bit. Throughout the party she gets more drunk and she passes out. When she wakes up all her friends are dead. The reason she has been an outcast is because she has claimed to have psychic abilities. She is able to revisit the last moments of what happened.

My character the Man is going around murdering people and now he is chasing Jewl.

(MRA) So, Jewl is being hunted, then?

(NG) Exactly.

(MRA) I looked at the poster for the film and the synopsis; both items look very interesting.

(NG) The project is awesome. Personally, I would not go forward with something unless I felt a 100% about it.

(MRA) I read that you got a great set for the film, true?

(NG) We got a great location. We are using a mall in Brampton. It is an old Bay, or the Sears building. So, it is massive. We have been able to shoot everything there.

(MRA) Like apartment settings?

(NG) We have a cop station in there. There is a doctor's office. There are lots of locations like a diner in there.

(MRA) When will the film be released, or is it too soon to tell?

(NG) We are scheduling to release the film during Halloween 2010. There are lots of horror films being released around this time and fans are looking for these types of films. Also, the American Film Market is happening after that. This is a great market for smaller films.

(MRA) What other projects are you working towards?

(NG) We have just wrapped Slightly Used. We are in the middle of trying to sell this one. We have two other features, which we are trying to sell. One is called the Woodsman.

(MRA) What is the Woodsman about?

(NG) The Woodsman is from a script I wrote and is going to be developed with the same director, Ryan M. Andrews (A New Design). It is a classic horror tale like the 80s style Jason, or Freddy, stalker style.

(MRA) Haha, it is out in the bushes, obviously.

(NG) Yes, it is out in the bushes and there is a twist on it. There are some qualities of Hansel and Gretel.

(MRA) So, it is a bit of a slasher then.

(NG) Yes, it is definitely a slasher. It is called the Woodsman and you now the story. Some guys go out into the bushes and get slaughtered off, but there is an original twist. It is not the same thing you see all the time. We plan to shoot this in the summer, up in Thunder Bay. This will be Fusion Films biggest stepping stone to larger markets, the major leagues. The film has a budget of 1.8 million.

(MRA) So, the film has some backing, then.

(NG) Yes, the Woodsman will reach a bigger audience.

(MRA) I just saw this film, Spirit Camp, which the Woodsman reminds me of. I really liked that film and it is a slasher film out in the woods, but it really works.

(NG) A Canadian project?

(MRA) No, it was from Texas. I don't know why, but the writing was really good. I really enjoyed it. Sometimes these types of film really work, if the script is well done.

(NG) The reasons formulas are there is because they really work. It is good. People want to see something familiar, but they want to see a new take on it. They do not want to see the same thing happening over and over. They want comfortable.

(MRA) They want that scream factor too, though.

(NG) They do want that scream factor and that is where the originality has to come in. They say, you can only tell twelve stories. There is man vs. man, or man vs. nature, but each film has to have a unique angle.

(MRA) That is definitely true. Is there anything else you would like to tell horror fans about your upcoming projects?

(NG) Yes, I have another film in pre-production, that is set in Jamaica. The film is about the Jamaican Posse, a Jamaican mob here in Toronto. The film involves two tourists who get wrapped up in the drug trade, in Jamaica. Whether intentionally, or unintentionally is not revealed right away. I also want to tell fans to come out and see Black Eve in October of 2010 and definitely check out Fusion Films and our projects in the future (Woodsman).

(MRA) Thank Neil for talking with me today and I look forward to Black Eve and the Woodsman.

(NG) Thanks Mike, I will keep you up to date on all our projects, take care.

If you are a horror fan and you are in the Toronto area February 27th, Neil will be hosting a Media Day for Black Eve. If you are interested in covering Black Eve on your site, blog, news organization etc. leave a message here, for Neil to see.

The Latest Fusion Film Info' Will Be Posted Here

The Facebook fanpage for Black Eve here:

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