"The Final Project is the dark brainchild of Louisiana-based director Taylor Ri’chard and screenwriter Zach Davis. Utilizing real locations in and around Georgia, it features a crew and ensemble of dedicated locals well acquainted with the haunted history of the South. Combining the “found footage” genre with authentic local folklore, it updates the classic American ghost story by tapping into a history too chilling to deny." From The Final Project Website.
Click through for my interview with Director Taylor Ri'chard.
Interview with Director Taylor Ri'chard:
1. I really loved the P.O.V. death moments. How early on in the process did you come across that idea for twisting the genre?
It was always a part of the plan from the beginning. I wanted to do something for the gamers out there that love horror. Games like Call of Duty and HALO revolutionized the gaming world and I wanted to incorporate some of those types of scenarios in The Final Project.
2. The area, land and the building have a real aura throughout the film. Can you talk about the location scouting process and what elements did you want to focus on in terms of the environment around the characters?
Well, being that the film was based on a true plantation in Louisiana called Chretien Pointe, I wanted to make sure that the location we pick heavily resembled that original place. It was a lengthy process but in the end we did find what we were looking for.
3. I really love the subtle shot angle choices you make. What influences film or non-film impacted how you chose to shoot and light the film?
I really wanted to strip this film down to as raw as possible and we rested a lot of our ambiance on the natural lighting provided by the days.
4. In your director's statement you mention some fantastic horror films that you love and are inspired by. I'm curious if any non-horror films helped influence any scenes in the film or the writing process? What was the writing process like for you and Zach? Do you write separately or together?
We do write together and we usually like to talk every scene out before penning any words. Now regarding the influence there is a couple of scenes in the movie that were inspired by Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill series.
5. You have a fun cast of talented young folks. What was the casting process like? Rehearsal time?
We rehearsed a couple times a week for about a month, but I didn’t want them to memorize anything too strictly as I wanted to have the option to drive the narrative in the direction I felt best during the filming process. We tried to cast people who naturally fit the core of the characters we created without too much “acting".
6. Footage wise, how much did you shoot and what was the edit like with Richard Robinson?
It was awesome. Richard and his entire team are very talented and they really helped me convey the vision I had for the film.
7. What was the toughest day of the shoot for you?
The toughest day of the shoot for me was the last day. It was amazing but bitter sweet. We as a cast and crew had become very close and it was the ending of something that we all had just put our sweat and tears into, at least so we thought. Turns around it was only the beginning!
8. What filmmakers influence you and why?
I am most influenced by artists like Quentin Tarantino, Steve McQueen, and James Cameron. They created exactly what they envision without apology and that is who I strive to become as an artist.
9. What films scare you?
I am terrified by clowns. So anything with a clown or a clownlike image usually will get me NOT to have a second viewing. “IT” was the worst for me. Lol.
10. What is next for you?
Next up for me is a psychological thriller with a unique narrative. I think that everyone who likes mind boggling thrillers like Psycho and Silence of the Lambs will really be able to get into my next project.
For more information on The Final Project please go their website, here. The film opens today in Beverly Hills, at the LAEMMLE Music Hall, and in New York at Village East Cinema.