1. What is your movie’s name, and why did you choose it?
Rossana Spearman: Our movie’s name is “The Red Moon”. As many movies, we thought it would be best if the title was the greatest threat the characters of the movie face. There are no super-villains or monsters, just this oddly colored moon that makes the nights ten times scarier, has various effects on human-beings and “sees” everything that happens during the long nights on this strange planet. It also adds something extraordinary to the scenery, something that definitely stays on your mind.
Iris Ixchel: I also think the title, evokes a sense of mystery. It makes you wonder what it’s about.
Elena Galatas: I honestly couldn't have said it better myself. (agreeing with Rossana) The moon is kind of that ominous background character that just makes everything that much more creepy or scary.
Sophia Wolfe: Yes! Besides you know how the sky and the moon turn red on a windy night? I urge you to watch a film and then sleep peacefully through s windy night!
2. If you had to assign a theme to your movie, what would it be?
R: The genre of our film is definitely sci-fi. We have some very intense and scary moments but I would have to say it’s a “Sci-Fi survival-game”.
I: Yeah. (agreeing with Rossana)
E: Yeah, it's definitely a sci-fi film. A film such as ours definitely covers all the parameters that a science fiction movie sets.
S: Yeah, our film is like a modern day Robinson Crusoe
3. Tell us something we don't already know about the main characters.
R : I wouldn't want to say too much, let’s just say that we’ll see that everyone has their dark and their lighter side. We’ll see that Brandon, who has a picture of his family on him at every occasion, isn't exactly a saint. He’s has participated in many inter-galactic wars and has some very violent reflexes.
I: Our dear Dr. Serena Leavenworth is a self-medicating manic depressive.
I know mental health is a touchy subject but I think it’s important that people understand that even though she appears to be an alcoholic, there’s something much deeper and darker going on with her.
E: Well, I don't want to give too much away, but I suppose I could say something - it's not going to reveal anything anyway. In the early stages, the way that the others described Elliot reminded me a lot of how my older brother used to act when he was younger - back when he was actually my age. So, a lot of Elliot's personality and attitude is derived and inspired a bit from my own personal life. (true story. >.> XD)
S: I can tell you this since it is not related to the plot itself. Heather joined the crew because her older sister disappeared during a space mission 10 years ago. Even though Heather is hardly trained and physically and mentally prepared for a life on a space craft, she’s been living on a spaceship since, naively hoping to find her sister.
4. Looking back, are you happy with your casting choices?
R: It was actually very difficult to decide who we wanted for the cast. We ended up creating a cast with so much variety. Especially for our main characters. You may have noticed that Christina has a very Russian last name, and yet we picked Zoe (since the movie takes place in the future it really doesn’t matter so much), and I couldn’t be happier that we did she took the character to a whole other level.
I: Mostly. I would have preferred to see Stanley Tucci as Brandon Orwell. As much as I love Donald Sutherland and as wonderful as he was to work with. Sadly he wasn’t available when we were scheduled to shoot so we went with Donald who bought something unexpected to the role.
E: I'm actually pretty happy with the way we chose to cast our characters. There are a few characters that I had initially envisioned being played by someone else, but I think that everyone did such amazing jobs with their characters that I really can't see anyone different now. Casting certain characters like Elliot, Serina, and Darren was really easy. Those people just came right to mind when we were actually creating the characters, but the others weren't quite as easy. Like I said though, everyone brought their own personality and uniqueness to the characters, and I really love how everything turned out.
S: My biggest regret is not casting Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Elliot. I feel that Irish character should be played by an Irish actor. Call me skeptic but I am not entirely buying into the whole “in future there won’t be different accents” plot. While Chris did a wonderful job I will always wonder what new exciting thing Jonathan could’ve done.
5. How open were you to improvisation on set?
R: To a certain level, yes. While they have to stay close to their lines, the actors are encouraged to give the character something of them. Elsewise the acting would be very pretentious, in my opinion, and the actors wouldn't be very comfortable. It’s better to find their own movement on the set and then the director will work on that and make it perfect.
I: I love improv… to a point. Being the director, you tend to be a control freak. This is your baby and you don’t want too many people altering your vision. Often someone would suggest something and it would lead to a whole bunch of ideas that are really great. Other times, you try something and it just isn’t going to work no matter how many different angle you take it from and, even if you like the concept, you have to ditch it. The biggest problem is that all these ideas take time and when you’ve got 13 or 14 weeks to film, losing a day or two is a pretty big deal
E: I am a huge fan when it comes to improvisation, but - much like Iris - only to a certain point. If someone's going to just improvise everything then what's the point of actually having a script written, you know? Like I said though, everyone brought bits of themsevles and uniqueness to their characters so a little bit of improvisation is a good thing every now and then.
S: Improvisation is needed in moderation. I mean every actor brings a personal touch to a character he or she is portraying. Not every line will for every actor. A lot of script writers get upset when actors change their lines. However what people need to understand is that it is more important to make a solid and believable film than to stick to the script completely at the cost of quality.
6. What makes your movie different from others in its genre?
R: The fact that it’s not just Sci-Fi. The fact that it borrows elements from other kinds of movies and manages to create an adventure, without monsters jumping from every corner without battles between huge spaceships and every other cliché used by every single Sci-Fi movie during the last couple of decades.
I: I think that there are so many monsters in sci-fi and the fact that the people are the monsters makes it unique. It touches on the human animal, that creature that could lurk within all of us, that dark side that so few of us acknowledge.
E: Honestly? I think that the movie has a more unique aspect than other science fiction movies in that it's not just one paranormal or science fictionesque thing that puts it into the sci-fi film category. The film borrows elements from multiple sci-fi subcategories, and it's not that typical alien or parasite or other form of life who's the antagonist. It's the characters themselves who are both the heroes and the antagonists, and you don't usually find that kind of thing in movies too much anymore. It's an element that can be seen in some television series, but not necessarily films any more.
S: I agree with everything said so far! The Red Moon is one very modern story with a very old message to send. It is a story of survival, hope, friendship and most importantly human nature.
7. Moving away from the film itself, what makes your crew work well as a team?
R: We keep calm and respect the other’s opinion despite our disagreement. We don’t have drama; we love the film and the process of making it and that’s why we would never do anything that would be an obstacle to our main goal: create a great film that will please the audience and make us proud.
I: We all have different strengths and we’re not afraid of admitting out weaknesses. If you don’t make the project about ego, if you make it about results, it makes it easier to come up with something great, and that’s what I think we’ve done here.
E: Well, to start out with it helps that we all get along really well. It's hard to make a movie together if your crew can't even get along or agree on anything, you know? Beyond that though, we all have our own strengths and in the areas where some of us are lacking the other's are strong. We're not afraid to admit when we're wrong about something or when someone else's idea is better than our own. If you can look past personal egos and thinking that your idea is the greatest, really work together to combine ideologies and theories to improve on the film concepts, you'll find that you have the ability to create something that's truly great. I'm just thankful that we managed to get along so well and most of us actually think pretty similarly. We created a pretty awesome movie if I do say so myself.
S: We work well as a team because despite our differences we have a common goal to reach. It certainly helps that we have different talents, all of which are needed to make a good film.
8. What were your favorite parts of the filmmaking process?
R: For me it would be, making the costumes. It was like making the whole thing much more real in my mind. What was, just before, a vague idea, an imaginary story suddenly seemed much more real. I think this is because, to make someone’s costume you have to really know the character. I remember reading the notes we had on both main and secondary characters over and over again before finally grabbing the pencil. For similar reasons I enjoyed picking the actors with the rest of the crew, it was a really fun process for me.
I: I loved the audition process. You send out a script and expect to get a few actors off your wish list and we got almost all of ours. It was a real buzz to have all these fantastic actors come to you and show you what they can bring to what you have on paper.
E: I loved both the writing process and the audition process, but the filming itself was entertaining too. Writing the screenplay for the film is always interesting and fun enough, turning an idea into an actual product, it's always been something that's kind of enthralling for me. Though, watching people come out and actually want to audition for a role in the film, knowing that people want to be a part of something you helped to create...well that's just an amazing feeling.
S: As a casting director I must say my favourite part was the audition. Seeing all those different interpretations of characters I helped develop was wonderful. Sometimes even I learnt something new about my own character. I must say some characters were changed for the better by the actors alone!
9. Is there anything you wish you had done differently?
R: I hope this doesn't sound bad, but no. I certainly didn't do everything perfectly and we had some minor problems during the whole process, but I think that in whole it made us understand the film better and get closer. Whenever I did something wrong the others would help me see my mistake and correct me, so nothing went tragically wrong. I think we made good decisions for our movie.
I: Finding our locations was fantastic, the Daintree is just beautiful and there were so many locations that we didn’t use that I wonder how the whole thing would have looked if we’d picked this location instead of that one
E: Well...I really hope that I don't sound cliche here, but I wouldn't do anything differently. I think that the location where we shot the film is absolutely beautiful, and it worked perfectly quite frankly. Everything kind of worked together and it all flowed together perfectly, so no I wouldn't really change anything that we did.
S: No, absolutely not! This is our vision of the film and all the mistakes are part of it. The film just wouldn’t be the same if we changed anything. However I must say that I would love to see someone else’s vision of the film. Maybe someone will make a remake in the future haha!
10. Do you think everyone should go out and see your film? Why?
R: Everyone… That’s impossible, practically. But yes, I think people should give a chance to this film, even people who don’t like Sci-Fi. It’s a story with so many levels…everyone would have a great time seeing this. I think they would find out that a movie, regardless its genre, can give you chills without using “cheap tricks”. The reason everyone should watch this, is that it could really be the revolution in Sci-Fi adventure… and if not it will, at least, make you re-think your views on Sci-Fi movies.
I: I think the only people who shouldn’t go out and see it are those who want a romance, there’s none of that nonsense in this movie, it’s raw and gritty and about humanity.
E: I think that people who love science fiction movies should definitely see this movie. In all honesty I think that everyone should see this movie, but if you're looking for one of those sappy, romantic movies where everything turns out to be okay in the end...you should definitely look elsewhere.
S: I do think everyone should see our film! Not everyone will like it, but our film does have a strong message attached to it, a message a lot of people would benefit from. The Red Moon is a real eye opener, so be sure to check it out!