Horror Film Director

11 11 11


Posted on December 21st, by Darren Lynn Bousman in 1111. 9 comments

Until this point in my career I have had the extreme good fortune of working not only in the same country but primarily with the same crew.   Every film I have done has been shot in Canada and, for the most part, I have had my same department heads since SAW II.

There is a level of comfort being aware of the location, and knowing that my crew has my back.  In some respects Canada became my home, and the crew, my family.

However, times change…  The industry changes.   I, too, must change… Grow up, and evolve — or at least, try to evolve as a filmmaker.

About three months ago I was approached by a producer by the name of Wayne Rice.  He had an idea.  He wanted to make a movie about a number.  Not just any number, but the number 11:11.

Almost immediately a red flag was raised.  About five years back (right after SAW II was released) my agency sent me a script for a movie entitled “The Number 23.”  I read about half of it before calling them in, passing.  The script itself was well written but I had a major problem buying into and accepting the fact of numerology.  To have a narrative story in which the lead character was driven insane by a number seemed like such a stretch, and I couldn’t figure out how to approach something like that.

I explained to Wayne my reservations about doing a movie based solely on a number, but my apprehension did not stop him from continuing to tell me WHY this movie was important.

Wayne is a persuasive type of guy, and by the end of our meeting I found myself not only engaged by the premise, but excited by it.

Our meeting concluded with Wayne saying we would talk again in 48 hours.  However all it took was 24 hours for me decide not only was this a movie I wanted to direct, but one I wanted to write as well.

Here we are three months after my first meeting, and I am writing you from Barcelona Spain, making 11 11 11.

To quote my man Vincent Vega from Pulp Fiction – “It’s the little differences. I mean, they got the same shit over there that we got here, but it’s just – it’s just there it’s a little different.”

I wish I could say here in Spain “it’s just a little bit different.”   But the reality is, “IT’S A LOT BIT DIFFERENT.”   At least for me…

Take for example CHRISTMAS – in the states – we have the iconic SANTA CLAUSE in the shopping malls – reminding us of the season… In Barcelona they have CAGANER ( Seriously, I am not joking read this! ).  It’s a dude who poops on The Nativity Scene to help fertilize the ground…

Let me start off and tell you, without pause, if it were not for my lovely and beautiful wife, Laura – I would be so screwed, so out of place here – I would not be able to make this movie.

Fact… I slept through most of high school… I was in REM sleep during Spanish class…

Outside of “Hola,” and “Hasta luego,” the only Spanish I know comes from bad Antonio Banderas impressions.

Luckily for me, the producers have hired a crew who speaks English.  (And a GREAT crew at that…)

But, when I walk outside and try to communicate – forgettaboutit.

I have noticed that I have resorted to not even speaking, simply motioning in very large gestures and looking like a jackass…

Luckily for me, Laura DOES speak Spanish – and is able to make up for whatever ass-clownery I have committed.

I would have to say, however, this entire experience is nothing short of inspirational.  As a foreigner, I have become the character I am writing about in 11 11 11.

I now understand with a greater admiration why movies like HOSTEL are terrifying.  NOT that I think I am going to be sold to a Slovakian business man and tortured, but, things become more unsettling when you can not communicate or understand what those around you are saying.

In my film, the main character, Joseph, travels from New York to Barcelona to reunite with his estranged family.  Things go from bad to worse as he begins to witness ‘strange happenings’ surrounding the number 11:11.

This is NOT an exaggeration – everywhere we will be shooting looks, seems, or IS haunted.

We are not shooting on a sound stage – we are shooting in all practical locations, most of the places being over a hundred years old.

In future blogs I will highlight some of the INSANE stories surrounding some of the locations we are filming in, but as a fan of ghost stories and unexplainable phenomena I am either absolutely terrified, or absolutely in heaven…

The main location where about 60% of the movie takes place is the scariest location I have ever been.  The second you walk in the air becomes heavier, the hair on the back of your neck stands up…

Oh the stories I already have to tell you about that place…

All in all, I am fascinated by how quickly the movie is coming together, and how amazing and surreal my experience in Barcelona has been thus far.

Canonigo Films, the Spanish producers, are on top of their game, and have assembled a FANTASTIC crew.   I also love how they are FANS of the genre – and have already schooled me on my knowledge of horror films.

I am not sleeping much, because I am so inspired by the city, and the secrets my locations seem to hold.  I am excited to finally be making a scary movie…

I remember when Mother’s Day was screened — or SAW for that matter — critics would complain – ‘but it’s not scary…’  Mother’s Day, or SAW was never shot to be ‘scary.’

Violent, YES…

Disturbing, YES…

Shocking, YES…

Scary… NO…

Finally I get to cross over into a subgenre of horror I love… Scary, and atmospheric horror… Still to this day movies like Rosemary’s Baby, The Tenant, Exorcist, The Omen terrify me.  They weren’t violent or gory – they were just… Scary…

I could continue to write for hours – but there is much to be done as we go to camera in less than a month.   The DP Joseph White (Mother’s Day, Repo!) arrives in town next week!

Keep checking back as I will start updated the blogs every couple of days…

dlb





  • marius

    UOOOOOOOOOU!!
    I love your project!i love barcelona,
    I hope the cast of the movie are actors americans.I can wait to see more news
    Good luck

  • Pingback: Bousman Declares ’11-11-11′ His First “Scary” Movie | America Screams

  • http://www.youtube.com/ruwanheggelman Ruwan Heggelman

    Cant wait. Good luck! Make us proud again :)!

  • Jimmy Shaw

    Darren,
    All looks fantastic!
    I am an American actor living in Madrid.
    Don´t want you to think I am crazy, but I think I am your “Samuel” (!). Was there in Barcelona to test on 12-7, but you hadn´t arrived yet. Hope to get the chance to come back and give it another shot with you in the room! Have sent extra material (film and tv stuff) to Canoningo. They are all great there—-hope they passed it on to you! Would love to get another shot!
    Best,
    Jimmy Shaw

    • http://terrencek69.wordpress.com/ Terrence

      Excellent, inspiring blog, Darren! I look forward to your next update! Hope to see you & Laura again… in 2011!

  • Thomas

    I think the main roles of the film should be famous actors, in this way will be easier to sell in other countries.
    Here in Barcelona there was a time they were shot TV movies and starred American actors always popular, and sold to all countries without problems
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  • http://www.alisaburket.com Alisa

    Your anti-spam word is perfect. And I am very excited to hear more!!!! How terrifyingly awesome it must be!!!!

  • dallen

    I can’t wait to see the movie! I’ve experienced this for years and thought it was just me until I met 3 others that experienced it all the time too. Of course all of our birthday’s are Nov. 11 and mine is a golden birthday 11-11-74 ( 7+4=11) and I was born at 12:34 pm. If you can figure this out for me it would be awesome!. I guess we can see the movie AFTER my party cause Im gonna have a big one for 11-11-11!! Now if only I was turning 38 instead of 37, it would be cooler!

  • http://thebeautifullygrotesque.blogspot.com/ Sylvia

    i actually enjoyed reading this entry and am ecited about this project i kinda stumbled upon it bored but determined to stay surfing the web…im so glad i did :-)