Lion’s Tagline: “Man’s biggest fear has risen again!”
Synopsis: “An isolated chalet in a snowy forest… A man blinded by alcohol… A woman unable to rebel… And an 8-year-old child troubled and dark… The silent night is broken with cries… the start of a terrible nightmare…”
Q&A INTERVIEW With Director Davide Melini
How did you come up with the concept?
When I write a screenplay, my mind has to be always clear: there must not be
any kind of restriction. This way the story almost writes itself. So, after my
last two films The Puzzle and The Sweet Hand of the White Rose, I felt the
necessity to change, to do something different. I was looking to write something
of real terror. I set only one key limit: the characters should be totally isolated
and so I cut off any way of escape. I immediately imagined an isolated chalet,
lost in the middle of a snowy forest, so that the focus shifts inexorably on the
only available light: the house. Knowing from the beginning that it will be
impossible to escape, the chalet is charged with an even more metaphorical
power. And once the audience will be in the corner and can’t run away, I will
show him all sorts of horror… I can just say that once inside the house, you will
pray to get out.
How long did it take to film?
We shot for a day and a half. We studied everything and, although there were
many shots, we have not had any problem. Everything has gone smoothly!
How did you decide on the location?
The family man is a violent jerk blinded by alcohol. So it was fundamental to find
a humble home, with no valuables, and that would give a dirty feeling. And we
have been lucky because we found a little house and, thanks to the work of our
production designers, it has become the perfect location.
What about the cast?
The film is starring Pedro Sánchez (8 years old who has already had
experience in some tv advertisements), Michael Segal (very popular actor in
Italy) and Tania Mercader (a talented stage actress). I’m really very happy with
What was the highlight of making the film?
I have to admit that spending a day to film a dialogue between four people is
boring… I prefer the action, suspense and bloody scenes! These are particular
moments, in which all the crew stops to observe the scene. Besides, I’m the kind
of director who loves to move the camera and these scenes allow me to use all the “film techniques” (dolly, Steadicam, crane, lights, etc.).
What was the most difficult moment of shooting the film?
The Master of Suspense Alfred Hitchcock used to say: “Never work with
children or animals”. This thought is really funny! However, I shot two films
played by kids and I never had any real problems, thanks to God! The star of
“Lion” is Pedro Sánchez, an 8 years old child and I have to say I’m extremely
satisfied with his behavior and his performance. Of course, sometimes he drove
us crazy, because we prepared the camera, we arranged him in the scene, we
made the camera focus on his face and then, when we were ready to shoot, he
moved to play and we had to start again hahaha. We need lots of patience and
have to always remember that, although they are professionals, they are
and remain children.
Any specific movies or stories that influenced the script?
None. I never know when inspiration will strike or where it will come from. I
mean I don’t decide what to write, but its the story that comes to me.
What makes this film stand out among others?
If we want to build a house, we have always to begin from the base and the
same job we have to do for a movie. The most important thing is the script! And
Lion has a solid history: a drama seen through the eyes of a child.
Looking back, is there anything you would change about the film?
If I could go back in time I wouldn’t change anything, because the situations, at
that time, were those. After all, every one of us is a teacher hahaha.
You also shot another short film, titled “Deep Shock”. What can you tell us about it?
“Deep Shock” attempts to pay tribute to the Italian film genre called “Giallo” and
the title of this project is inspired by the most famous horror movies of two of the
most important Italian directors: Dario Argento (“Deep Red”) and Mario Bava
(“Shock”). It’s a short film that mixes thriller atmospheres with horror cinema
arguments. The goal is to recreate the magic and true intrigue from some
movies from the 70s, adapting them to the technical evolution and development
that this genre has experienced all along.
It was shot with the same crew, but the cast has obviously changed. “Deep Shock”
is starring Muireann Bird, Francesc Pagès, George Bracebridge, Lorna Larkin,
Erica Prior and Luis Fernández de Uribe.
Did you use the same location?
No, because for Deep Shock we needed a big and luxurious villa. We started
to search in Malaga (Spain) and we found exactly what we were looking for.
You are considered one of the best horror directors in the world and there is a lot of talk from critics about your upcoming projects. Is Davide Melini the new Master of Horror?
Absolutely not. To speak seriously, I have to say that I’m very glad they are waiting for my movies. I’m an ambitious person and I want to always improve myself!
Any other horror projects currently in the works?
I’m about to start writing a new feature screenplay, that I’d like to give it to a
famous actor… I hope the inspiration will come soon hahaha.
This film was shot with the Red Epic Dragon 6K
Look For It Halloween 2016
Official Website: http://davidemelini.com/LION
IMDb: Davide Melini