What’s the logline or tagline?
A small-town Sheriff discovers there is something wrong with the sleepy town of Golden Torch, and he quickly realizes he may not get out alive.
What do you consider to be the scariest moment is in the film?
There are several moments that will make you jump in the film, “On The Brain”. In this film, the zombies are not the traditional slow moving, thoughtless creatures that are portrayed in most films. Rather, these zombies have cognitive abilities and can do things, such as opening doors. In fact, a zombie breaks through a car window in one scene which was inspired by the cinematography in “Cujo”. I was actually reminded of that film’s sequence involving a car when I read “On The Brain’s” script written by Brandon Trask. In that sequence, CUJO attacked the main characters who were trapped inside a vehicle. The sense of dread was deafening, and I think our film “On The Brain” has similar qualities.
How did you come up with the concept?
The concept of “On The Brain” has an interesting genesis. The film was adapted from the novel “The Dangerous Season” written in the 1970’s by Ina Gay Trask. After her passing, her son Brandon Trask found a chest in her closet full of manuscripts and stories. Covered in dust, he discovered a stack of his mother’s writings weathered and torn. And one of those stories was particularly scary. It moved her son Brandon Trask to adapt a screenplay out of it in 2009 in honor of his mother.
How many days did it take to film?
We were scheduled to shoot 13 days. But on the 13th day, the town of San Jacinto, CA had a heavy sandstorm as it turned out. With gale forced winds, it was impossible to shoot our exterior scene so we had to end our shoot early. Later scheduling 2 more pick up days. So, in total, it took 14 days film.
How did you do the FX stuff?
The Visual FX was achieved with the help from Red Giant’s “Magic Bullet Suite” and Adobe’s After Effects. Their DIY software made the worms under the infected zombie’s skin and color grading effects possible.
How did you decide on the name?
The title “On The Brain” was conceived days before filming. It had the pulp noir feeling we were after.
At what age did you watch your 1st horror film and which film was it?
The 1st horror film I watched was “The Blob”. I remember being 7 years old and watching it with my cousins around Halloween time. Looking back, the movie itself was rather insignificant, but the fact I was able to watch my first horror film at the age of 7 was. Since then dark films including horror, drama, and film noir have been my interest. Most likely where I get the inspiration for my twisted film concepts.
Any other horror projects in the works?
We have 3 other films we are working on. “Cuddle Buddies” is about an agoraphobic painter who loses her touch with reality and has imaginary friends. It all seems harmless until those friends become foes. “Knife” is about the black market organ trade. And the third project is “Bubbles and Stones”, (a film adapted after an unpublished sci-fi time-traveling novel.)
What was the budget?
We had an initial budget of 10k for pre-production and principal photography. After we had a 1st cut of the film, we received 8k for post-production and marketing.
Any specific movies or stories that influenced the script?
There are a handful of movies that influenced the tone, score, and cinematography of our film “On The Brain”. The tone was based on “The Crazies” and “Terribly Happy”. The Score was heavily influenced by Cliff Martinez’ work in “Drive”, “The Knick”, and “Only God Forgives”. The shots and lighting were inspired by cinematographer Roger Deakins and his work in “No Country for Old Men” and “Prisoners”.
Will there be a full-length version in the future?
“On The Brain” is a full-length 88-minute film distributed by Midnight Releasing.
FILMMAKER’S BEWARE: On a side note, this film has been a labor of love and despair. The producer/writer, Brandon Trask is in the process of a spiritual journey and has sold everything he owns to live off the grid in order in search of finding his inspiration and faith after he completed the film. Film production is not for the feint of heart or weakly determined, it consumes your life before, and after its completion.
A Sheriff deals with an unusual development in his townsfolk who are attacking each other viciously. He quickly realizes, he may not get out alive.
Website: On the Brain movie
IMDB Page: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3699572/
Director: Kevin Van Stevenson