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Fabain Rush is still fairly new to the world of film, with only 2 films (So Mort It Be and Pantheon Black) under his belt. He is here today to discuss his fledgling career and his newest film Pantheon Black.
Firstly why don’t you tell us about yourself!
Well, Since I was old enough to speak, I had an obsession with monsters and scary movies. For a long time, I just wanted to write scary stories, then caught the acting bug in high school doing numerous plays. I graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2002 with a BS in marketing and business law in the top 5% of my class as student of the year. Since then, I've worked on several movies, trying to break into the film industry from several directions. Working primarily in horror films, I was lucky enough to stick within my niche. So much of my life has been devoted to films, that you can almost watch each of my projects and see a snap shot of who I was at that time. As a stress relieving hobby, I'm also the lead singer in a goth industrial metal band called "Synthetic Nightmare." We have a few videos online at www.youtube.com/fabianrush
How and why did you get into the business?
I'm a bit of an extremist. All I wanted to do since high school was be an actor. In college I auditioned for a sketch comedy show that was going to be shot in Virginia, and I didn't get the part. So I figured, "why let these casting directors judge me on a crap audition, I know I can act, I'll just write and direct a film and cast myself in it." This was something that I was already accustomed to doing with my younger brother after my mom bought us our first camera; one of those huge recorders that records to a VHS tape. Heh, the technology has come a long way since then. We didn't have a computer so I'd do all the editing by connecting two VCR's together. Anyway, by this point in college (1999/2000), I knew a few people with digital cameras and editing suites so i wrote a feature movie in the same vein as the movies I used to make with my brother Gavan "So Mort It Be." We started shooting in 2002, wrapped and edited in 2003, and Brain Damage Films picked it up for world wide distribution in 2004.
What are your aspirations?
For a long time, my aspirations were to just make more movies and get as many acting gigs as possible. Those goals have essentially been met with one vital element missing, money. Now, my goals are to continue making films but also to make enough money from them that I can continue to do what I love... tell stories and act.
Who are your idols, and/or influences?
James Cameron made my favorite movies growing up so I'll always idolize him, but my true idols and influences are Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell. The Evil Dead Trilogy was amazing, and they were the first movies I watched that seemed like something I could possibly make with my friends. Bruce Campbell inspired me to act, and Raimi inspired me to direct. From there I started to closely follow the work of Clive Barker, Tim Burton, and David Cronenberg. The opening scene from my movie "So Mort It Be" was heavily influenced by Clive Barker's film "Night Breed."
Tell us about your movie, What Should we expect from it? Any comparisons to similar movies?
Pantheon Black is essentially about a crew of deep space explorers that unleash an ancient and evil god onto their space ship. I had always wanted to make a space sci-fi film, but was desperately trying to create something that was original. It was important that the antagonist not be some mindless killing machine like typical Alien style films. Instead, I tried to create the opposite of what you'd expect the creature to be in this genre, not a snarly ugly monster, but an elegant and intelligent being. Also, in designing the creature, I tried to draw from the recognizable characteristics of gods in various world religions (multiple heads, double pupils, multi-arms, etc.). As for what you should expect, I'm hoping that the story comes across as different and thought provoking when you get into the meat of the characters. The movie that it is probably most similar to is Event Horizon, at least that's the model that I tried to use. As production went on, I drew inspiration from numerous sci-fi films and one particular videogame that created the perfect atmosphere "" Dead Space."
Pantheon Black is a movie that required a good deal of special effects, despite its low budget. Did you ever think of doing something that may be a little easier to make on the budget?
That's a question that I've been asking myself for five long years now. I was such an idiot, if I had any idea of how much work it would be I'd have chosen to focus my energy on another project. I guess it's good that I went through it though. I've learned a lot, and now have a great appreciation for what visual FX artists have to do. And now I know that I can accomplish anything. From the start, friends and family both told me this film could not be made by two people (Me & my brother) for less than $10k. Their doubt is probably what fueled me to finish an agonizing visual fx extravaganza.
What where the best, worst, and hardest parts of making this movie?
The best part of making this film was definitely working with the actors. They were brilliant, and acting against a green screen with no idea of what the finished result would look like is quite the challenge. They completely trusted me not to make them look like fools. The other great thing about production was that every time a new cg shot completed we could see what we just spent the last four weeks rendering. The four week thing is no joke either. Cheap computers that you pick up at your local best buy are not made for this kind of work, and I was using computers from 2005. The hardest thing about making this film was the months to years of waiting for one scene to render out. We really needed a large team of experienced artists to help out with this, but I guess that would mean having money.
Did you enjoy making it?
Honestly, there were time's I loved it, and times that I absolutely hated it. 80% of the time, we were in way over our heads. It was a long and painful journey. But now, when I watch it and show it to others I feel extremely proud, especially when they turn to me and say "how the hell did you do that?" It's like the movie is my child going off on its own for the first time and I'm standing back to watch how well it does in the world.
Any unique/interesting storys about making the movie?
One really interesting thing is that none of the actors ever met each other. Sarah Johnson, the lead actress who played Nadramia, discovered that she was pregnant a short time before shooting was scheduled to start. So we had to re-plan the whole shooting schedule several times, and discovered that because this whole film was being shot against a green screen, we could just shoot with each of the actors individually whenever they were free and put them into scenes together later. We just had to pay close attention to eye lines and lighting when on the set. There's a lot more detail on this process on the DVD special features for anyone who wants to know more and/or witness some of the Hell we had to go through to finish this film.
Any upcoming or past projects you think may interest readers?
Yes, I'm currently in pre-production for a sci-fi comedy web series called "Alien Face Bashers" about a group of former alien abductees that has now become a gang that seeks revenge on their former abductors. I'll be uploading a lot of promo material to my webpage very soon: http://fabianrushfilms.com and starting a facebook page as well.
What are some of your favorite Favorite Horror, Sci-Fi or Action movies?
Let's see, I don't want to leave anything too important out: The Evil Dead Trilogy, Aliens, The 5th Element, The Fly, Attic Expeditions, Night of the creeps, Grindhouse, Nightbreed, Zombie Land, Dead Alive.