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June 25 - June 30, 2022

Interview | Under a bad moon – Stephen Franklin Blanton

fdiff June 20, 2022 4 min read

Under a Bad Moon

 

 

Sir, tell us how you came up with the story? Was there a reference or something you had in mind and always wanted to go ahead and make a movie about it?

 

There was a crime surge in the 1980’s and I decided to write a screenplay with the element of justice denied.

 

 

How would you describe the movie in a sentence or two? Where would the movie stand in terms of genre?

 

A former Sheriff’s deputy is forced to deal with the trauma of her partner’s death when she encounters a woman in need of help. This is more a thriller than anything with a little crime thrown in.

 

 

How did you come up with the title? What does it suggest?

 

The moon is symbolic of power and in this case, represents elements of evil forces.

 

 

Who is the director (s) you’ve always looked upto? Someone who has inspired you to make movies.

 

I would have to say Ridley Scott. It was the film “Alien” that really made an impression on me.

 

 

What would be the movies you’d want everyone to watch?

 

The film Deliverance released in 1973, Alien in 1979, Pulp Fiction in 1994, The Revenant in 2016.

 

 

Tell us something about the technical brilliance of the movie. The cinematography, the lighting, the background score.

 

Dan Dennis was our cinematographer. He used a drone for several of the shots which came out very good. Since we mostly shot at night, he used three China globes  (large lantern-like lights) to light the locations. He also left the truck headlights on to give the scene a certain eeriness.

 

 

Tell us about the process of finding your location. A space driven by tranquility.

 

At first I was looking at locations that were 75 miles away from my home. I couldn’t find a location that would work. I wanted to keep everything within a close proximity in order to keep costs and travel time down for the crew and cast. I looked across the street from my house and realized that this vacant wooded lot would work for the outside scenes. Just down the road I had a neighbor who had a little cabin on a lagoon that would work for the house of our protagonist. Next to the vacant lot across the street from my house was a bed and breakfast home where we shot an interior scene that we needed. We also used the home for the actors to stay over night and for the crew to have a staging area to prepare for the day’s shoot. All that was within 1 mile of my home. So this was a good move logistically. Saved money and time.

 

 

 

What do you have to say about the intensity packed performances in your movie?

 

The actors delivered performances that were enhanced by the musical score and the song “Bad Moon”.

 

 

Tell us something about the dialogues in the movie. How you dexterously balanced sound and silence to sustain the suspense in the movie?

 

Once you have the characters figured out the dialogue within the scene will most of time just flow out. So, knowing your characters before you start writing, is the key. Also, it’s amazing what the musical score can do for a film. I believe the soundtrack by Frank Starchak and the song by Dave Cooper is what brought the film to life.

 

 

Your movie in a way profoundly reflects the world we live in. What do you have to say about the themes in the movie and their relevance today for example vengeance, the plight of women, pain and eventual despair, a slight possibility for redemption?

 

The film has themes of anger and the lack of ethics in the modern world. Across the globe women are denied their rightful place in society and find justice hard to obtain. In my personal life, a close friend was murdered in a robbery and I experienced the pain of this injustice along with our shared community and friends. Twelve years later, his loss still stings.

 

 

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