Saturday, September 10, 2011

Interview with Bryan Loudon & Jason Barber 'Rape Kit'

Bryan Loudon -Writer,director & producer
Jason Barber Musical score composer
'Rape Kit' premiered at the 2011 Hollyshorts Film Festival

Interview by Jasmina Nevada

-I am extremely curious to find out from you both – why such a stark title 'The Rape Kit'?

It puts people on a back foot a little bit, it's a dark comedy actually. It puts people on one track and then they have to come to the comedy from an alternate direction.

-Would you like to outline your short film?

It's about a guy who has this horrible idea that he is going to rape his ex-wife for revenge. He buys this mask but he can't fit his glasses over the mask and so he ends up getting the wrong girl, because he has bad vision. He gets locked in this room in the basement with this girl who he just raped... and then he finds out that it is not the girl he thought it was. The movie is basically about this conversation between these 2 people in this confined space. They are both locked in this space for the whole night. To take a situation like that's so horrible and to find a way to bring humor to it was what really interested me in writing it. It's twisted but it does get funny

-So what you are saying is that you took an extremely devastating situation and tried to cast a positive light on to it?

No, it's not a positive light at all.... it just keeps getting worse. You can find humor in how badly it goes for these characters. It's definitely darkly comedic.

-Where did you get the idea to write such a story?

I like the idea of 2 people being confined and one of them has just done the worst thing he has ever done in his life. He is forced to sit across from the person whom he has just harmed. That in itself is such a charged moment and what sort of conversation would come about with that. That's what intrigued me. The way the girl takes it is unusual, she is a strange girl.

-This strange and unusual situation did it provide challenges during shooting? Did you change a lot of the original script to what actually happened whilst you were shooting it?

I tried not to, only a little bit. We lost some elements by making it shorter to keep it tighter. There were some changes and I tried not to do any improvisation. I personally, don't like that. In a script that's so specific as this one is if you get offline it could just go bad. It was written very precisely and its such a delicate situation that if you go off in different directions it could go really bad …..

-So in summary you keep everything precise and to the point?

Yes, that was the intent

-How long is the short?

Thirteen and a half minutes

Did you cut it down a lot to get to this time?

Originally it was 20 minutes, but at first pass I was not heading for length, I was just trying to get everyone’s best stuff together.

-In view of the delicate topic of the short film, how did you arrive at an appropriate theme score that would suit the elements of this particular short film? and obviously still maintain the message that you wished to convey via the musical score? (at Jason Barber- musical score composer)

Yeah, the subject matter, or should I say, the films title conjured up a lot of emotional responses at first. The great thing about working with Bryan is that he's so open to ideas, and was completely trusting from the minute we sat down about the music. We both wanted the music to play an almost transparent role, which is something I strive for anyway. We worked closely together in my studio along with Brad, and I wound up composing about 3 or 4 cues that developed out of a set of sounds, I designed using some 'ErHu' or 'Chinese Fiddle' recordings I'd made several years ago. Ultimately I arrived at at balance between musical tone and color that blended almost invisibly into the films sound bed. The only real exception to this is where Tommy's character attempts to explain his motivation for committing his crime. We really wanted to bring out the sappy, almost pathetic attempt of the character explaining something so horrible. So we went with a very short, soft piano and violin motif. It's a very funny touch. Bryan was wise to play this up. The audience reaction has been overwhelmingly spot on with Bryan's intention. It's the point in the film where the audience really seems to "get" how satirical the story really is. After the cues were finished we worked hard to arrive at a balance between music, sound design and dialogue that would allow the characters room to stand out. I think we did a very nice job.

-What's next in the pipeline for you both?

I have a feature script that I wrote called 'The Charm' that Jason Barber is going to produce and we are out taking meetings on it on this trip and taking the opportunity to talk to people about it. We are starting to gather different ideas we have for talent to start the casting.

Thank you for your time

Bryan Loudon

Jason Barber

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