Saturday, December 1, 2012

Coven of Celsus, independent film in the making

Jeff Wager, keeping warm in fur bomber hat
I got the chance to chat with Jeff Wager, director and co-producer of the ultra sexy and very dark independent erotic horror film, Coven of Celsus, based on Randy V's book.

Wager's thoughts on turning the novel into a film:

There's both a great blueprint and some heavy lifting to be done. Randy V has painted a very rich picture in his book, which lets the imagination easily do its job... I can see the scenes quite clearly in my mind. 
DeAnna Langone keeping warm under sleeping bag
On the other hand, its written in the past tense, there's some incredibly graphic scenes that need to be 'adjusted' to keep from an X rating, and there's descriptive sections that are great for Art Department, but would never find their way into a screenplay. Additionally we'll probably do some minor tweaks and cuts to the dialog to make it flow more smoothly as a screenplay. I do plan on being as true to the book as I can be; as there's already an audience for the book and the characters, I want to help bring the images in their heads to life, not recreate them in a different image, if that makes sense!
Filming in Vermont
Thoughts on making Coven of Celsus:

We just finished Primary Photography, and things went pretty well... but like any low budget project can tell you, when you don't have money to throw at problems, you have to be extra creative when you hit bumps in the road
That said, I think "The Staircase" in New Hampshire was our toughest location. It's off a dirt road and cell reception was patchy, not to mention dragging equipment and 30 some odd cast and crew up the mountain side on an 18* night in November. 

As if that wasn't enough, I had a crew vehicle with gear breakdown on the way to location, we had a scheduling snafu that had us down and unable to shoot anything for almost 2 hours, I had and actor flip backwards off a prop restraining device and almost crack his head open, equipment malfunctions, and  we ran out of fuel for the prop torches. 

Despite these setbacks we pulled off some great shots, and I'm still very happy with the footage. There's going to need to be some pick ups to fix mistakes that were made in the heat of the moment, but we survived to shoot another day.

Coven of Celsus is still in the works and looking for funders. Options start as low as 5$ Check out the film's the indiegogo campaign page.

  teaser1 from Jeff Wager on Vimeo.

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