Interview with Experiment director Dan Turner
By Dag (2005-11-14)We've talked to Dan Turner, the director of Experiment about his new movie.
Q: How did you come up with the idea for the movie?
A: It started with the simple thought in my mind of a woman being thrown out of a vehicle into a foreign city. She had no memory and didn't know what was happening to her. It kind of grew from that. I've always been fascinated by mind control and hypnosis etc and did a lot of research about CIA experiments in the 1960's into controlling peoples minds. I figured if they were doing it back then, who knows what they are doing now!
Q: It's a very original movie, hard to compare to anything else. How would you define the movie?
A: I think the film is a blend of Hollywood narrative with a very European flavour. It's been likened to Luc Besson, which I think is fair comparison as he embodies these two outlooks too.
I have been described as 'art-mercial'which is a strange blend of art and commercial!!
Q: The use of sound and music in some of the scenes struck me as extremely right. How important do you thing that part of making a movie is?
A: As a musician myself it is an area of film I am very very careful about. I often 'hear' a scene when I am shooting it and would often have 'mood music' on headphones during the shoot.
I must also single out the film's composer John Rand who is an exceptionally talented musician and brought a real production value and atmosphere to the music. He is very inspirational to work with.
Q: What has been most challenging in making this movie?
A: The budget! There are times when I look back at the film and I can't believe we achieved what we did on the small amount of money we had. On a recent visit to Los Angeles I asked someone in the industry to guess how much the movie cost. They guessed between $5 and $7 million!! Well. It actually cost a very small fraction of that. The pressure at this low level of budget is incredible. But I like a challenge!
Q: As a filmmaker who is your inspiration?
A: A few. Luc Besson, David Lynch, Ridley Scott. These are all filmmakers who have single visions and make films that are definitely 'their' film. Luc Besson has an elegance that I love and David Lynch has a darkness that I gravitate towards. As for Ridley Scott he is an inspiration, not just for the incredible visuals, but also because he is British.
Q: How has it been getting so much positive response to your first movie?
A: To win 6 awards and receive so much positive reaction has been amazing. When you finish a film you are too close to know whether it is any good or not. So, to receive any kind of recognition is very very rewarding. The most wonderful part of all this is sitting with an audience and watching their reactions and then talking to people afterwards. When you've been making something for 3 years to travel thousands of miles to be with people who 'get it' is very gratifying.
Q: What's next?
I have about 3 projects in development at the moment. A horror film, I am very excited about. It has the potential to be both scary but also very affecting too. The other 2 projects are comedy! One for cinema and one for television.
I can't wait to get started on the next film. I've learnt so much from making my first feature film and now feel I can do some real damage out there!