Exclusive: Dread Chats with Mirrors 2 Director Victor Garcia and More!
While we chatted with director Garcia, the man proved to be not only open, honest and affable but also very much a fan of the genre he was directing (the filmmaker is currently in post-production on Hellraiser: Revelations as well as in pre-production on the ‘home invasion’ film Torn Apart).
“I got the script from my agent, and I was pretty familiar with the original Korean movie (on which Mirrors 2 is based) and the previous Aja movie so I wanted to take a look at it to see what we could do with it,” director Garcia told us of how he was signed to the project. “It was one of those weird jobs that you get through a Skype conference call with the studio. Normally it doesn’t work like this – you have to really sell your idea, but (with this they) apparently already liked my work, and it was really cool. I wasn’t expecting much to happen, but it did.”
Having received the script only four months prior to the shoot (Mirrors 2 filmed for a total of twenty-three days commencing in November of 2009), Garcia said of his thoughts pertaining to the material, “It’s brilliant, and the project was moving forward and they were looking at other directors, too, so everything happened really fast. Within a month I found myself in Baton Rouge prepping the movie. Prep actually didn’t get started until I arrived here.”
With the budget much lower than the original, “It was hard to fit all of our ideas into the script in such a short (pre-production) time and budget. It’s kind of a stylized film. I’m trying to veer a little bit away from the look of the previous one. It was shot in Romania; they had all that great architecture, and it was really moody and Gothic and hardcore, and with Mirrors 2 I kind of wanted to do something new. One of our locations was a museum with different architecture, and it’s kind of shiny and new and looks completely different (from the locations in the previous). The original stands alone and that’s great, but we are making our own Mirrors (with this one).”
As for the casting of Nick Stahl (known to genre fans for his turns in Disturbing Behavior, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and the series "Carnivale"), Garcia said, “He was the first to sign on! It happened within forty-eight hours (of going out to him), and that was great! Then it was time for the whole process of trying to bring more names, and my casting director did a great job. I’m really happy with the cast, and it makes things exciting.”
Garcia was as equally thrilled with the acquisition of the talents of KNB FX.
“I was trying to get them from the beginning,” stated Garcia. “I met Greg Nicotero (he of the ‘n’ in KNB) a few years ago, and they worked on the previous Mirrors, and I just wanted them to be involved. I knew that whatever (effect) they were going to deliver, that I could make it a close-up, and it would work, and so far that’s what they have been delivering. My background is as a FX technician so you want to have people in the effects department (as a director) that you can really trust. It’s like with my director of photography, Lorenzo (Senatore). I met him three years ago, and he was the DP on my first film (Return to House on Haunted Hill), and I know exactly what I can expect and can really trust him. It’s the same thing with KNB. I don’t have to worry about anything when it comes to them.”
It took a while for the blood to run, however.
“Because of time issues and pre-production, we’ve had to push most of the gore to the very end,” said the director, who at the time had merely four days of principal photography remaining, “so the first day we were shooting with prosthetics, Lorenzo came to me after the first take of that effects shot and said, ‘We are finally making a horror movie!’ It was so exciting! I was like, ‘I know, dude. I need more blood here!’”
“It’s been a really intense shoot,” mused Garcia of Mirrors 2, which has been nominated in the category of ‘Most Anticipated Non-Theatrical Coming to Disc’ by the Reaper Awards, which takes place this coming Tuesday, October 12, at the historic Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, CA. “It’s going to be weird going back home when we wrap, kind of like it was all a dream. It’s been like a family – people working like a family, all day and night and just really having fun. Everyone’s been enjoying the process. I mean, we aren’t saving lives; we are making movies, and we are lucky to get paid to make movies. Just enjoy it!”
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