After Dark Originals: Adam Gierasch and Jace Anderson Talk Fertile Ground
More After Dark Originals news! How do you like it, how do you like it?! Here’s another fun interview with husband and wife writing team Adam Gierasch and Jace Anderson discussing Fertile Ground, which Gierasch directed from Anderson’s script.
Known for their wilder side (see their Night of the Demons remake), here’s what the duo had to say:
Gierasch: “It’s a big, big, big departure for me, because it’s like one of those early-70’s ghost stories like Julia (which was based on the Peter Straub book The Haunting of Julia); it’s like Burnt Offerings…it’s similar to The Reincarnation of Peter Proud. It’s sort of a very out-of-time, ghosty story that’s really more of a drama about a woman and her relationship with her husband and the loss of a child.”
Chris Haberman: Where did the inspiration for the story come from?
Anderson: “It was one of the scripts that I had the inspiration for based on this image from a dream I had. I had a couple of different ideas that sort of stuck together and I came to Adam and said ‘I have this image’ – which is actually not in the movie now – ‘of this tree blowing in the snow. And I wanna do something about this woman whose coming out of a depression because she lost a child.’ I just sort of threw some elements at Adam and came up with the story.”
Gierasch: “The way I generally work is I plot out the story and then Jace does the first round of dialogue and stuff. So when we got finished with it, we realized that in a lot of ways – but certainly not all the way – that it was a fairly autobiographical piece from Jace’s point of view. Let me clarify this – the fate of the woman and why the woman winds up feeling as bad as she does never happened to Jace. There was never a miscarriage or anything like that in our relationship.”
Anderson: “A lot of the feelings that the [lead] character of Emily has and the stuff she’s struggling with… Emily is a character who feels closest to me of all I’ve written, so the script has always had a very special place in my heart. And I feel that in a lot ways it’s a female story and a female journey.”
Chris Haberman: Long-winded way of asking if the film became a beast of its own once it was being filmed.
Gierasch: “First of all, it wasn’t Night of the Demons, [which] I wanted it to be a fuckin’ punk rock party with boobs and demons and loud music – just a really intentionally stupid party movie. And I was really happy with the way it came out – that one was very much the way I wanted it to be. [Fertile Ground] really took on a life of its own. It wound up being something that I would’ve never pictured it being. And in that way, it’s been one of the hardest things for me to come to terms with because it is just so different than anything we’ve done. I mean, it is a quiet movie about a woman’s feelings… And it all came about totally organically. I really hope that people like it, but people that have seen Demons or Autopsy or Mother of Tears [are] gonna watch this movie and be like ‘whoa.’”
Chris Haberman: Adam, this is your third film you’ve directed. What’s it like having a hand in writing with Jace for yourself to direct? How has that been different?
Gierasch: “We were able to continue the process. To me writing and directing…writing is a just part of directing. So instead of turning it over to someone else to actually do the on-set directing work, I do [it]. And especially in this movie – we worked together on it. It’s very different from the other ones – you’ll see when you check the movie out. It was such a huge departure for us, it wouldn’t have been the same if Jace hadn’t been there with me. Because it was really a continuation of the writing process that started years before. We’ve been a couple for so long, we can tell each other to fuck off and argue, and by the end of the fight, hopefully what we come out with in the end is good.”
Chris Haberman: I was gonna ask Jace what’s it like writing for Adam to direct? Is he an easy director to get along with?
Anderson: [Much laughter]
Gierasch: “You can be honest.”
Anderson: “I mean, in the writing process – especially when he’s directing – I’m like, ‘You have this trump card, you can always say you’re the director’ when we’re arguing about something we disagree with… [More laughter] I don’t know how to answer this… [Collects herself] No – Adam is a very demanding director to work with, and when you have the added complication that we’re married and have been a couple for a long time, it’s interesting waters to navigate in. And it always has been – directing hasn’t really changed that. I like to joke that our writing process is that he comes up with the plot, we talk about stuff, I go off and write a couple scenes, bring it back, he looks through them and give notes, and then I cry and we talk about why he doesn’t love me anymore. And it starts all over again.”
Check out the After Dark Originals website for more, including a list of the other theatres where you can catch Fertile Ground starting on Friday, January 28th.
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