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The Conspiracy – Exclusive Q&A with Director Christopher MacBride

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The Conspiracy - Exclusive Q&A with Director Christopher MacBrideChris MacBride’s The Conspiracy (review) is a phenomenal film and one of my personal favorites of this year. The faux doc-cum-found footage thriller sees Aaron Poole and James Gilbert as fictionalized versions of themselves crafting a documentary on conspiracy theories.

When their subject goes missing, Aaron begins to become obsessed, delving deeper into a mystery that ultimately finds them infiltrating a top secret meeting of a seemingly sinister organization.

I had a chance to shoot MacBride a few questions, wherein we discuss his inspirations, influences, and thoughts on how found footage can still tell a good story.

Dread Central: Can you speak briefly on how the concept for the film was developed?

Chris MacBride: I have a friend who is, I guess you’d say, a “hard core conspiracy theorist”. He was always trying to get me to watch conspiracy theory films on the internet or read certain books or visit certain conspiracy websites. Out of nothing more than curiosity I did and found myself pretty quickly sucked down into the rabbit hole of that world. Somewhere along the way it just occurred to me what a great story I could tell if I set it in the modern world of conspiracy culture.

DC: What was your opinion on conspiracy theories as a whole before you began developing the film?

CM: Honestly, I was never really a “conspiracy theory guy” so to speak. When I started exploring this world, I was surprised how quickly it grabbed hold of me. After I watched the first couple of, I guess you’d call them “landmark” conspiracy theory films on the internet (“Loose Change”, “Zeitgeist”, etc.), I was totally hooked. I couldn’t get enough of this stuff. I basically went from having next to zero knowledge or interest in this world to spending every single night devouring two or three conspiracy theory films off the web. It starts to feel like you’re being let in on all these dark secrets no one else knows, and that becomes very addictive. And that’s the exact feeling I wanted people to have watching my film as well.

DC: Did you find your views changing on the nature of conspiracy theories as you conducted research for the film?

CM: Yes, absolutely. I knew going in that a portion of this world would be uneducated or unbalanced people with paper thin logic, and some of that definitely exists, but I was very surprised by how many smart, thoughtful people there actually are in the conspiracy culture. There’s a lot of frightening things going on in the world that’s hidden from the public eye, and sometimes the only place you can find people asking important questions is in the world of so-called “conspiracy theory”. When you look at things like the B.S. leading up to the Iraq war or the recent Snowden NSA revelations, you realize that today’s conspiracy theory can sometimes be tomorrow’s accepted truth.

DC: Beyond real-life inspirations such as the Bilderberg Group and Bohemian Club, can you speak to any cinematic influences you may have had?

CM: I was most influenced by the great conspiracy films of the 70s. Films like The Parallax View and Three Days of the Condor. They don’t really make movies like that anymore. I loved the way even though those movies were fictional, they felt like they had the ring of truth to them. You felt like even though you know it was a movie, it was hitting on something dangerous. Something not talked about. Something that could be very real. That’s exactly what I tried to do with The Conspiracy. It’s a fictional story, but it’s dealing with elements that may not be as fictional as people think.

DC: I read that you received some interesting responses as you were shopping around the script. Did you struggle with where you should draw the line between fact and fiction?

CM: Yes, when I was shopping the script around, I received some slightly ominous “warnings” that maybe I shouldn’t be making a film like this. But that just excited me and motivated me to do it more. I think that’s part of the purpose of art, to push boundaries and expose people to new ideas. As conspiracy theorists say… If you’re asking questions that make people uncomfortable, you’re probably asking the right questions.

DC: The film features a pretty seamless transition from mock-doc to what can arguably be considered found footage. Did you always intend to combine the two, or did it develop as such as you researched?

CM: My intention was always that the film would feel like a “finished documentary”. Like someone had cut the film together properly and infused it with a sense of style so that it could be more cinematic and polished, as opposed to constant “shaky cam” stuff. In the third act the main characters put on these hidden cameras and infiltrate a secret society meeting, and that definitely feels more like “found footage,” but I wanted even that stuff to seem as if it was still all part of the documentary. The question at the end of the film becomes, WHO was it that cut together the footage you’re watching? Who put this documentary together? And can you trust them? Can you trust what you’re watching?

DC: It certainly succeeds in setting itself apart from other films within the same sub-genre. Do you feel as if there’s room for the genre to expand in terms of style and approach?

CM: Honestly, I’ve never been a huge fan of the “found footage” or “fake doc” sub-genre. But for this film, it just had to be that way. A truism in writing is “form follows function”. Meaning the WAY you tell a story should be intrinsically tied to WHAT the story is about. I think a lot of found footage films use that device as a gimmick, because it’s the rage right now, or to save money. But with our film the “fake doc” aesthetic is tied to the central message of the film, which is, “Who is telling us the story?” Can we trust the story being told to us by the mainstream media? By conspiracy theorists? And in the end, can we even trust the story being told to us by this film? I think as long as these types of films find a way to make the found footage aesthetic a central and necessary part of the story (and not just “Oh, everyone films everything now”), then there’s still good stories to be told in this sub-genre.

DC: What can we expect from you in the future?

CM: I’m currently working on a movie at 20th Century Fox called “ECHO”. It’s sort of a Phillip K. Dick style thriller I wrote that has to do with the CIA and some of the “interesting” things going on there. I’d say more, but I don’t want a black SUV to start showing up outside of my house.

Synopsis
XLrator Media is distributing political thriller The Conspiracy, written and directed by Christopher MacBride and produced by Lee Kim, in the US.

When two young filmmakers (played by Aaron Poole and Jim Gilbert) select a crazed conspiracy theorist as the subject of their new movie, they have no idea the terrifying peril they will put themselves in. When the man disappears without a trace, the filmmakers begin an obsessive quest to uncover the truth that will lead them to an ancient and dangerous secret society. A meticulously researched thriller based on real conspiracy theories, The Conspiracy blurs the line between fact and fiction, news and propaganda.

The film was inspired by actual conspiracy theories, notably those surrounding the Bohemian Club and the Bilderberg Group, both secretive organizations closed to the public and made up of a who’s who of power players in international politics and business.

Conspiracy Theory

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Simon Pegg and Nick Frost Are Truth Seekers Playing by Slaughterhouse Rulez

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One of our favorite pairings of stars from the last twenty years is no doubt that of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Their chemistry is undeniable, and if you didn’t get enough of it in “Spaced,” Shawn of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, The World’s End, and Paul, you’re about to get a bellyful of it on both big and small screens.

Variety is reporting that Frost and Pegg will be starring in “Truth Seekers,” a half-hour comedy-horror TV show about a three-person paranormal investigation team.

According to the site, each installment of “Truth Seekers” will focus on a paranormal incident, a setup with clear monster-of-the-week potential. “Each episode is going to be an adventure, a potential haunting or something,” Pegg says. “It’ll start as a very parochial idea, a very small business venture for these people, but it will expand as the series goes on to be something far more global. It’s a language everyone understands, the mystery of the unknown. Shaun of the Dead was a very parochial story set in North London, and somehow it managed to get this global reach because everyone understands the language of zombie movies.

That’s not all, though… the pair are also working on the feature film Slaughterhouse Rulez, a horror-comedy now in post-production. Directed by Crispian Mills and set in a well-to-do public school, the movie is “very satirical, very much about the U.K. selling itself off,” Pegg says. “It’s about fracking as well, and that unleashes some awful subterranean demon.

Both of these projects will be released under their Stolen Picture shingle. Stay tuned, kids! More as we get it!

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Rest in Peace – Yôsuke Natsuki

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We’ve lost another Kaiju legend today as reports are coming in that famed Japanese actor Yôsuke Natsuki has passed on at age 81.

Natsuki was a familiar face in several Godzilla films including Godzilla 1985 and Ghidorah the Three-Headed Monster. Born in 1936, Yôsuke has made over 100 appearances in film with the last being in 2012’s Kirin.

We here at Dread Central would like to take this time to honor Natsuki’s friends, family members, and constituents.

すべてのことを与え、すべてのことを作成するために役立っていただきありがとうございます。簡単に休め

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NSFW Kill Clip from Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories Now Available on VOD

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VOB now available on VOD!

For those who might not know, Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories is a sequel to the indie horror anthology Volumes of Blood, produced by P.J. Starks and Eric Huskisson (The Confession of Fred Krueger) and Christopher Bower (The Dooms Chapel Horror).

It features actor Moses Moseley, best known for his role as one of Michonne’s “Pet Walkers” on AMC’s “The Walking Dead”; the acting debut of WWE legend Sir Mo from Men on a Mission; and original music by Rocky Gray (drummer for We Are the Fallen, Living Sacrifice, formerly of Evanescence) and Shane Prather (Sharknado franchise, Sinister Squad, Lavalantula).

The flick recently hit VOD and to celebrate the release, the filmmakers have shared a “Kill Clip” from the movie to spread the bloody word.

You can check out the NSFW Kill Clip called “All Torn Up” in all its gory glory below and then let us know what you think.

Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories is now available on Amazon, iTunes, YouTube, Google Play, and more!

Synopsis:

A couple plan to purchase an old home but would like one last tour before the closing. They’re guided around the estate by a creepy realtor that may have more in store than they bargained for.

Searching floor by floor, they begin to discover the remnants of its sordid and terrifying past… A popular 80’s franchise gets a modern upgrade, but at what price? On Halloween night a teen left home alone meets a trick or treater that wants more than just candy. A door to door insurance salesman makes a Thanksgiving house call with monstrous consequences. Andrew and Sara are happily married and plan on spending some quality time together, but something sinister has other plans for their evening. Carol’s Christmas Eve turns into a fight for survival when a vengeful stranger isn’t feeling the holiday spirit. Lastly, a birthday party turns bloody when some unexpected guests drop by at the wrong time.

Seven interwoven tales of terror… how many stories does your house have?

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