Set Visit Coverage: Tobias Jelinek Talks Fire City: The Interpreter of Signs - Dread Central
Connect with us

Set Visit Coverage: Tobias Jelinek Talks Fire City: The Interpreter of Signs

Published

on

Post Thumb:

/jun13/king-of-miseries-poster-s.jpg

Set Visit Coverage: Tobias Jelinek Talks Fire City: The Interpreter of SignsDirected by Academy Award-winning special effects makeup artist Tom Woodruff, Jr., Fire City is a movie we’ve been watching very closely from its inception as a short film, during its successful Kickstarter campaign, and right on up to the filming on-set…

Which is where we got all kinds of exclusives on this “hellish fantasy,” which is set against the noir backdrop of Fire City — where demons secretly live among humans.

When we caught up with lead actor Tobias Jelinek, he was in full-on demon garb as his character, Atum Vine. Right down to his pointy fangs!

Tobias Jelinek: Hi, let me take my teeth out… here.

Dread Central: The writer-producers Michael and Brian were telling me that they had seen 80 people for your role; you must feel really privileged to have been selected.

TJ: I am certainly thrilled. Just from the get go, when I read the description of this character, it’s a dream character. It’s so much fun with this role.

DC: It seems that you have a lot to plan in that you get to play a human version of Atum Vine, and you get to play a demonic one. You get to play the protector of a child (even though you’re not really happy about it…).

TJ: The story is one that I love because there are several different storylines in it… I really like the story with the girl and what becomes kind of a love story, assuming the role of protector. It’s fun… just getting to be this kind of badass where you’ve got the gun, you get to fly, you’re having demon sex. And then you get to save the kid as well. It had everything.

DC: You’re halfway through shooting, about a little more than halfway?

TJ: We’re a little more; we only have two more days after this. So yeah, we’ve going strong here. It’s been six days a week, twelve-hour days, and fifteen of those days is with the makeup… it’s amazing to work with someone like David Elsey (special effects makeup).

DC: He seems to be so down to earth and doesn’t seem to have an attitude, like, “I am an Academy Award winner!” (laughter)

TJ: No, not at all… it’s been great… we’ve been listening to some books on tape while we are doing the makeup, and it’s really fun talking to him about how he originally got interested in monsters, ever since he was a young child, where he’s come from. It was nice. I’ve never done a mask like this before so I was stepping into another world.

DC: Can you talk a little bit about how it feels from the inside of all that makeup and prosthetics?

TJ: I’ll say that there is something so helpful about actually having the makeup and the contact lenses and the teeth… [especially] nowadays when so much is done with CG. I didn’t find the voice for the character until it was day one and we were going. Actually getting to see everything come together really helped give me a sense of who this character was… I’m trying to think what else I’ll say about the process for this cause it’s unlike anything I’ve done. There’s a good deal of discomfort just dealing with the actual head gear and it really helped me… It helped me stay focused on this world. It’s interesting. You don’t think about it when it’s just you and your physical form, but then having this additional appendage… it’s a whole different thing. With the walk changes, too, I think most actors would appreciate what it does to have the physical transformation rather than a handful of dots standing in front of a green screen.

DC: Exactly! And Michael is a big fan of film noir, and that’s what part of the characterization is. [In our interview here on set] he talked about Fred MacMurray, Humphrey Bogart, actors like that. Are you familiar with that world as a fan yourself?

TJ: I’m a big Humphrey Bogart fan. Yeah, I really have enjoyed all his characters and also just how he was able to do so much with so little and I loved his simplicity. I also do have to say that Danny, who is the DP here, has worked very close with Tom. They’ve done an exceptional job with the lighting and creating the mood; it’s phenomenal. A lot of the time I feel like I’m stepping into [a different] world… The vision that they had behind creating a noir. I didn’t think that it was going to go this far. I mean, I understood the idea of demon-noir, but with the budget we are dealing with, I think a lot of favors were called in and people were ready to create a passion project.

DC: Brian was saying that one of the things they were toying with was the sci-fi noir like Blade Runner; there’s a voiceover in there. And they kind of were like, ‘We love noir, but we’re not going to do that’. So how were you sort of given something to hold onto to make your character feel like one of those flawed heroes?

TJ: Well, for me it again came to what originally attracted me to this project, which was the script. They shaped it with the anti-hero in mind. It really is that fallen hero… it’s funny cause even though these characters are demons, you’ve got the femme fatale; you have these iconic archetypes that are now living in a world of demons, which is phenomenal. And then of course having the split where we’re seen as humans when another human is present, it makes things so rich, it’s so full to have that transition, and on a dime the world is suddenly seen through another filter. And often that’s one of the great things of noir: Things are not as they seem.

And a lot of it is picking up those clues, and that’s what my character is doing. It’s wonderful because this is the world of demons, yes, but what you’re stepping into is a paradigm shift. I’m someone… I’m a drug dealer who’s a demon and I deal in misery, but that’s the status quo and things are about to go through a major transformation and I of course am at the center of it. And then you’ve got all these colorful characters that would fit… it’s noir, but it’s splashed with this rather different light because it’s in the world of demons. I think that people try to do noir today and it’s tricky not to make it feel dated, you know. It’s like ‘noir had its day,’ but that’s why it’s been very interesting because this works. It’s really working, like the mood is really working, the story is holding up, in this noir context.

DC: Have you been allowed to see some of it being cut together yet?

TJ: You know, they came in and I chose not to watch.

DC: I know some actors love it, some don’t.

TJ: Yeah, people were really excited. They came in and showed a seven-minute section and I’m choosing to wait. I’m looking forward to seeing everything put together.

DC: Some actors say that if they see their performance, then they’ll alter things.

TJ: It’s a part of it… Brett is the editor and Taylor is the assistant editor, and they’re a great team. I think it’s my job to put this character in this circumstance and make it believable and I certainly trust everyone involved to find the moments, come up with options and allow them to do their job as well…

DC: Working with Tom Woodruff as your director… Can you tell us a little bit about how he directs you as the demon and as the human? Is it different?

TJ: There are a handful of really great qualities that Tom has. He’s an actors’ director. We’ve been on a very fast schedule here; we’re trying to do a lot. It’s very ambitious to do this film in eighteen days, and you know this is his first major feature… one of the things he’s done which has been so wonderful is he always tries to give us a chance to rehearse a couple of times before we launch into the scene. It’s really helped get everybody in the room and on the same page, and I think that also just his experience with doing this type of work… I had no idea what to expect… it’s like a shamanic journey almost. Like you’re going into another world. And it’s wonderful to work with somebody that of course has been there so many times and understands it… he knows what these creatures are capable of and so I’m certainly going to trust what he is pushing so that we can get there… It’s been a lot of fun.

Another thing that I want to say regarding the project overall is it’s very interesting because Tom Woodruff has worked in effects for years on some of the biggest, most iconic films we know, and it’s such a joy to get to see him and his team get to make films the way they know they can be made when it’s not happening as much today. Getting to see all these practical effects and also just knowing how to make things look real and how to entertain people with creatures… he’s going to do what he wants to do and what he does so well. It’s not being held back by certain restrictions of the studio, of them saying we only want you to create this certain type of creature. It’s like they’re bringing out so many punches, pulling out creatures that were cut from film but had been developed.


The film centers around a fragile balance that exists between humankind and the demons who secretly live among them and the crisis for all when this balance is broken.

Harry Shum, Jr., plays an abusive alcoholic boyfriend who suddenly transforms into a caring and loving person, along with the rest of the humans in his seedy tenement building. Dependent on human misery for survival, the demons in the building begin to starve.

Writer-producers Brian Lubocki and Michael Hayes successfully funded a Kickstarter campaign for the film in August 2013. For more info visit the official Fire City website, “like” Fire City on Facebook, and follow Fire City on Twitter (@interpreterfilm).

Fire City Behind The Scenes Image Gallery

Fire City Behind The Scenes Image Gallery

Fire City Behind The Scenes Image Gallery

Fire City Behind The Scenes Image Gallery

Fire City Behind The Scenes Image Gallery

Fire City Behind The Scenes Image Gallery

Fire City Behind The Scenes Image Gallery

Fire City Behind The Scenes Image Gallery

Fire City Behind The Scenes Image Gallery

Fire City Behind The Scenes Image Gallery



Fire City Behind The Scenes Image Gallery

Fire City Behind The Scenes Image Gallery

Fire City Behind The Scenes Image Gallery

Fire City Behind The Scenes Image Gallery

Fire City Behind The Scenes Image Gallery

Fire City Behind The Scenes Image Gallery

Fire City Behind The Scenes Image Gallery

Fire City Behind The Scenes Image Gallery

Fire City Behind The Scenes Image Gallery

Fire City Behind The Scenes Image Gallery

Fire City

VISIT THE EVILSHOP @ AMAZON!
Got news? Click here to submit it!
Subscribe to the Dread Central YouTube Channel!
Travel to hell and back in the comments section below!

Image Type 1:

Continue Reading
Comments

News

Graham Humphreys Reveals His Poster For An American Werewolf In London

Published

on

Graham Humphreys continues to cement his position as one of the top horror artists in the business with his stunning new poster for An American Werewolf in London. This piece was created as a private commission, and fans of John Landis’ 1981 classic are going to love it. You can view the final design of this incredible poster below.

Final design with text.

Graham also provided us with a detailed statement about the creation of the piece, along with a bunch of screen grabs taken throughout the process. If you scroll down to the bottom of the page, you can see how the final image looks before the text was added. In case you missed it earlier, you can also check out our extended interview with Graham here.

Exclusive Statement from Graham Humphreys
As a commercial artist and illustrator, there is only limited scope to make a job entirely your own – so with each project you are answering a brief in order to fulfill the needs of a client. Of course, the client may choose to give you free reign, though this is with the understanding that you are acknowledging their needs and thus expected to work within certain unspoken parameters. Mostly, these confines are defined by how a product is to be sold, licensing instructions and an understanding a market. With this in mind, the client is paying and thus nominally always right… though it would be unprofessional not to make them aware that other options might work better for them!

Without these commercial constraints, a private commission can remove the barriers because no market is to be met and there is only the artist and the private client to answer to. Creating a poster for a familiar and heavily licensed title is an entirely different prospect if it is not going to be generating money in the public domain and is thus essentially ‘fan art’. Unlike say, a T-shirt company ripping off someone elses art and charging money for the printed image, or perhaps a poster reproduced without permission by either the license owner or artist, then sold for profit.

Here, Dread Central have asked me to talk through one such commission, ‘An American Werewolf in London’, painted as a private commission for an individual that wishes to own a unique image that they themselves have made happen. NB: All likenesses and specific imagery (including the title and names etc) are subject to license and copyright and not for any use other than as examples of a work in progress (and of course, all rights are reserved!). Just need to make sure that it absolutely clear!

The client had commissioned two previous posters from me (as well as numerous poster designs from fellow artists), so a basic understanding of expectations had already been established.

My work begins by watching the film from beginning to end – to re-establish my own connection to the film (if one already exists). I saw ‘An American Werewolf in London’ (in London!) on it’s first run and the proximity to many of the locations (Tottenham Court Road tube station, Piccadilly Circus, being the obvious ones) made it instantly impressionable for me. Existing posters, in particular the official theatrical versions and various home-entertainment sleeves, focused on a limited image pool. My job was to find new ways of representing the film, free of the past baggage, but also to listen to my clients requirements.

Looking for a fresh perspective means avoiding the familiar stills that have defined the past marketing, this is achieved by making screen grabs from the DVD or blu-ray. As with most commercial jobs, I generally make a selection of about 40 images, then review these reducing the number to about 15 that have the best narrative potential, including a good visual range of actor expressions and reactions. My client required the Werewolf, London references, the moors, David and Jack, a full moon and the ‘Slaughtered Lamb’ pub sign… then whatever else I chose to include.

On the basis of the selected screen grabs, I make necessary light and contrast adjustments in photoshop, make them greyscale (removing the distraction of colour) and print them out at a size I can easily trace in pencil onto paper. All the pencil sketches are then scanned into photoshop, so that I can rearrange, resize and move around in order to determine the best layout, one which tells a story and has a visual impact. (I find it’s better to present sketched layouts rather than a photocomp’s, partly because the photographic material is usually of varying quality, but also because a pencil rough is more fluid and does not dictate the final impression).

Selected screen grabs.

Selected screen grabs 2.

My first idea involved a portrait of David looking lost and frightened (I felt this was essential to the story), the Werewolf with it’s head bursting through the cinema shutters/signage (the idea of breaking the fourth wall), the decomposing Jack (a perfect metaphor for David’ s own life falling apart), his nightmare of the home invasion (one of the most effective and horrific moments in the film, I felt), plus Brian Glover’s ‘Slaughtered Lamb’ local – a look that defines rednecks and racists the word over when confronted by ‘other’!). I also wanted to add the tube attack victim to open up the carnage. Although Jenny Agutter’s nurse added the romantic dimension for an audience that expects the convention, I wanted to concentrate on David’s story, so chose to only include her face as if she were painted on the shutters, ie. a film poster element.

I was surprised that the client didn’t want the home invasion creatures, nor the reference to the sleazy cinema hordings (which I thought made a good location gag – obviously not!), they also did not want the rotting Jack. It was disappointing to lose these great horror elements, especially as they’d particularly wanted ‘horror’! But a compromise was reached by including the transformation scene at the bottom, and reinstating the moors (which I’d thought unnecessary).

Fortunately, my second sketch was well received and the painting could commence.

On the basis of the selected screen grabs, I make necessary light and contrast adjustments in photoshop, make them greyscale (removing the distraction of colour) and print them out at a size I can easily trace in pencil onto paper. All the pencil sketches are then scanned into photoshop, so that I can rearrange, resize and move around in order to determine the best layout, one which tells a story and has a visual impact. (I find it’s better to present sketched layouts rather than a photocomp’s, partly because the photographic material is usually of varying quality, but also because a pencil rough is more fluid and does not dictate the final impression).

Once I have my sketch approved I reintroduced the photographic source material over the sketched parts, so that my layout remains exactly as approved and so that I’ll have the best possible likenesses to trace onto the watercolour paper.

Early sketched elements.

I usually have a basic idea of what colours I’m going to use. In this instance I knew that I wanted a silvery blue moonlight to bathe the entire image, but also the contrast of the orange glow of artificial lighting, the pub and cinema foyer. I knew the big splash of red in the wolf’s jaw would jump out, becoming the focal point. This painting took about three days to complete, the sketch process (including the grabs) about a day upfront.

Composition design.

The final painting was scanned and all the text added in photoshop.

My client will now make a full size poster print, to be framed, from the file I send him. Next up, ‘The Thing’!

Final painting before text was added.

Continue Reading

News

Syfy Renews Z Nation for a 5th Season; Season 4 Finale Airs Tonight!

Published

on

Syfy’s popular zombie series “Z Nation” just keeps shambling on, and tonight the two-episode Season 4 finale, “Mt. Weather/The Black Rainbow,” airs. If you’re a fan of the show, we have good news for you… it’s not over yet as David Latt of The Asylum has announced on Twitter the pickup of “Z Nation” for a 5th season! So you can expect lots more adventures with the gang in 2018.

Below is the official word from David along with a brief synopsis of what’s ahead tonight in the finale, which kicks off at 9/8c.

Synopsis:
In the mind-bending two-hour Season 4 finale, Warren and the team must stop Zona from launching operation Black Rainbow, which will cleanse the landscape of both zombies and humans. In Part 2 the secret of Warren’s Black Rainbow dream is unlocked when they reach their final destination. The cast includes Kellita Smith as Roberta Warren, Keith Allan as Murphy, Russell Hodgkinson as Doc, Nat Zang as 10K, Gracie Gillam as Sgt. Lilley, DJ Qualls as Citizen Z, Ramona Young as Kaya, Justin Torrence as President Donald Trump, Michael Berryman as The Founder, Micheal Daks as Mr. Sunshine, Anastasia Baranova as Addy, Sydney Viengluang as Sun Mei, Joseph Gatt as The Man, and Natalie Jongjaroenlarp as Red.

Continue Reading

News

First Look at Chris Alexander’s Space Vampire

Published

on

Who says all vampires have to be all extra-broody or sparkly or take up residence in Transylvania? Certainly not indie filmmaker Chris Alexander, who has just unveiled the first images and posters for his latest foray into film, Space Vampire!

The movie stars Ali Chappell as a beautiful female alien parasite who falls to earth with an intent to drain women of their life forces. As if women don’t have enough problems in this day and age!

Alexander wrote, directed, edited, filmed, and even provided the score for this intergalactic terror tale. Talk about a jack of all trades, eh?

Enough talk! Dig in!

Continue Reading

Recent Comments

Advertisement

Go Ad Free!

Support Dread Central on Patreon!

Join the Box of Dread Mailing List

* indicates required

Trending

Copyright © 2017 Dread Central Media LLC