Screamfest LA 2013 Exclusive: Olivier Beguin Talks US Premiere of Chimères; See the Trailer
With first-time feature filmmaker Olivier Beguin’s vampire thriller Chimères set for its US premiere Wednesday, October 16, at 9:45pm at Screamfest LA, read on for our exclusive chat with the filmmaker, and then have a look at the trailer and some stills!
Produced by Beguin, Gwenn Deschenaux and Lluís Fe Pérez from a script by Beguin and Colin Vettier, Chimères stars Jasna Kohoutova, Yannick Rosset and Catriona MacColl and revolves around the character of Alexandre, who, while taking a holiday in Romania with his girlfriend, Livia, is hit by a car. Following his subsequent hospitalization (and blood transfusion), he finds on his return home that he’s begun to suffer from a strange disease.
A self-professed fan of horror and genre films, Swiss filmmaker Beguin directed several successful short films (the horror western Dead Bones, among them), before tackling Chimères, of which he stated, “I had actually planned to direct another film as my first feature, a mix of thriller and road-movie. But very fast I realized that the road-movie concept was going to be a bit too expensive for the kind of low-budget shoot we had in mind. Therefore, with Colin Vettier, the co-screenwriter, whom I had already worked with on my short film Employee of the Month, we started to throw ideas on the table.”
“[We had] some cool ones that were also too expensive,” he continued of their initial brainstorming sessions, “and then we got to that couple facing vampirism. At the start it was going to be a horror/comedy, in the style of An American Werewolf in London, but quickly I changed it into a love story. It's probably something that was there in me, without totally knowing it, that I wanted to make a movie with a love story at its core, but one that doesn't go all too well of course, as genre movies are my favorites.”
“I am always a bit reluctant about talking about intentions or what I intend to convey,” mused Beguin when queried regarding Chimères’ intended subtext.
“Basically, I want to tell a story that interests me and hopefully interests the people watching the film and moves them,” he continued. “It's fine by me if different people come out of the flick with different interpretations. Of course if the film moved them and makes them talk about what they saw while having a beer after the flick, it's for the better. That said, I guess the personal elements really were about telling the story of that couple, and mostly the story of Livia through what is happening to Alex. And to talk about people who are not teenagers, not doing the Twilight thingy, because to me it's much more interesting having a couple who's gone through things together, not a couple who just met.”
As for his thoughts on the Screamfest selection, “We are extremely happy!” said Beguin.
“To be honest, I thought that was dead a few weeks ago,” he continued. “We got selected to the Sitges festival and Screamfest runs at the same time, and there had been no news regarding our flick at Screamfest, so I thought, ‘Too bad, we're not gonna’ go there.’ Then Rachel writes me saying that Chimères is selected, and that was a blast!”
“You know, Switzerland is not a country really known for its cinema, and there is definitely not much going on in genre cinema here,” concluded Beguin. “So having the chance to show the film in LA really is tremendous. Hopefully it can do well for the film in terms of its career and sales and help the film be seen by as many people as possible. And I am also extremely pleased to live this adventure with my terrific actress, Jasna Kohoutova. It's always a bit better not to be alone when facing a crowd who's watching what you decided to put on screen, just in case the audience starts to throws things at you because they don't think the film is worth the ticket.”
For more on Screamfest, which runs October 8th to the 17th at the Laemmle NoHo 7 (5240 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, CA 91601), visit Screamfest's website, "like" Screamfest on Facebook, and follow Screamfest on Twitter.
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