Below writer-director Darren Lynn Bousman shares a scene from his indie horror pic “11-11-11.” The film concerns an author, who after the death of his wife and child, travels to Barcelona to visit his estranged brother and dying father. There he learns that his life is plagued by events that occur on 11/11/11. “11-11-11” hits select theaters November 11.
Before I knew I wanted to be a director, I thought I wanted to be a magician. There was something about creating an illusion. Tricking people into believing something that wasn’t real. The key word being ‘trick.’
That is in essence what filmmaking is. Tricking people. Movies in essence are large elaborate magic acts.
People come to the theater to be ‘dazzled.’ So it has become my mission to live out my dream of wanting to be a magician in the movies I make.
Sometimes I fail miserably and accidently saw the lady in half. Other times the illusion works and I can pretend just for a moment I created an illusion that will inspire conversation and discussion, if only for the film school crowd.
“11–11–11″ was a low budget, rapidly- paced shoot, so I didn’t have the time I wanted to pull off half of what I wanted. I did however have a few chances to play around and do some mild, if not subtle tricks.
Joseph Crone (Timothy Gibbs) leaves a grief support group and heads towards his car. After a brief conversation with Sadie (played by Wendy Glenn) he pulls away only to be hit by another car SECONDS later.
However, given our budget and time frame, we had no way to actually shoot this accident. So it was time to get creative. If you notice in the above scene, there are no cuts or edits from the second the car pulls away. The entire accident is conveyed as a one-er. Everything happens off screen and through sound design. Our challenge was to create the illusion of an accident we would never see.
The explanation simple, but the execution was complicated.
The entire move was a steady-cam shot where we follow Wendy Glenn as she walks away from the CAR A. Then, we chase her as she runs toward CAR B. In the meantime, Timothy Gibbs quickly JUMPS out of CAR A and rushes into CAR B, which happens to be on fire and on its side.
The entire shot lasts maybe 45 seconds. While no car accident is ever seen we were able to convey the illusion of an accident.
Chris Angel? No… More like The Amazing Jonathan. But sometimes budget dictates the trick.