“The Pact” started off last year as a Sundance short; it makes its debut as a feature in this year’s Park City at Midnight program.
What’s it about? THE PACT is a ghost story about a pair of sisters who have reluctantly returned to their childhood home after their mother has died.
Says director Nicholas McCarthy: “I grew up in New Hampshire and began making films when I was 10 years old, on Super 8mm. A lot of my childhood was spent watching old monster movies on television while other kids were doing healthier things, like playing sports. When I got older and my family moved to Boston, a world of cinema opened up to me – I was introduced to art house, classic Hollywood and experimental films from all over. I got to see many incredible movies in 35mm. Though I made shorts on video for a few years as a teen (slumming it), I eventually started making 16mm films while taking classes at Columbia College in Chicago and then went full time to SUNY Purchase’s film program.
“I would like people to have that feeling you get after you climb off a roller coaster – that you’ve had your safety and sanity handed back to you. You know, still reverberating from the experience. And also maybe thinking about the little lingering questions in the plot.
“Of course, my movie plays as being more indebted to the kind of things I discovered and loved when I was a teenager: the early films of John Carpenter and David Cronenberg. I don’t think I needed to reference those in any specific way when preparing the movie because they made such an impression on me as a teen that they are kind of burned in to my brain.
“[After Sundance] my goal is to take a few days off! The PACT short premiered in Sundance 2011, and three days after the festival I had the meeting where a feature was proposed. From that moment on I have worked on this movie, writing, directing and finishing it less than 48 weeks since the short premiered. I need a drink.”
Indiewire invited Sundance Film Festival directors to tell us about their films, including what inspired them, the challenges they faced and what they’re doing next. We’ll be publishing their responses leading up to the 2012 festival.
Keep checking here every day up to the launch for the latest profiles.