Inspired by the 2002 Beltway sniper attacks in which ten random victims were killed in Washington D.C., Alexandre Moors’ “Blue Caprice” is a semi-road movie that looks at the killers’ stories prior to the event. The filmmaker’s feature debut that screened in the Next section never promises veracity, but instead uses the real-life event to explore the complex relationship between the two snipers, a man and a young boy.
What It’s About: Blue Caprice is a restrained psychological thriller about an abandoned boy who is drawn into the shadow of a dangerous father figure. It is inspired by the real life events that led to the 2002 Beltway sniper attacks.
And So It’s Really About: The film studies the mechanisms that lead its subjects to embrace physical violence. It certainly can be viewed as a contemporary commentary on America’s gun violence epidemic. But it also an intimate and complex story about a distorted father-and-son relationship.
What led you to become a filmmaker? I suppose my film education started when I was 12, catching endless reruns of Howard Hawks films and other Hollywood classics on French television with my sister. It definitely was the start of my infatuation with film. Later on I studied fine art and design which was a more obvious path for me. Then I began working in the motion graphic industry and transitioned into directing music videos and commercials. Still, most of what I know about film simply comes from watching tons of them (which certainly explains the amount of jump cuts in Blue Caprice).
What was your single biggest challenge in bringing this to the screen? The biggest challenge came from the scope of our story: our two characters traveled from the Caribbean to Washington State, then across the country to Washington D.C.. The film is a bit of a road movie and we were constantly on the move (I believed we had 22 locations for a 24 days shoot). We had to shoot very fast, and keep the production lean and efficient. It meant also dealing with a lot of improvisation. Quite a few times, as we were driving to a location, I would see something interesting out the window and stop the truck. Brian O’Carroll, our cinematographer, was amazing at capturing these on-the-fly moments. Also we were shooting with an Alexa camera, which allowed us to shoot in natural light most of the time and move very quickly.
What films were inspirational for you in making “Blue Caprice”? In Cold Blood and Henry Portrait of a Serial Killer were at the top of our list.
What’s next for you? I’m currently developing another thriller project with Blue Caprice’s screenwriter, R.F.I. Porto.
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 2013 festival.
Keep checking HERE every day up to the launch of the festival on January 17 for the latest profiles.