Interrogation was conceptualized with the objective of creating a compelling story which could be told within the confines of extremely limited, collaboratively provided, resources. It is an experimental piece both in form and finance, perhaps best described as an "ultra-microbudget" project.
Having moved back to her hometown of Los Angeles to transition into narrative work, Katey Darling (Producer, Judy Cobalt) found herself engulfed in a deluge of incredibly talented, multi-disciplinary artists just looking for an opportunity to utilize their considerable abilities on quality projects. Knowing the collaborative spirit many of them possessed and their unbridled passion for their craft, she decided to use her background as a strategic alliance and corporate video producer to fit the pieces together with the purpose of creating a high-quality production from the resources already present among the cast and crew.
The project was carefully crafted around each team member's specific career goals and the belief that, rather than waiting for funding, they could work in tandem to take a step forward and make quality film with the clothes on their backs and the cameras in their bags.
The concept for the story itself came from the need to shoot primarily in a one room location with a very small cast. This naturally lent itself to this experimental, claustrophobic character driven piece dynamically more akin to what would typically be found in live theatre than within film genres.
With the exception of Anne Asland, who joined the project mid-production, each member of the cast also had off-camera responsibilities including donating the use of their equipment and crew skills. Some examples are Adrian Winther (Detective Drake Shelton), a gifted cinematographer in his own right who contributed use of his camera, computer and production drives. Triffin Constantine, primarily a screenwriter who originally came on-board the project as the script editor, also appeared in the role of Detective Mark Morrison and Brian Chan augmented his stunt coordinating expertise by playing the role of Detective Ryan Pierce. Eric Etebari, known in part for his memorable portrayal of Charles Talbot in The Lincoln Lawyer and his appearance in 2 Fast 2 Furious joined the project simply due to his passion in working with up and coming filmmakers. He brought Captain Nielson to life while assisting with a grab-bag of other items as associate producer.
The number of individuals involved was purposely kept to an absolute minimum since, when working on a deferred basis, every person added to the project is another opportunity for an important component of production to fall through. The no ego, "team player" mentality on-set was typified by the discovery in editing that every cast member ended up slating shots at some point or another.
This approach to production was not without its drawbacks. Ciel Turich first joined the project as the Director but became a Co-Producer due to his other unexpected, but much needed, contributions. When the location fell through the night before principal photography was to begin shooting he, alongside production designer Brian Bever, stayed up all night building the interrogation room from scratch. While in the midst of directing, Turich often had to take on camera operation himself, while Darling oversaw all aspects of the shoot while simultaneously executing the role of Judy Cobalt. Unable to afford heat in the donated studio space, cast and crew members were often huddled in sleeping bags and sipping hot beverages between takes. Those who did not bow out during production completed their portions of the project enthusiastically and without complaint, happy to be doing what they loved regardless of the discomfort.
In post-production, Mikel Darling was brought on to complete the long and arduous process of sorting through the mess of technical challenges created by working within such limited resources. His hundreds of hours of painstaking editing were spent finding work-rounds for such difficulties as few available takes, a lack of follow-focus and stability issues caused by shooting from c-stands rather than tripods (one of the luxuries first contributed by a friendly donor but, unfortunately and understandably, commandeered mid-shoot for another, paying, project).
Ultimately, not only did the project come to completion but a core group of fanatically committed collaborators working through some of the most difficult, often comical, shooting circumstances emerged with the knowledge that, if they can rely on their counter-parts to come through under such conditions, they will certainly be able to produce high-quality work together in more traditional, hospitable environments.
As such, this group of people is currently in development on other upcoming projects (for which they will be seeking more reasonable funding levels) including the comedic webseries "Casting", dramatic thriller short film "5" and a reality show based on the re-building of a poverty stricken community recovering from a natural disaster. For information on these and other upcoming projects visit deluzionalproductions.com
When all is said and done, the entire project, which is experimentally being released as a webisode series and short-film, was produced for less than $2,000 of actual funds while the value of in-kind contributions easily equaled twenty-fold.
Beyond the backstory of the production, it is the hope of the cast and crew that, as the audience is brought into the psychological labyrinth of "Interrogation," they will find themselves in an intriguing and compelling discovery of the characters which keeps them guessing until the very end.