BOOGEYMAN MEGA UPDATE!
New Zealand Coming Soon! reporter Alex Bond has provided a rundown of the latest news on Screen Gems' Boogeyman, a thriller currently shooting in the country. The film stars Barry Watson (The WB's 7th Heaven) as a young man traumatized by memories of terrible events in his childhood bedroom. Years later, he reluctantly returns home to face his fears. The cast includes Lucy Lawless, Emily Deschanel, Tory Mussett and Skye McCole Bartusiak. It's directed by Stephen Kay and produced by Lawless' husband, Rob Tapert, and Spider-Man director Sam Raimi.
Apparently 'Boogeyman' is only the working title of the film, a new title will be released next year for a proposed release in North America for September, 2004. Actors Charles Mesure (from 'Xena') and Philip Gordon have also joined the cast.
You can check out a behind-the-scenes clip here (Windows Media format) from New Zealand's Channel 3 Nightline News which features interviews with cast members Barry Watson, Emily Deschanel and Lucy Lawless, as well as producer Rob Tapert. The clip shows filming of Boogeyman, and producer Rob Tapert explains that his new production company, Ghost House Pictures, is planning to shoot several more horror films in New Zealand. Boogeyman is currently being shot at Henderson Valley Studios in West Auckland. Exterior shots are being filmed at Karaka and Pokeno, in South Auckland. Screenshots from the clip can be found here.
Another clip which features the same footage but a different interviews with Lucy Lawless is available here in Real format and here in Windows Media format. Screenshots are up
Lucy Lawless said the following spoilers about her appearance in the movie. 'For Boogeyman, they're making my hair red and slightly shorter. They covered me in latex makeup on my hands, feet and all over my face to make me look about 80 years old. Even though they've got scum and blood squirting out my eyes -- I thought I looked kinda good actually. I thought I looked kinda glam. Like a glamorous older woman. Like . . . Germaine Greer. If I look this good when I'm fifty, I'll be so happy. Picture Germaine Greer with blood squirting out her eyes.'
Lawless added the following as well. 'Rob asked me if I wanted to be the drug-addled, messed up mother who gives away her child and, of course, I can't resist that sort of part. Barry Watson plays a young man named Tim who has psychological disorders. He's paranoid about a boogeyman chasing him. When he was a boy, his father vanished and his mother went crazy and gave up custody of him. So he has big abandonment issues. In flashbacks you get to see his mother -- who's the one with the red hair. Stoned and drug-addled, she can't put up with this troublesome kid any longer and sends him away with his uncle. The kid's always going on about the boogeyman. He's afraid someone's under his bed and in his closet.'
Boogeyman is also being talked about in the local papers. Here are clips from an article on the film from the New Zealand Herald:
Barry Watson wrestles maggots from his hair and hurls off his shirt.
The dead cat that has just struck him hits the ground like a flat basketball, convulsing gently with the squirming larvae. A camera zooms in on its entrails.
'That's not going to make the movie,' he says, grimacing at the monitor.
Playing the lead in the horror flick Boogeyman seems more like Fear Factor than the moral American drama 7th Heaven he has starred in for the past seven years.
But he's in his element as Tim, a young man plagued by disturbing memories - and fake flying expired moggies - who revisits his childhood home to confront his demons. Whether or not they're real is the mysterious premise of the film.
A storyboard marked 'Uncle Mike's Demise' dilutes the enigma, its comic-style grid of drawings depicting an ominous, faceless figure and a grisly slaying.
'It's a standard monster movie,' says American producer Rob Tapert, whose inspiration came from Japanese horror films The Pulse, Dark Water, The Eye. 'But by making it more psychological and embracing the films coming out of Asia, we thought we could play into the strange, 'Is it real, is it not?' aspect.
Tapert and Spider-Man director Sam Raimi are making Boogeyman in New Zealand on US$20 million ($34.24 million NZ dollars) - a tough budget, according to American director Stephen Kay - and have employed a virtually all-Kiwi crew.
Lawless (also Tapert's wife) plays Tim's troubled mother, Charles Mesure of Street Legal plays his father and Pokeno plays the rolling countryside of small-town Pennsylvania. No one will realise it's too green to be America, he grins.
But with the winter come bare trees, and that's not much help when the film is supposed to be set in 'fall'.
So within a barren industrial area in West Auckland, its drab rows of buildings surrounding a rusty motel signpost to nowhere, a warehouse stores dead leaves that were collected during autumn.
It's an odd room - not only must the leaves be turned daily to avoid rotting, the wall is plastered with photographs, newspaper articles and drawings of smiling, missing children. On closer inspection, they are the identities of Boogeyman's cast and crew and much of the text is meaningless.
Next door, builders are constructing a replica of the main set which will be used in just one scene - but this partly renovated living room is capable of shaking as it would in an earthquake.
Scrupulous attention to detail has also been paid outside, where a rundown house, its windows broken like jagged teeth, gutters sprouting moss and dilapidated picnic table look 100 years old. But they were built - and wrecked - from scratch.
Inside the main set an uneasy half-light offsets a peeling bathroom. A quick glance outside shows it's not outside at all - a wall painted electric blue is lit up to look like sky. A surreal neon light illuminates a weathered rocking horse, tiny shoes and children's books.
It wouldn't be a pleasant place to find yourself alone at night, but Tapert says the film won't be so scary that it won't get a PG-13 rating.
'We dialled back on the blood. The Ring had a PG-13 rating in America,' he says.
When Boogeyman is released in a year under a different name, he expects it will be promoted heavily, that the film's marketing will far outweigh the cost to produce the film alone.
But Tapert is a canny businessman.
'Spider-Man 2 is coming out a couple of months before Boogeyman so if they want to maintain a good relationship for Spider-Man 3, should there be one, they will go out of their way to push it.'
The following is from 'Carolyn S' about a NZ National Radio interview with Rob Tapert about the movie.
The item on tonight's National radio was totally an interview with Rob Tapert. Note below that he says there's one Aussie in the cast. He said that he and Sam Raimi are planning to make 1 or 2 (probably 2) movies a year in NZ and one elsewhere. He said that Boogeyman was in the style of Japanese ghost pictures that are very popular now.
He gave the reasons why he chose to film here in NZ, including the people, the place and that he now lives here for a lot of the time, and also because Boogeyman lends itself to being shot around Auckland.
He called it middle budget $NZ 22 million, $US16 million. It is the backbone of what Hollywood and Independents were based on - and after last summer when a lot of big budget movies failed, people are looking more at making more modest budget movies that are less risky. He didn't accept the movie had no major stars as the interviewer suggested. He said the young lead guy is very popular internationally and his TV prog shows from 7th Heaven on NZ channel 4 at Wed 7.30pm. When the guy showed up in NZ his NZ female fans showed up to cheer him on.
When asked what effect it will have on the NZ industry, Rob said he couldn't say except they always have given employment to a load of Kiwis and have always taken on trainees, many of whom are now established in the industry. The interviewer said that is only possible if you have longevity and don't limp from film to film. Rob said that they were hoping to do many movies here in the furture. He said everybody employed on the crew except the 1st unit DOP are Kiwis. Of the cast of about 20 speaking parts, he thinks 3 are from the US, 1 is an Aussie and the rest are Kiwis.
He said that the TV industry has changed and so its no longer possible to do TV progs like Herc and XWP so they are going to concentrate on movies.
Enjoy the first picture of Barry Watson from the film above, additional pictures of Skye McCole Bartusiak on set can be found here.
Courtesy of Coming Soon