Silent Hill: Revelation 3D opened in theaters today and we’ve been running a number of special features to let you know more about the movie. Last night we published our interview session with Adelaide Clemens and we now have our talk with director Michael J. Bassett. Continue reading to learn about his experience working with 3D, familiar characters that return for the sequel, and what direction he’d take a third movie:
Can you tell us about shooting this film in 3D? Was it always your intention to make it a 3D movie?
Michael J. Bassett: This was always going to be a 3D movie, but I came into the project a little bit leery about it, to be honest. Bright animation and 3D work beautifully, but this is a horror movie and it was a challenge to figure out how to make dark and 3D work together. It was shot in 3D and there isn’t a post-production 3D frame in this movie.
There’s two big cameras and we try to make the movie feel as big and cinematic as possible, while still dark and intimidating. We shoot it live, so you have these big monitors on the set, and you can control the level of 3D from moment to moment on set. In a world like Silent Hill, where you are creating a fantastical universe, 3D plays out nicely.
It’s much harder to do handheld and steady cam, so things which have become a mainstay of horror filmmaking aren’t here. It brought a new aesthetic and sensibility to the movie. My only problem is that not everyone will want to see it in 3D, but there is no 2D version. They will have flattened it and you can see it in 2D, but that’s not the movie I made. I made it in 3D, framed it for 3D, and cut it for 3D.
We’ve seen Red Pyramid in many of the marketing materials for Silent Hill: Revelation 3D. Does he have a bigger presence in this film than in the first movie?
Michael J. Bassett: I can’t give too much away… Does Red Pyramid appear in the movie? Yes! Does he have a reason to be there? Yes. The notion is that the monsters of Silent Hill have a psychological resonance with characters. The movie is based on Silent Hill 3, but he only appeared in game two. He appeared in the first movie, so it’s not like I can say he doesn’t exist anymore. He looks fantastic and is the equivalent of Pinhead. He’s our poster boy, but I had to make sure that he made sense to the narrative of the story.
What was your stance on practical versus computer generated creatures when it came to making this movie?
Michael J. Bassett: I’ll always go with practical over digital effects when I can. Clearly, there are shots and creatures that you can’t do practically without massive builds. This was a decent budget, but a modest budget by modern movie standards. More than anything, I like to make monsters. Paul Jones and Patrick Tatopoulos worked with me before and we love to make monsters.
Having those creatures stand on the set makes it become more real and easier to work with. I’ll take men in suits any day, but there is also a place where digital enhancement helps. There is only one pure digital creature and that’s the mannequin monster. We experimented with practical ways to do it, but there was no way to make it work the way I wanted to.
Why was the decision made to adapt Silent Hill 3 over the other games? Would you like to continue the story and explore more of the games in the future?
Michael J. Bassett: The reason Silent Hill 3 was chosen was because it was a continuation of the story from the movie. I wanted to know what happened to young Sharon from the movie. She’s Cheryl from the game and becomes Heather. How does this happen? I explain this in the movie. That narrative cohesion made a lot of sense to me. Is there a case for making movies based on the other games? Yeah, but there’s a better case now to make original stories. The games are the games, but if I go back to Silent Hill for another movie, I want to write an original story in that universe.
Missed out on our recent coverage of Silent Hill: Revelation 3D? Catch up by visiting the following links: