Solus

Charles Davis


The film used a bunch of different shooting styles, perspectives, and angles. Why did you decide to film the movie the way you did? 

The point of using different styles is to make things as scary as I think I can make it per shot.  When it comes to movies I prescribe to the idea that it's ok to change your style shot for shot as long as it is conveying the feeling you're going for.  I felt that if every shot was done the same or in a similar style it wouldn't always convey the right feeling, so I changed it up a lot to have it fit what I felt worked for the shot or scene best.


How long did it take to shoot the entire film?

All days put together, about a week, however my daughter was born in the middle of shooting, so that week's worth of shooting ended up getting split up over about a 3 month period.  Coincidentally, certain sound effects came with my daughter too as I recorded her a few times during sound editing and incorporated it in.


Considering all of the special effects, how long did the post-production process take?

Not that long actually.  If I remember correctly about 2 odd months or so.  The stuff that took the longest to do was actually sound and a few of the shots where people appear/dissapear (though those shots didn't take as long as you'd think to do).  A lot of the special effects are actually practically done and it's just multiple shots spliced together (no CG in other words... not that I could have afforded to do CG even if I wanted to, lol).


A feeling of scary-ness, lol.  Obviously when you're naked you're vulnerable, but I feel that there can also be a bit of a viciousness to nudity.  Some of it just ended being put in at last minute because it felt right.  Originally the one ghost that's naked was supposed to have clothes on and have black liquid constantly dripping down his face.  However, we couldn't get the drip to work so we alternated to a look with the bag over his head, but it just looked kind of silly with the clothes on.  I had the ghost strip and that looked a lot more scary.  

It's a bit hard for me to literally explain why nudity is scary to me.  The best way I can put is this:  what's scarier?  Finding an intruder in your house in the middle of the night or finding a naked intruder in your house in the middle of the night.

I will say that one thing I didn't want to do with the nudity is to convey any feelings of sexiness.  I hope when people watch this they feel unnerved by a naked ghost, not turned on by him.
 

What did you intend to convey with the use of nudity in the film? 


Each ghost had their own aesthetic and personality, did you have your own ideas about what they were going to look and act like or did the actors make those choices?

I originally had how I wanted to the ghosts to look all mapped out but they ended up looking a lot different from what I had originally written out in the finally product.  Obviously there is the naked ghost as I previously stated.  The ghost in the dress with the bag over her head was originally supposed to have a wretched disfigured face, but when we actually started looking at costumes it just seemed to.... obvious and missing the point (whatever that point is!).  Backwards man and the woman in the white dress stayed pretty much the same.

The actors did have a fair amount of input, particularly the actress who played the woman in the white dress and the black dress with the bag on the head (Morgan MacCarthy).  She actually picked out and brought the costumes they wear. 


Are there any horror films that inspired this film? How is it different filming a horror movie in comparison to any other genre? 

Yes. There is a Japanese horror film called Kairo (called Pulse in the US) that was a huge influence and I actually make a few nods to the film in this if you watch closely.  

I'm obviously a big fan of David Lynch as well but there wasn't a specific film of his that influenced this one per say (maybe the backwards talking a bit?).  I really love David Cronenberg too, particularly the movie Videodrome, but again that wasn't really a direct influence on this specific movie this time.  

For me the horror films I really like are ones that make you feel like you are watching a nightmare.

Filming a horror movie is different from filming a non-horror movie mostly in the sense of freedom really (at least for me).  There really aren't any rules as to what you can or can't do.  The only rule is make it scary (as best you can).
 


Horror movies have really made a comeback in the last decade, especially films involving the paranormal, how do you think your film sets itself apart from others in the same genre?

I feel this movie is a bit different from other paranormal movies because of the styling of it.  As I said before, the horror films I like and that I strive to make are ones that tend to be quite a bit abstract and that make you feel like you are watching an illogical nightmare. 

Most horror movies (or paranormal movies) tend to be very based in reality and almost make it as if you could come up with a scientific or reasonable understanding as to why the ghosts are there and what they want (the big conflict in many ghost movies is "what do the ghosts want?!").  I think Solus is different because it isn't really concerned with reality.  It's completely detached from reality.  You are watching a woman trying to play a game that she doesn't know the rules to and we aren't going to explain it to you either.  I think that sets it apart a bit. 

My friend Mickey had this to say about Solus after she saw it, which I think sums the movie up well (at least what I'm going for):  "(it made me feel like I was) watching something way too late on some weird channel and the next morning you find out that channel hasn't broadcast in 25 years."