Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Mark Dossett talks The Torment of Laurie Ann Cullom

Below is a feature interview with writer/director Mark Dossett, who is currently putting together funding for his first feature film -- The Torment of Laurie Ann Cullom. Shawn and I will provide an on-air interview with Mark early in the second half of Season Four.

Where did the idea for The Torment of Laurie Ann Cullom come from?
I grew up in Hampton Roads Va. Back in 1984-85 there was a guy who was abducting women from the mall parking lot. He would target women who worked late. He'd slash their tires and when they would walk back to the mall he would show up to help them and then abduct them.
I also heard about a woman who lived in my neighborhood that would never leave her house. She suffered from agoraphobia. The fear of open places that can cause panic attacks! Sigourney Weaver's character had it in COPY CAT with Harry Conick Jr.
I just merged those 2 ideas together. The #1 thing you have to create in horror movies is ISOLATION. Thats why the first line in the majority of horror movies from the past decade has been " signal!" Cell phones changed things drastically that way! In the 80's it was.."Damn the phone lines have been cut!"
You say you want to do for houses what Jaws did for the ocean. How are you going to achieve that?
The first scene in JAWS was terrifying. The woman being thrased around in the water by an unseen force. We never saw the shark but our mind made it the worst monster we could imagine. Our minds do more than anything I can put on screen. As a filmmaker you just have to guide your audience into that mind space. If you lay in bed and stare at a dark corner long enough you will see someone standing there if thats what you are fearfull of! Someone or something in our house is one of the most horrifying  and realistic things that can and does happen. Now imagine you are even more scared of the one thing everyone else would do..... run out of the house. It's that feeling of being trapped. I create that on screen ...well....then I got you!!! If you saw BURIED with Ryan or at least I felt like I was in the coffin with him. Thats my plan for this film.
Is this your first film? If not, what other projects have you worked on?
Are you kidding?? I have worked with everyone from Sid Haig to Brad Pitt....... yes it is my first film! I am very happy this will be my first film too. It won't look anything like Ti West's TRIGGERMAN (his 2nd film)...I promise!!!
What movies have inspired you?
All the ones I am getting ready to mention are based on story and look and feel of a horror movie.
JAWS,THE SHINING,HALLOWEEN are the main ones. Lately I love these 3 french horror films THEM,HIGH TENSION and INSIDE. I am gonna get ripped for this.... but .... I love the look and feel of HOUSE OF THE DEVIL by Ti West! I grew up in the 80's so it was a fun film as well as one I study on lighting. I literally have tons of screen shots of that movie in a folder on my desktop. It is consider a slow burn by many but I like it for that. It was alot different then any other film at the time.
The Shining is my main influence on this film! Stanley Kubrick did so much to creep people out on that film they don't even realize it! He had the prop department paint the ALDER typewriter from white to a drak grey to show how Jack was going insane. You don't even realize it but it's there! The carpet pattern used in the hallway that Danny was riding his bigwheel on makes you feel like your either coming or going. It creates a feeling of unease and no escape...subliminal
as it's there for a reason. That entire hotel was recreated on a sound stage as well as the maze. Genuis filmmaking! Why because it stays with you. Just like PSYCHO and JAWS. You don't get in the shower or swim in the ocean with out thinking about those 2 movies.
How far into pre-production are you? What's the important next step?
My main goal is to pay my cast and crew. They make your film a success. I want them to be commited to the project so I have to be commited to them as well. Thats why I am not approaching
anyone till I know I can put cash in their hand to secure their services. I live in Orlando and there are tons of cast and crew members to pull from due to FULLSAIL being right down the road.
So I am at the funding stage right now! The next step is holding audtions once funding is in place.
How are you going about drumming up funding? What is the proposed budget for The Torment of Laurie Ann Cullom?
I am running the campaign here Twitter has been the biggest help with getting people to it!!! I have a facebook fan page but it is completely useless!! There is no way to reach out to people with it. If there is a shitty concept!! Twitter has made it so easy to find my fan base..we are talking right now becasue of it...not facebook!
The buget is $30,000 and thats out the door submitted to festivals and ready for distribution!
How can people contribute to the movie?

Simply click here and your golden! My twitter page is
What incentives are you offering those who contribute to the film?
Actually that has been the fun part of this process so far! You have total creativity to do cool things for people! I have everything from a digital download link for $5 all the way to a cameo in the movie and IMDb Co Producer Credit for $2,500. In between that I will shoot a thank you video and place it on your choice of 3 web sites for $50. Just tonight actor Larry Fleming donated $500 and he will not only get a digital download link,dvd,signed poster,phone call from me,signed prop, a thank you video from the cast but also his picture will be featured in the movie. Laurie Ann Cullom being alone would have her house filled with pictures and Larry is one of them now!!! He will get a close up shot so you will see it's him. I call it the TELECOMMUTE THANK YOU .

When are cameras expected to roll?
My goal is to get it funded by the end of DEC,cast by middle of Jan and start shooting FEB 15th .....ideally! I will be directing and editing it. I like the Quentin Tarantino/Robert Rodriguez approach to filmmaking.

Any proposed release dates in mind?

Ready to submit to fetsivals by middle of April 2013.  I have it planned for horror festivals because thats where it will do the best. The Orlando Freak Fest and LA's Scream Fest are targets among others!!

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