An interview with director Darcy van Poelgeest
Last week I had a short interview with Darcy van Poelgeest, Canadian producer, about his latest film, CORVUS. The interview will be published Monday on Thriller Magazine. Below you can read the English version.
You’re a publisher, editor, writer, but above all a film producer. What kind of work do you prefer? And why?
I wear a lot of hats. Part of it is out of necessity. When working on a small project like CORVUS I can’t afford to hire everyone I need so I take on most of the creative roles. Thankfully I had Mike to produce the film so I could stay focused on writing, directing and editing. The other part of it is just having that control. No one cares more about my film than me and I want to make sure that nothing is just pushed through, that the story gets the attention to detail that it deserves. But back to your question; directing is what I love to do. Being the one who takes responsibility for the overall story, concept and aesthetic and working with great actors like Sara. I get a real joy out of working with actor’s who take what I have in mind and show me something unexpected.
How did you get into this career?
It’s the career I always wanted. I started writing at a young age, but had an awful time in school. I have some learning disabilities that sort of held me back- I’m a visual learner. I went to film school and got a job sweeping the floors of hollywood sets in Vancouver. I kept my eyes and ears open, taking in as much as I could and worked on little art films on the side.
Corvus is your latest project. It has not been revealed yet much of the plot, except that the center of the story is the mysterious murder of a young woman. Can you tell us more?
The protagonist is a detective with a very special set of skills. He’s an outcast on the force because no one really understands him but he always gets the job done. He’s trying to sort out how this young woman was killed and we (the audience) are sort of invited in through his “supernatural” detective skills to piece it together along with him. But even the answer he comes up with is hard to believe. In some ways it’s a very simple film, in other ways it’s incredibly layered. You won’t see everything the first time. That’s part of the fun.
What do you think are the strengths of the film? Why people should watch it?
That’s hard for me to say. I can only say that I made a film that I would like to watch. I’m guessing that if you’re a fan of comic books or graphic novels than you’re probably going to enjoy it.
Are you satisfied with the result? Or there is something that you were not able to report on the screen as you wanted?
I am satisfied. I think we achieved a lot with very little. On the technical side – It was a huge challenge to make a film that really depended on compositing and VFX to achieve the look but not really have the budget or VFX man power to keep up with what I wanted to achieve. That aside, there is a bigger story to CORVUS, this film is just a snap shot of a much larger story and I’m working on that.
There were some funny moments on the set? Can you tell us some of them? ( I’m thinking, for example, photos of Sara Canning, bloody and smiling, behind the scenes)
I like to laugh. I like to keep things light when we can and when it’s time to focus up things can get pretty serious but you need some comedic relief. The actor’s work hard. Sara had to run through rough terrain and swamps bare foot, jump and fall in mud and basically get really physical but she has such a great attitude, she just laughs it off. When it comes time to shoot she takes a moment and goes wherever she needs to be in terms of her character. I felt right away that there was a mutual trust and respect between us which made it easy and if you have that trust with an actor you can go anywhere and have fun doing it.
In Italy, the noir genre is not widespread. What are the differences and advantages of this kind than the classc thriller?
Typically a Noir film has elements of a thriller but it’s more personal than that in a way. It generally focuses on a protagonist who is up against the ropes. Someone who just can’t get it right and is deeply flawed. A reluctant hero.
Corvus was recently presented at the Montreal Film Festival. What are the next “promotional steps”?
Montreal was great. Our next screening is in my home town at the Vancouver International Film Festival and it screens on October 9th and 10th. We’ll have some more screening announced soon. You can keep up with that by “liking” our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/CorvusTheFilm
Do you have other projects in the near future?
I’m developing and writing several projects and plan to be shooting again in the new year.
What do you think of this interview?