The USA version of the "Fractional" DVD cover. Image credit: www.fractionalfilm.com

The USA version of the “Fractional” DVD cover. Image credit: http://www.fractionalfilm.com

Okay lovelies, this is the final installment of my interview with Malcolm Deegan. In this final section, Mr. Deegan and I explored his creative process for the film, questions of directing and casting, the struggles inherent to the indie artist, and his personal thoughts on the success of the film. I asked these questions because they are the kinds of questions I always wish I could ask a screenwriter/director and have never before had access. Therefore, behold my Malcolm Deegan Brain Feast and enjoy the deliciousness!

Me: Every indie artist has a story about why they are artists. What’s yours? And when did you catch horror fever?

Deegan: I guess you could say that I found myself being obsessed with movies as a young child, I was fascinated by how they were made. I’d read everything I could find on movies, books, magazines, interviews – Anything and everything. I wasn’t aware of it at the time but I was always learning and studying. Only when I got older did I venture into screen writing, learning it from the ground up.  It was a bug I caught that has never left me to this day.

I love the thrill that a good horror can give you. It has the power to be exciting, pulse pounding, cringe worthy and repulsive all at the same time. If it is cleverly written its a genre that can be thrilling to watch and write.

Me: (follow-up) Got it! No pigeon-holing!

Me: “Fractional” won Best Screenplay at the Independent Filmmakers Showcase 2012 film festival. I could blather on all day about why I think they made a good choice, but no one’s reading this to find out what I think! Tell me why you think you won this award.

Deegan: I can never really know why they chose my movie and gave it best screenplay, I’m hoping that they found the story/characters/dialogue intriguing and worthy and that’s why they chose it.

Me: (follow-up) You’re so modest! For what it’s worth, I believe they chose your film based on the storyline trajectory. You chose a fairly common plot—the patient getting vengeance on the doc—but you told a completely surprising and riveting story. I frequently say that it’s next to impossible to do something new in horror, but you did it. And I loved it!

Me: I found your casting choices compelling.  Peter O’Toole as David Crowe was brilliant. Desmond Daly and Donna Bradley kept up quite well with Peter’s energy and power. Why did you choose these actors for the characters they played?

Deegan: It all stemmed from a previous project I was making before “Fractional” called compromised. Des (Daly) was set to play the villain role in that but unfortunately that fell through. During the process for that Peter O’Toole and Donna Bradley had auditioned for Parts in this movie also. So Impressed I was with them I knew that I would work with them on another project so that’s how I came to collaborate with them on “Fractional”. It was their work ethic, professionalism and skill of their craft that drew me, especially the two leads, Des and Peter, who gave everything in their roles. A skill that, I believe, can’t be learned and one that comes purely from a love and passion for their craft.

Me: I read on the film’s website, http://www.FractionalFilm.com, that production succeeded despite a number of difficulties. What happened? Do you think the troubles made the film better? Did they make your success taste sweeter?

Deegan: The original dp (Director of Photography) left the project, casting issues, noise pollution, location issues and delays, etc. Let’s put It this way: the only thing we didn’t have happen to us was to be visited by a plague of locusts! But going through all that, we stuck together and crossed the finish line. It was a big struggle for all involved but we got through it. It taught me the value of perseverance and tenacious belief.

Me: What did you, as the director, find challenging about this film?

Deegan: As a director you sometimes worry whether what you are putting onto film is perhaps too simple, that the audience will be two steps ahead and become bored. The biggest challenge was to create an atmosphere of dread constantly teetering under the surface while also building anticipation for what will come next. I wanted the audience to always wonder what is going to come next, to be uncertain, and that uncertainty turn into curiosity and ultimately tension.  I’m hoping that I succeeded with that.

Me: Now that the film is complete, what, if anything, would you change?

Deegan: I don’t think there is a filmmaker alive who, in hindsight, would not like to change certain elements in a movie they’ve made. For me I would probably slightly change the way it was filmed. I would have used a different main location and added more variety. But Hindsight is a great thing and there is always new projects to bring to the table what you’ve learned that didn’t work on this one.

Me: (follow-up) For what it’s worth, I think you did a good job with changing up the setting. I liked that the current action always took place in the same location. It helped with transitioning—every time you took me to a new place, I knew I was in the past. I think you executed this quite well.

Me:What was your favorite thing about working on “Fractional?”

Deegan: I think one of the best things was the opportunity to bring to the screen a difficult  story that is far from mainstream; a very dark twisted tale that doesn’t pull any punches and hopefully entertains, puzzles and contains a mystery that keeps you watching until the very end of the movie.

Me:What can we Under-Belly lovers expect next from the fantastic brain of Malcolm Deegan?

Deegan: Next up for me, I’m co-producing a feature film called Territorial Behaviour with Writer/Director Peter Bergin. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2916772/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1  And I’m also in the process of writing a follow up feature film called the Virion Strain that is about how far a young couple in love will go to stay alive after a tragic event.

Me: (follow-up) Any plans for a follow-up project to “Fractional?”

Deegan: (follow-up) I decided to take a break from the world of Fractional and to visit a whole new landscape. Maybe I’ll come back to it some time and tell the back story of Fractional as a prequel of sorts.

And that’s all, folks! I truly hope you enjoyed wandering through Malcolm Deegan’s mind with me. I can honestly say I’ve never had more fun on any project. And we have some very cool things to look forward to from Mr. Deegan and I for one am very excited about Virion Strain. Malcolm has said NOTHING about this film yet, even to me, though we’ve agreed to do another such project as this regarding Virion Strain. I encourage you to follow the Virion Strain twitter handle, @VIRIONSTRAINTHE, as Deegan tends to make announcements on Twitter first.

Also, please feel free to leave comments and questions for Malcolm on any of the four “Fractional” articles on this blog, and I promise to field those questions and comments between you all and Malcolm. Come on! Take advantage of YOUR chance to ask anything of a brilliant indie director like Malcolm Deegan!

I’ll be back later this week to post some new movie reviews and to continue my post, “Horror Movies I Wish I Could Watch Again for the First Time.” Don’t forget to contact me if you have a film you wish you could re-experience anew! Until next time, fellow indies and horror fans, I hope you’ve enjoyed your time with Malcolm.

And don’t forget to give your Under-Bellies a loving pat from The Mad Mack!

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