Tibor Takacs [Interview]
And the time is here! Welcome everybody to Day 1 of the Trainwreck’d Society’s 1st Annual Week of Horror! We are pleased to kick off the festivities today with our first of five interviews to be featured this week. Today we have a wonderful interview with the even more wonderful filmmaker and screenwriter Tibor Takacs. Tibor is the mastermind behind such horror and thriller films as Rats, The Gate, Sanctuary, and……Sabrina The Teenage Witch(?). Most most recently Mr. Takacs completed a great film called Spiders 3D, which regular readers might recognize as a project we featured a few months ago when we interviewed one of the film’s stars, scream queen Christa Campbell. It is an amazing thrill ride of a film that is as fun as it is thrilling.
I found and interview with Tibor Takacs to be a wonderful jump start to our celebration of all these that scare the hell out of us. There isn’t much out there that can send a grown man in to a sweat filled panic, than an innocent little spider. So watching one menace an entire city and chase down humans could very well be one of the most frightening things one could imagine happening. So enjoy Day 1 of 5 with the illustrious Tibor Takacs!
What inspired you to get in to the world of filmmaking?
My parents were avid movie goers and I was on a diet of mostly european classics till I was about ten years old. We then moved to a new city and lived downtown where there was a movie theater on every block. I started seeing more American fare 2 or 3 times a week. When I was about 12 I started doing my own films on super 8 and video. My Dad bought one of the earliest portable consumer video setups. It was an Akai 1/4inch BW video recorder and camera. Reel to reel. I did a lot of experiments the video tape was cheap. As time went on the projects got bigger and people wanted to pay me to do it. For a while there was a detour into punk music and live theater. When one of the stage plays turned into a movie project it became a fast track learning experience in the film business.
What was your very first gig in the film world? Does it still have an effect on you today?
I had my first pay film gig working at a big film equipment rental house during the summer while I was in University taking general courses. There I saw the film business first hand and met a lot of people. Professional film making was way less of an artistic endeavor than I ever imagined. After a few months of this I figured out that I wanted to just direct my own films. This question of “Is film making a business or art” is a question I deal with everyday of my professional life.
You’ve worked on all sorts of projects, from family friendly TV movies, up to bloody gore filled horror films. Tell us, what is your most enjoyable genre to work on?
I enjoy them all. I just love telling an entertaining story. My fantasy has always been to be able to transcend and move between different genres in my career, I’ve been lucky and to an extent I’ve succeeded. The business has evolved to the point that every director needs to be a specific brand and crossing into different genres is difficult.
What is a genre you have yet to work in that you would like to?
I’d love to direct a pure straight drama. Genre films can include some straight drama but the catharsis in the film usually involves some kind of spectacle and or supernatural phenomenon that can easily dwarf and the distort the natural human emotions that you are trying to portray. It would be a pleasure to be able to focus on just the real emotions of the characters and go for a pure naturalistic performance without black comedy or irony to muddy the waters.
One of your more recent films Spiders 3D was your first film done in 3D, which turned out great! What was the experience like popping your 3D cherry, so to speak?
I’ve always had plans in the back of my mind to do a 3D project. Over the years I’ve kept up technically with all the hardware and software that became available to make 3D better and easier. I had visited one of the high profile 3D companies and was part of a test for someone else’s project, I saw what they were doing and heard how much they would charge and thought this is kind of a boondoggle. There’s a lot of new stuff off the shelf that will give you pretty amazing results and it got to a point about two years ago when I said “Hey, I can do 3D for just a little more money than 2D” if I produce the 3D myself; meaning that I rent the equipment hire the stereographer and handle the post. Creatively shooting Spiders in 3D became a natural extension of what I try to do on any film: which is to manipulate depth in shots to help tell the story. So it wasn’t as big a deal as one would think. Spiders was done on a basically on a 2D schedule. We were getting 30 to 60 setups a day w 2 rigs much like you would on a lower budget genre movie in 2D. We did however avoid changing lenses that often. The CGI was a little more involved I’d say by a factor of 1 /1/2. 3D post is not 2x the work bur 1 1/2 times the work. I found it very fun and satisfying to be able to manipulate the image in one more dimension.
What sort of other projects do you have coming up in the near future? Anything else coming in 3D?
Lots of stuff being talked about but nothing locked down yet. I’m hoping my recently completed BUNKS kids comedy pilot for FreshTV with Fremantle/Disney gets picked up as a series. I don’t have anything coming up in 3D at the moment. The demand has slowed for anything but blockbusters in 3D.
What is your favorite scary movie? Why?
The american version was great, but my heart is with the original of LET THE RIGHT ONE IN. It is the perfect genre movie that has the right blend of visceral action and human emotion. The relationships are offbeat and out of the ordinary but at it’s core It’s really just a great love story told beautifully with some gore.
On set of “Lies and Illusions” with director of photography Zoran Povovic.
What are your plans for Halloween?
Answer the door and pass out the treats, I love seeing which characters spark kids imaginations and what creativity they bring to their interpretations. Then watch The Exorcist.
What was the last thing that made you smile?
Yesterday when my son (AKA) Young Replicant told me he was officially nominated for ‘Best New Director’ at this year’s UK music video awards.