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An Interview with Christopher Graham, Director of The Devil and I

by Mike Haberfelner

November 2018

Films directed by Christopher Graham on (re)Search my Trash

 

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Your new movie The Devil and I - in a few words, what is it about?

 

The Devil and I is a cautionary tale about heartbreak,  and the evil that jealousy can drive you toward. It's set in Western Canada circa 1845, and centers around 23 year old Hannah who is confronted by an evil entity with a dark deal after a fight with her brother.

 

The Devil and I does have a folk tale ring to it - so is it based on actual folklore, and/or how much research went into the writing? And to what extent did you let "modern" ideas slip into the script?

 

There is actually a piece of history that the story is loosely based on. In Britain, 1612, a young girl named Allison Device went to the courts and confessed to an act of witchcraft. It's recorded that a peddler refused to sell to her, and a large black dog appeared, offering to lame him, she agreed and the peddler fell down dead. When I heard this story I was inspired to adapt it into a historic Canadian setting. I wrote the first draft mostly just to hammer out the characters but returned to it after a tonne of research that included visiting the living history museum in my hometown of Edmonton and rigorously interviewing the experts there. It's not perfect but a lot of effort went in to be true to the era, while still playing modern themes that will connect with a contemporary audience.

 

(Other) sources of inspiration when writing The Devil and I?

 

Despite the setting, I really wanted a story that would feel relate-able and not dated. Masculinity, and the complexities of unconventional relationships were ideas that I needed to explore in my life at that point in time and I'm absolutely inspired by duality, and confronting your own emotions which can take several sides simultaneously. A lot of my writing comes from a personal place and I think that's the best way to put the most into your characters.

 

With The Devil and I being a period drama, what were the challenges regarding that aspect of your movie? And why did you decide to make a period drama in the first place?

 

With being a period drama, it's really important to control your setting, and know what's going to take your audience out of the illusion. In low budget film making the restrictions of a period can really force you to be creative. I decided to take on this challenge because I feel Canada's rich history is wildly underrepresented in Cinema. I am determined to do something new and unique with each one of my films. In approaching a period piece, I knew I had to bring my own love of the supernatural, folklore, and horror to make something that no one has ever seen before. I feel like I've accomplished this with the The Devil and I.

 

What can you tell us about your directorial approach to your story at hand?

 

What really drives the story of The Devil and I are the characters and their relationships to each other. We see Mark's imposing brotherly obligations and his obliviousness to Hannah's needs. We see the push and pull from the dog and Hannah's own struggle with morality. By the end we know why the conclusion is the most devastating scenario for all those involved, not on a physical level but emotionally.

 

Do talk about your cast, and why exactly these people?

 

The cast of The Devil and I are all people I work with regularly and hold in high regard. Ariel Hansen [Ariel Hansen interview - click here] of course is my long time producing partner at Bad Cookie and really pushed me to write and direct, and really the whole script kind of grew around her. We work so closely together I knew exactly the role she needed to flesh out her skills and really shine. James Kingstone, who plays Mark, has worked with us on a producer level and I didn't think of him as an actor at all until he asked to audition when we were casting and absolutely nailed the role. Jesse Inocalla of course is a stone cold professional who I've worked with over and over again and knows exactly what I want every time with little direction. The three of them together at the table read were so perfect I nearly cried! 

 

A few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?

 

In low budget filmmaking, you're working with your friends. I'm very lucky to know incredibly talented people who love making films and are brilliantly creative in their own fields. A Bad Cookie filmset is like a wonderful field trip where you and your friends are playing and laughing and having fun and at the end of it all you have this great piece of art that you can watch, share, and celebrate over and over again. Its the greatest feeling in the world.

 

The $64 question of course, where can your movie be seen?

 

The Devil and I is currently making its way through the festival circuit, you can follow its acceptances and screenings at www.badcookiepictures.com or on our Facebook page. After its run we will be releasing it on our Blu-ray of The Bad Cookie Combo along with Ariel Hansen's piece Nepenthes, which will be available from our website store.

 

Anything you can tell us about audience and critical reception of The Devil and I yet?

 

I was very fortunate to be able to premiere The Devil and I in my hometown of Edmonton at the Edmonton International Film Festival. I was surrounded by friends, family, and a great film loving crowd. The first reviews have been overwhelmingly positive, including yours, and my heart has been absolutely warmed. It's hard to put out something so personal and ambitious but I'm happy to know that it's really connected with people.

 

Any future projects you'd like to share?

 

Bad Cookie Pictures has been working nonstop to create content for genre lovers and currently have a lot to offer. We have a weekly creepy history/folklore podcast BC is Creepy on Spotify, iTunes, YouTube, and Google Play. I have a 360 virtual reality murder mystery experience called Tune in for Murder that is just finishing its festival run and should be releasing to the public soon. In terms of short films, we have several making rounds including Nepenthes, Parlour Tricks, Time Heals No Wounds, Paint the Town Red, The Man in the Rabbit Mask, and Ready to Burst. But keep an eye on our YouTube channel because we've been developing a lot of great non-fiction content as well like female filmmaker interviews, short film reviews, and travel tours of spooky places.

 

Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?

 

Feeling lucky ?
Want to
search
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?

The links below
will take you
just there!!!

Find Christopher Graham
at the amazons ...

USA  amazon.com

Great Britain (a.k.a. the United Kingdom)  amazon.co.uk

Germany (East AND West)  amazon.de

Looking for imports ?
Find Christopher Graham here ...

Thailand  eThaiCD.com
Your shop for all things Thai

https://www.badcookiepictures.com/ is a good homebase for all things Bad Cookie.

You can find Bad Cookie on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest, and we update consistently.

 

Anything else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?

 

To be able to grow and keep making consistent content, we've started a Patreon page here: https://www.patreon.com/BadCookiePictures

If you like what we've been doing please have a look, even pledges of $1 are a great help and go towards creating content that will help build the genre community.

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


Legal note: (re)Search my Trash cannot
and shall not be held responsible for
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Thanks for watching !!!



 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD

 

 

Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...

 

Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!

 

Bauliche Angelegenheiten
ein Roman von
Michael Haberfelner

 

Jetzt kaufen bei
Lulu.com