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An Interview with József Gallai, Director of Project Skyquake

by Mike Haberfelner

May 2022

Films directed by József Gallai on (re)Search my Trash

 

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Your upcoming movie Project Skyquake - in a few words, what is it about?

 

According to the synopsis of Project Skyquake, after strange trumpet-like sounds in the sky have been reported at locations around the world, a wannabe journalist sets out to investigate with her best friend, but they soon find themselves facing an encounter with terrifying results.

 

What were your sources of inspiration when writing Project Skyquake?

 

Beyond the mystery itself, which does seem to have some basis in reality, I was influenced by character-driven science fictions and mystery films, stories where only two or three actors carry the film on their backs such as Monsters by Gareth Edwards, The Endless, The Vast of Night and The Fare.

 

Judging from what I've read, Project Skyquake sounds like a horror/science fiction hybrid - is that at all a correct assumption, and what can you tell us about your approach to both genres?

 

I like to describe it as a science fiction road movie. Although some scenes have the potential to scare you quite easily, the horror elements are not in the foreground. I would have preferred to focus more on the mood and the suffocating atmosphere, and I think that this skyquake phenomenon itself made things a little easier.

 

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

 

Once again, I chose the found footage subgenre, as I think this approach is very appropriate for the story and the mystery that drives it. It’s enough to recall those many amateur footage clips on the internet. Of course, scenes were also filmed in the traditional way, with a number of atmospheric locations at our disposal especially the beautiful scenery of Norway.

 

Among others, Project Skyquake stars Hollywood veterans Tom Sizemore and Robert LaSardo as well as Hellraiser's Simon Bamford - so why them, what was it like working with them, and how did you get them even?

 

Actually, I wrote Scott’s character with Robert LaSardo in mind. He's a very unique looking actor, he's often hired to play antagonists, but in my opinion he's an incredibly versatile actor and I think that those who see and hear him in the film will be surprised by his performance.

 

Tom Sizemore is a true legend, just think of Saving Private Ryan or Heat. We had already finished filming Robert's scenes when I learned that his agent was also representing Sizemore. There was a small role that I hadn't found the right person for yet, so I rewrote it a bit. I didn't know at the time if he would even say yes to my request. In the end, the collaboration came together, which I was very happy about. It was really a great experience to see such great actors bringing the characters I had written to life.

 

The reasons behind choosing Simon Bamford go all the way back to my childhood. At that time, I often went to the nearby video rental store to rent films and after a while my parents didn't check what I was watching, or if I was home alone in the summer, I basically watched what I wanted. I spent a lot of time looking at the VHS tape of Hellraiser before I rented it, and then I found out at home that I had rented Hellbound: Hellraiser II, because that was the only one the store had. Then later, of course, I watched all the episodes, but the second one still holds a special place in my heart to this day. I knew the lines by heart, after a while I looked for the actors on social media, and now I had the courage to contact Simon, who was happy to accept the role. I enjoyed working with him, he’s so powerful in the movie.

 

Do talk about the rest of Project Skyquake's key cast, and why exactly these people?

 

The two main characters are played by Laura Ellen Wilson and Laura Saxon, with whom I have worked on two of my previous films, The Poltergeist Diaries and I Hear the Trees Whispering. Besides the fact they are extremely talented actresses, the deciding factor was the incredible chemistry between the two of them, since they're good friends and they even directed a film together (In Bluebell Wood), so they worked perfectly together on screen. I let them improvise several times because of that, and it was a joy to see them bring scenes to life.

 

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

 

We had nine days of shooting in total in four different countries (Hungary, Norway, UK, US). Robert and Tom’s scenes were filmed first in two days and the majority of filming with the two leads and a skeleton crew was in and near the city I live in. A second unit filmed Jon Vangdal Aamaas’ scenes in Norway in a single day and they did an absolutely fantastic job.

 

From what I know, Project Skyquake is still in post-production - so at what stage are you, and any idea when and where the film might be released onto the public yet?

 

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We complete it this week. Right after that it will have its festival season and if all goes well it will be available worldwide at the end of 2022.

 

Any future projects you'd like to share?

 

Currently we work on turning our 2020 short film Aftermath into a feature film and I also started writing my next script titled A Stranger in the Woods, which will technically be a single-location mystery horror.

 

Your/your movie's website, social media, whatever else?

 

https://www.facebook.com/projectskyquake

Official trailer: https://youtu.be/6FrNhfdtZQA

IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt14883936/reference/

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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Thanks for watching !!!



 

 

Robots and rats,
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love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
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Tales to Chill
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Tales to Chill
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
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WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
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directed by
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written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
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out now on DVD