Your movie Prescott Place
- in a few words, what is it about?
A film noir that tells the story of a reclusive
actress in the midst of a psychological breakdown.
very obviously pays hommage to 1940's Hollywood cinema - so what do you
find so fascinating about that era, and what convinced you to so openly
embrace the filmmaking techniques of yesteryear? And while we're at it,
your movie also reminded me of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, in
itself, an hommage to 1940's Hollywood - care to comment on that too?
Prescott Place is an ode to
the best of Hollywood classics like Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?,
Sunset Boulevard and The
When I started to talk about my idea for
Prescott Place, I often got feedback
like, ďItís like Chucky!Ē
I donít dislike Chucky, but in my head, my picture is
prettier than Chucky. I didnít intend the
tone of the film to be an imitation of classic movies when I wrote
the screenplay. I searched for inspiration during the production. Itís a
surreal story, sort of a memory, so I felt it's time period must be in the
past. Itís also a female driven story, so eventually Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?,
Sunset Boulevard and Rebecca emerged from
my research. The acting and film style are irresistible to me. After I
finished the film, fans told me it also looked like an episode of The
Twilight Zone. Nice!
sources of inspiration when writing Prescott
My childhood memories of
playing and talking to babydolls. I think every girl has similar
experiences. Or am I weird?
How would you describe your directorial
approach to your subject at hand?
Most female driven movies
are directed by men and oftentimes are presented from a manís point of
view. I want to represent the authentic voice of women.
Please do talk about
your leads Alexis Iacono [Alexis
Iacono interview - click here] and Marc Balfour for a bit, and why
We couldnít find the right
Jane Prescott at the first round of auditions. We set up the second round,
and in walks Alexis Iacono. Unlike
other actresses who read lines only, Alexis was already in character. Her
performance blew every one away. Thatís the moment you got the feeling:
thatís it! Alexis made Jane Prescott come to life. She is Jane Prescott -
a classic physical beauty!
Doesnít Marc Balfour look like Errol Flynn? His
classic gentlemanly charm made for great chemistry with Alexis!
You also have to talk about the seamless
special effects work on the babydoll for a bit, and how was it achieved?
did a couple of test-shoots. I didnít have a
clue how to make it look the way I wanted, but I had a very talented crew,
especially the DP Lance Kaplan and the special effects artist Jesse Spiro.
If you have super talented people on your team, and you trust each
other, oftentimes the results
shot the babydoll without a head, then we shot Alexis playing the babydoll
in front of a green screen. In postproduction, we replaced Alexisís
babydoll head on top of the doll in the computer to bring the character to
can you tell us about the actual shoot and the on-set atmosphere?
love being on set for the creative atmosphere! We shot the film at a
gallery so we could only use the space at night. The call time was 5pm,
then we shot nonstop to 5am in the morning for 5 straight days. It was
overwhelming but I didnít hear any complaints and I think everyone on
the team enjoyed the process of creating something special.
few words about audience and critical reception so far?
it was an audience at Cannes Short Film Corner or a small
independent film crowd, the responses have been so incredibly
humbling. The cast and myself have been overwhelmed with the reception we
have been receiving. People of all ages have thanked me for bringing
back 'Yesteryear Old Hollywood' noir. And that alone, is such a reward.
$64-question of course: Where can the movie be seen?
are proud to be distributed by the SnagFilms!
Watch Prescott Place
far as I know, for your upcoming movie A Thousand Deaths - The Anna May
Wong Story, you will be returning to old Hollywood. So what can you
tell us about the movie, and what excites you about its subject matter
Anna May Wong?
a coincidence that my next project is a period piece. I first encountered
Anna May Wong in 2005 when I saw her film Dangerous to Know (1938) on
the anniversary of her 100th birthday. I thought she was strange but her
image on the program handout stuck with me. On the cover, she was scantily
clad standing in front of the shadow of a Chinese dragon.
In 2008, while searching online for an old doll for Prescott Place, I came across an Anna May Wong doll. It was almost like she was
haunting me. I bought the doll and it seemed to stare at me, daring me to
get to know it. I began to research her. As an Asian woman myself, I
related to her struggle as a person caught between East and West. Even
though she was born in a different time, I was so inspired by her
strength, her will to fight, her persistence to fulfill her dream. While
her story has a bright side, it also has many dark moments. I want to
share her story in the medium she loved mostÖ film.
Other future projects you'd like to
I do have tons of ideas but right
now Iím focusing on the production of my first feature film A
Thousand Deaths - The Anna May Wong Story.
What got you into filmmaking to begin with, and
did you receive any formal training on the subject?
didnít go to any film school but I have my masters degree in drama. I
started to get involved with filmmaking when I was in graduate school. I
basically learned by doing it. I think those excessive film school
tuitions are put to better use paying for my short films, right? Iím
still in the learning process but Iím mastering it.
can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Prescott
films were more experimental before Prescott Place. I finally found
my love for drama while producing Prescott Place. Almost every short
film I made won awards from film festivals. If you are interested, you can
visit my website at www.peilinkuo.com.
How would you describe yourself as a
A filmmaker with a womanís
eyes and heart to observe and present the world.
Filmmakers who inspire you?
Lynch, Billy Wilder, Hitchcock... hmm, we need more serious female
filmmakers. It seems that
Hollywood thinks women can only make comedies, doesn't it?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
most recent favorite is the Chinese silent film The Goddess (1934).
The lead actress Ruan Lingyu made me cry even without speaking.
... and of course, films you really
Havenít thought of that yet.
Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever
For Prescott Place:
For A Thousand Deaths- The Anna May Wong Story:
ďLIKEĒ them on Facebook! Thank you for your support in advance!
Anything else you are dying to mention and I have
merely forgotten to ask?
No! Thank you
Thanks for the interview!