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An Interview with Xander Turian, Director and Star of Rotten Love

by Mike Haberfelner

April 2018

Xander Turian on (re)Search my Trash

 

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Your new movie Rotten Love - in a few words, what is it about?

 

After a hard day of work, a visibly stressed young man by the name of Leo, heads home to find that something is disturbingly wrong.

 

How did the project fall together in the first place?

 

The original script written by Sarah Giercksky, who also plays Kat in the film, was only 4 pages long and created initially for a Swedish screen writing contest. It was rejected and then filed away in a folder somewhere in Sarah's house. Sarah and I were discussing what to do next after completing the shooting of our feature film Sargad and were going through her scripts and ideas. Rotten Love jumped out at me as a nice simple 2 character, 1 location short. I took the 4 page script, translated it to English with help from our first AD and good friend Jasmine (Martinez) and created a 13 page long breakdown with shotlist and began pre-production straight away.

 

What can you tell us about Rotten Love's writer and co-star Sarah Giercksky, and what was your collaboration with her like, both in front of and behind the camera?

 

We work very well together creatively and during the filming of Sargad became so close that we actually ended up dating for just over a year before deciding to keep our relationship purely professional. I currently represent Sarah as her talent manager and our 2 companies Bloody Fierce Productions (Sarah's) and Cuprite Productions (mine) work very closley and collaborate with several interesting new projects in the pipeline.

 

Rotten Love isn't the first movie you've made with Sarah Giercksky - so do talk about your other collaborations for a bit, and how did you first meet even?

 

We met on the set of a short film called The Ego Death directed by mutual friend Ludvig Gür where I had a cameo role and Sarah was the assistant director. It was on this set she began discussing her script for Sargad, which became the first project we created together which is Sarah's debut feature film which she plays Elina in a I Spit on Your Grave type rape-revenge film with me in a strong supporting role and producer position. Following Sargad we created a line of shorts including Aren’t They Adorable, Mimes, Girl in the Snow and of course Rotten Love.

 

Do talk about Rotten Love's approach to horror, and is that a genre at all dear to you?

 

This is most definitely a question you should be asking Sarah. She is the horror nut. For me, as I come from a sales background and have been running my own record label for 5 years, I could see the incredible potential in the passion of the horror community and with Sarah's amazing skills on social media and in horror circles we made the perfect team to be able to create our horror franchise, with Sarah focusing as the face outwards as a people of the people in the horror world, and myself acting more as a business liason guiding her and creating films I believe are marketable in a wider sense.

 

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

 

For me I got such clear images in my head when I read the script and started discussing the outline of the story with Sarah so it was just a matter of communicating this to our team and then creating the characters together with Sarah. We worked a lot on our characters and blocking so that when we got on set we knew exactly how everything was meant to be with our actions together with the camera movement , which was useful as I was acting in the scenes myself as well as directing.

 

You also play the lead in Rotten Love - so what did you draw upon to bring your character to life, and how much Xander Turian do we find in Leo, honestly?

 

Well, as you know Sarah and I were dating at the time and there is probably more of her in Kat then there is of Xander in Leo. But we always bring small elements of ourselves into any role. I did however gain a lot of weight for the role and had a strange hair cut and beard/mustach combo due to a play I was also doing parallel at the time, which added some interesting dimensions to the character that I feel realy worked to the film's advantage.

 

You of course also have to talk about your location for a bit, and what was it like filming there?

 

We actually had a lot of issues with the location(s). The main house where the majority of the film was shot was originally meant to be available to us for 4 days, when we arrived howver after shooting for 6 hours from 6am in the bathroom location we found out that we had to be out by midday the following day giving us just under 24 hours to set up, shoot, clean up and leave... which we did. We also discovered that the grave that was meant to already be dug for us was not, so we began by digging a grave in minus 5 degrees, which both Sarah and I lay in half naked - we both got sick after the shoot!!

 

Do talk about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?

 

Stressfull, as mentioned above we had to solve a lot of issues, we lost members of the crew for various reasons, one person's mother had to go to hospital, so he had to go, of course, and there was just issue after issue which we just had to deal with. But we pulled it off in the end! 

 

The $64-question of course, where can Rotten Love be seen?

 

Right now Rotten Love is available to watch at various film festivals around the world with public screenings happening regularily still a year after its world premier at the Allingsås Kultfilm Festival. It is also available as a bonus feature on the Sargad DVD and will have an online release later this year following the final festival screenings.

 

Anything you can tell us about audience and critical reception of Rotten Love yet?

 

It has been amazing, we have had over 50 official selections and nominations, over 20 awards for Best Film, Best Horror, Best Thriller, Best Music, Best Sound, Best Editing and I myself have won several awards for Best Director and Best Actor. 

 

Any future projects you'd like to share?

 

Sarah has a short film she has written that I will be directing called Brisé, think Black Swan meets Suspiria. We also have the first sequel for Sargad, which is going to be a trilogy and I have 2 of my own scripts that I am developing alongside my own acting and my music where I have my band, Our Untold Story’s new album coming out which I will be touring.

 

What got you into the filmworld in the first place, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?

 

I bagan my career in music, touring since I was 16. After the release of my first record in 2012 we made our first music video which I produced myself. The director and I decided I would act in it and it just took off from there. I have attended theatre school in Stockholm and am now about to graduate from Prague Film School's Acting for Film program with Sarah.

 

What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Rotten Love?

 

Prior to Rotten Love I had made a few short films, acted in a lot of student movies and worked a lot as an extra in Swedish film and television as well as commercials. Rotten Love really gave my career the boost it needed to get to the next level for me.

 

Filmmakers, actors, whoever else who inspire you?

 

Tarantino, Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt, Meryl Streep, Anthony Hopkins, Billy Joe Armstrong, Dave Grohl, Elon Musk, Bernard Hiller, Tony Robbins... man the list goes on!!

 

Besides making movies you're also a musician, right? So do talk about that aspect of your career, and your musical influences and the like?

 

I am!! My band is called Our Untold Story and our new album My Dreams, My Rules comes out later this year. We have music featured in Sargad among other movies, and I produce and act in all of our music videos! My main influences are Green Day, Foo Fighters, the Doors, the Hives, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

 

Your favourite movies?

 

Fight Club, Donnie Darko, The Matrix, The Doors with Val Kilmer, Saw, the list goes on.

 

... and of course, films you really deplore?

 

Anything with Dave Franco... How can someone related to a genius like James Franco be so awful... oh and anything with Anne Hathaway... ICK!

 

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

The links below
will take you
just there!!!

Find Xander Turian
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 Xander Turian here ...

Thailand  eThaiCD.com
Your shop for all things Thai

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

 

www.xanderturian.com

www.cupriteproductions.com

www.bloodyfierceproductions.com

www.facebook.com/RottenLoveMovie

 

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

 

My favourite colour is blue, my favourite food is chicken tikka masala and I love yoga, cross fit and driving through the country side.

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

No, Thank You!

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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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
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