Lance Weiler, Head Trauma

By Matt Prigge
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Mar. 28, 2007

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Deserves props for: Co-directing, along with Stefan Avalos, the pre-Blair Witch Project horror fake-doc The Last Broadcast. His latest is the psychological horror film Head Trauma, which will screen with a live alternate score featuring Espers' Greg Weeks, Brian McTear, Fern Knight and others.

You've released a Dark Side of Oz-style alternate soundtrack CD of your film called Cursed: The Head Trauma Music Project with people like Dr. Dog, Bardo Pond and Sun Ra's Marshall Allen. Is this screening a continuation of that?

"Yeah. Because Head Trauma deals with the fragmentation of memory, I thought it'd be cool to create other versions of the film. Movies kind of get stuck by being the same thing over and over again. A band can go and play and reinterpret their music, or fans can reinterpret it by doing covers. Films don't have that option."

Doing a music/film mashup is usually reserved for silent films. How will you get around Head Trauma's dialogue?

"I'm going to be remixing the film as it plays. While the band scores the film live, I'm going to isolate dialogue and sound effects from this crazy prototype box, which is kind of like a media server that projects the film off of a hard drive. I've never seen this done before."

What else should people expect?

"We're bringing props from the movie. There'll be a tent on the stage. There'll be a smoke machine and special lighting, and the hooded figure from the movie will emerge from within the audience. Very William Castle-esque. And unlike how most theaters want people to turn off their cell phones, I want them to leave them on. At certain points a number will appear on the screen, and when people call in, they'll get cryptic messages. At the end of the film all the cell phones will be ringing."

The Last Broadcast was fairly ahead of its time.

"It was this $900 all-digital film. That's almost 10 years ago. At the time it was next to impossible to digitize work. Now it's easy."

Tell me about

"It's an open-source repository of information on filmmaking. We look at new possibilities, new ways to create sustainability. Over time filmmakers will contribute to it, so if someone wants to make their own work, they can figure out how to fund it, make it, distribute it, market it, sell it and so forth, so you can see a return on your work. That's what it's all about--if you want to make movies, you hope you can continue to do it."

Cursed: The Head Trauma Music Project: Sat., March 31, 8pm. $12-$14. International House, 3701 Chestnut St. 215.895.6535.

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