Given the current events in the film industry, we wouldn't be surprised to see Lou Simon's upcoming film cause a bit of a stir. That's a good thing though. Good art should make people uncomfortable, and we applaud any that bring to light - and force - conversations about relevant social happenings. As such, we are personally very thrilled to have this film land on the scene when it will. Festival details below:
New York City Horror Film Festival
announces the film as their
Opening Night feature presentation.
(New York, NY) – October 18th, 2017. The New York City Horror Film Festival is excited to announce the distinguished presence of writer-director Lou Simon and actress Aniela McGuinnes of the revenge thriller "3" at their Opening Night screening on October 26th. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A with the cast and crew. The film is represented internationally by sales agent Crogan Filmworksfrom Georgia. They will be attending the American Film Market (AFM).
“3” tells the visceral and highly emotional story of a man and a woman who kidnap her rapist in order to extract a confession from him. Locked up in the basement of a remote home, the offender is unwilling to admit his act on camera and relentlessly asserts his innocence. With time running out before the police shows up, how far is the duo willing to go for justice and what if they are wrong?
TRAILER AND CLIPS
New York City Horror Film Fest in New York, NY, USA
(Opening Night feature)
Attending: writer-director Lou Simon and actress Aniela McGuinness
Spooky Empire Film Festival in Orlando, FL, USA
Attending: actor Todd Bruno
Cine-Excess Film Festival in Birmingham, UK
(Official Selection - UK Premiere)
Attending: writer-director Lou Simon will be doing a Q&A over Skype
Rome International Film Festival in Rome, GA, USA
Attending: writer-director Lou Simon
"3" has recently won the Best Actor Award (Mike Stanley) at the HorrorHound Weekend and the Best Score Award(Michael Damon) at the Women in Horror Film Festival.
Q&A WITH LOU SIMON
What inspires you as a filmmaker?
Being able to play with an audience’s emotions – from setting up expectations about what is going to happen, to twisting the story in another direction, to have them feel all the emotions of a scene (especially if that emotion is fear).
Where did the idea of “3” come from?
It started with a simple picture posted by Aniela McGuinness, who plays the role of She. Aniela had a double mastectomy after she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She proudly posted pictures of her scars on social media. It made me squirm, because I can’t imagine how hard it would be to lose the one thing that makes us most obviously women. As if cancer wasn’t dark enough, it reminded me of a rape/murder story where the woman’s nipples had been cut out. The rest of the story came to me in spurts over months.
Why is telling this story so important to you?
Rape is a cancer in our society and the statistics are daunting. Nearly 1 in 5 women have been raped and as many as 321,500 victims (age 12 or older) of rape and sexual assault each year in the United States. And 1 out of every 10 rape victims is male. The emotional scars sexual assault leaves on its victims stay with them for a lifetime. There’s been a rise in cases where rapists have received a slap in the hand for committing rape, while the victims have been vilified for being “too sexual.” There had been laws put in place to protect rape victims from that type of persecution, but somehow, we seem to be taking steps back in the progress that had been made.
What was the most challenging part of making this film?
As always, the biggest challenge was the size of the budget and the limited days of filming. To make a feature film in a couple of weeks is so hard. This script, in particular, had a lot of dialogue for the actors to memorize. I was also afraid that for 3 actors in one location, it would be slow and uninteresting. Hopefully, there are enough turns in the story to keep the audience engaged throughout.
What was the most unique situation you faced during production?
We were filming in an unfinished basement that looked a lot like a cave. One of the nights, it rained for hours out of nowhere. It hadn’t been forecasted at all. The next morning, the basement was flooded, along with a lot of our equipment. The rain had also caused the outlets to trip the breakers, and the entire house lost power. We lost half a day, bailing water out of the basement. There was also the issue of the unfinished floor in the sunroom. When we went to look at the house during pre-production, the floor had been removed, but we were assured that it would be done the next week. Almost 2 months later, we arrive and the floor was still unfinished. We had to put a layer of plywood and then put furniture over that. The floor was like a trampoline when you stepped on it, and where the plywood finished, there was a direct drop to the basement beneath the house – about 8 feet below. I held my breath for 2 days of filming that no one would fall through.
Talk about your method and/or any extraordinary or unusual aspects about your creative process.
What seems to shock people the most is my ability to write scripts in a very short time. I can usually write a script in about four days. “3” was probably the most unique experience yet in that I had not even written the script when we started pre-production. In fact, I didn’t write the script until about a month and a half before principal photography. It was all in my head, but I hadn’t sat down to write it yet. When I finally sat down to write it, in the back of my head I kept thinking “how about if I get writer’s block for the first time and now I have this film completely set up?” Thankfully, I wrote it in 3 days, so it all worked out.
“3” relies on the performance of three outstanding characters. Why did you cast these three actors in particular?
I had worked with Todd Bruno in my film, “HazMat,” and we always talked about working together again. In fact, he helped me produce “3.” Aniela McGuinnesshad been in 2 of my previous films, and I had written the role of Annie in “All Girls Weekend” specifically for her, but then came her cancer diagnosis and she had to vow out of the project. I told her that I would write a new role for her one day once she was better, and I’m glad that it happened sooner than even we expected. She’s cancer free now, so this was a good way for her to come back to acting. Mike Stanley was actually the only person I hadn’t worked with before, but it turned out that he fit in perfectly with the rest of the cast and crew. Most of us have worked together before so we’re like a family. We quickly adopted Mike, and for better or for worse, now he’s one of us.
You are a very prolific director with five features in five years under your belt. What is your recipe for productivity?
Every time I say that I’m going to take time off, my mind wanders off into another story and I start all over again. Creativity feeds our soul, so I’m sure that most filmmakers would do the same if they had the financial resources to do it. I was very lucky to be in a position in life where I could get investors for my first film. When “HazMat” did well, I have been able to use that to get them to continue investing in future projects. I have a very good relationship with my investors, because they know how hard I’ll work for them and how I take my job very seriously. For me, this is a business, and I make decisions on what is best for the investors, not for my ego.
What’s next for you?
“3” will start the film festival circuit this year, and then we’ll starting international sales at AFM in November.
I am developing both a sci-fi script that my company will be filming at the end of the year, and I’m co-producing an action script with another company that will probably be in production next year. Both have a lot of suspense, so although I’m taking a break from horror, they’ll still share some elements with my previous films. I’m not stepping away from horror, just want to challenge myself to try other genres as well.
What are you still looking for?
I’m always looking for investors. All indie filmmakers should always be pitching. My main goal with “3” now is to take it to as many film festivals as possible. We got distribution so early on for the last 2 films that I didn’t submit to many festivals. This time, I’m going to take my time and enjoy it. There’s nothing more rewarding than to watch the film with an audience, and you only get that experience at film festivals.