Image Entertainment releases Lovely Molly on May 18th, 2012 at AMC Empire 25 and AMC/Loews Village 7.
NYC MOVIE GURU: What lesson(s) did you learn from your experience making The Blair Witch Project?
Eduardo Sanchez: I learned that filmmaking is the most collaborative art form, where you have to let some of the control go and trust the people around you.
NYC MOVIE GURU: How do you feel you've grown as a filmmaker?
ES: I feel more comfortable just coming to the set with enough info to get the job done. I try not to over-prepare now.
NYC MOVIE GURU: How important is it to take risks as a filmmaker?
ES: It's the only thing that keeps me going sometimes---that fear that has to be conquered. I feel it's crucial to the process, always trying to do something that you're not sure will work. Once you're too confident you can get into trouble.
NYC MOVIE GURU: Are you risk-averse or risk-seeking?
ES: I'm somewhere in the middle. I love the risk but also know that I have to deliver on some level or it could be my last film!
NYC MOVIE GURU: How has your attitude toward risk evolved since the beginning of your film career (including your school days)?
ES: Seems like in film school, the sky was the limit. I would literally sit there and think of the craziest shit I thought I could pull off, then went out and did it! Now that I'm spending other peoples' money, I have to be more responsible, but still, I try to bring that feeling of risk to everything I do. It's just inherent in filmmaking, really. You never know what you've done until way after you can do anything about it.
NYC MOVIE GURU: What do you think makes dark-themed movies such as Lovely Molly so compelling to audiences?
ES: I think we subconsciously miss our caveman days when death was literally around every corner. We crave the excitement of tragedy, as long as it's not happening to us! It's why we rubberneck at accidents! Horror films let us experience that feeling in the safety of a theater eating popcorn or at home in our pajamas.
NYC MOVIE GURU: Roger Ebert once stated that horror films don't really need a big star because the horror itself is the star. Do you agree/disagree?
ES: I absolutely agree. And the horror can manifest itself in so many ways---in a little girl, in a shark, in a house, etc. That's what makes them so much fun.
NYC MOVIE GURU: How has the advancement of film-making technology affected you as a filmmaker?
ES: We shot Lovely Molly with the RED [camera] and other than the luxury of being able to shoot many takes with multiple cameras, the editing process was incredibly empowering to me. I was able to reframe shots and even add little zooms within shots that would've been impossible ten years ago.
NYC MOVIE GURU: How challenging was it to cast Molly? What important qualities were you looking for that you found in Gretchen Lodge?
ES: Not challenging at all once I found Gretchen! I knew it was going to be tough. The role was very challenging so I knew that whoever I found was going to have to be fearless. And that's really what I looked for in Molly - someone who wouldn't flinch in even the most rigorous scenes. And there are plenty of them in this film! But Gretchen WAS fearless. I just trusted her completely and she totally delivered.
NYC MOVIE GURU: What do you think are the basic elements that turn a horror film into a classic? What made The Blair Witch Project a classic?
ES: I think that classic horror films always bring something new to the genre. Whether it's a new actor, effect, setting or technique, it seems to me that most of the classic films of the genre always deliver something surprising to the audience. Those are the films that people always go back to. The Blair Witch Project definitely did that, probably too much if you ask many people! People had never seen anything like that.