Jader Interviews Director F. Javier Gutierrez

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F. Javier Gutierrez, the director the new film RINGS, is no stranger to the horror genre. His film Before the Fall had quite the buzz over in Europe and won the award of Best Motion Picture and Best Screenplay in the most prestigious Spanish film festival, the 2008 Malaga Film Festival. Not to mention additional awards in one of the nations largest and longest running horror film festival Screamfest in 2009. I was able to go and see his latest projectand have a sit down afterwards.

At the lavish Mandarin Oriental Hotel, journalists waited patiently to meet the director as he took phone interviews in an addict room. There were some nerves considering we are dealing with a Hollywood director talking about his latest project and you never know the reaction someone will give to in-depth questions. As we enter the room Gutierrez greeted us with a warm smile and seemed very enthusiastic to talk to us. Having known he was attached to the project before hand, It was not long after that he noticed my shirt, I wore my a black Eric Draven from The Crow to which prompted him to exclaim, “The Crow! I love your shirt!” Needless to, this broke the ice. We had a limited amount of time with him, however the experience was informative as well as genuine. Let’s get started shall we.

Being that this film has a fan base and history, it was important know how he defined the project.

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“It’s definitely a sequel; we talk about certain events that happen in the original film. We go back to the roots of the original and follow the thread of what happens if somehow someone finds the original tape and puts it out there.” It’s clear that Gutierrez understand how to not abandon what made this film such a success and pay the right respects to origins. It was also clear that he wanted to make it a new experience for a generation that may not know that much about Samara or her telling tape.

As previously stated, Gutierrez was attached to the reboot go The Crow, so we were all curious to see how he came to this projects. “It was a passion project for me [The Crow]. I was working on the project for about two years. I got to fix things, helped a lot on set, and I was very excited to do the film. Unfortunately, there were a lot of problems out of my reach and I couldn’t control everything, I always tend to be optimistic and I try to do everything but I couldn’t and it was rough.”

However, in the darkness of the well, ha-ha, there was a light, “While everything was slowing down with the project, I got to meet Walter F. Parkes and Laurie MacDonald producers of The Ring among some other gems (i.e. Gladiator, Flight, Men in Black) they had an impressive resume. They called me and told me that they really loved Before the Fall, and told him ‘We think you have that darkness and the visuals that you can bring something to the table, for RINGS.’ So I started weighing out the pros and cons between projects, The Crow project kept getting pushed back so I got involved with RINGS since they were six years or so in development when I got there everything started moving on track and very fast and decided to stop working on The Crow I couldn’t be there and I helped them find a new director and jumped right into Rings.”

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So how does the archaic VHS play into the rapid technology boom that is this decade? Well Gutierrez felt that is was about a movement in morality. He made sure it played a role to connect the emotion tug of Samara’s story, “I’m very nostalgic, so I wanted to create a link at least, its something the crew and myself wanted to do, I told them I would love to add transition from the original tape. People my age that’s what we did we had old videos when we were kids and my initial thoughts were to take it to the store and have it transition to DVDs so I wanted to see that happen and bring justice to the original tape. It set up the rules again for the newer crowd, which have not seen the original film but also wanted to do it differently while also doing a callback to the original.”

F. Javier Gutierrez is no stranger to passion projects; he genuinely seems to love classic horror films, loves suspenseful build ups and seems to have lots of fun making this film. Respectfully, he appreciate how far horror has come but feels it needs to go back to the basics and in order to do that we need to take a look at what really make scare people. RINGS is his attempt at doing just that.