Tuesday, 17 May 2016

INTERVIEW WITH CESAR CRUZ, DIRECTOR, PRODUCER, AND WRITER OF ARIA (SCI FI, COMEDY, FANTASY)




 Peacemaker Productions

Genre: Science Fiction, Comedy, Fantasy.


Interview with Cesar Cruz, director, producer, and writer of Aria

"Kickass female action hero with a smart ass attitude. Deadpool meets Die Hard".

 1.  I'm guessing with a bio like that there will be some classic lines uttered in some hilarious action sequences?

- The best way for me to describe the character of Aria is to say she is a mix of John McClain from Die Hard and Deadpool from the comics. She’s a total smart ass, bad ass character who is totally unpredictable. She definitely cracks jokes and has a dirty mouth like John and Deadpool. We get to see her kicking some serious ass and dropping jokes in both the comic and short film. More in the comics then the film due to the extreme budget and time restraints we had for the film.


2. When did you get the idea for Aria?

- The original creation of the character of Aria came back around 2004. I created a short film with the same name, where 2 brothers accidentally kidnap an international terrorist with the help of their “crazy” cousin, Aria. (Who happens to be a Spy.) I loved the character of Aria but I didn’t like the whole “Spy” theme. It’s been done too much I think. So being a huge sci-fi, fantasy and horror fan, I decided to combine Aria with another short film script I wrote back in 2010 that involved a government organization that dealt with monsters, aliens and other worlds. I added in a lot more sci-fi, steampunk, and cyberpunk elements into the original concept to get to the point where we are now. I love interesting and unusual characters and I think Aria fits the bill. I really loved writing her stories.


3. What is the general outline for the movie?

- Two brothers find themselves caught up in a mystery surrounding their missing father thanks to their strange cousin, Aria. The movie is a 15 minute short film that was designed to introduce the audience to the craziness that is Aria and her world. She is not your typical hero and the world that she lives in is not the typical thing you see in films today. We are dealing with the “Multiverse” so their is a lot to play with. It was important to come up with a script that allows the audience a way “In” to this crazy world while having something relatable to hold onto. That’s where the two brothers come in. They are ordinary guys living in our ordinary world oblivious to the secret wars and history going on around them.


4. Is it set in present day?

- Yes. The film and comic deal with the Multiverse so their are multiple worlds and settings. The overall backstory goes way back in history, which we get to touch upon in the comic. Overall, it takes place in today’s world with a lot of today’s mentality and issues sprinkled into the stories.


5. How long did the filming take?

- We had two days to film the entire 20 page script. One of our actresses who played our antagonist, Rhea, was only available for a half day because she had a play in NYC opening up that weekend. So we had to move fast. I was luckily able to rehearse with the entire cast a few times prior to shooting. This allowed us to hammer out the characters and scenes before principal photography began. If we didn’t have those rehearsal days then there would of been no way we could of pulled off the shoot. We had a choreographed fight scene between our two main actresses as well as multiple locations that would have not been possible if we were rehearsing on set. With our time restraints I knew I wasn’t going to get all the camera angles and coverage I wanted to get so I set up camera rules to go along with each character. This allowed me to add more character development and “artistic” value to the film in a very time and cost effective way.


6. When will Aria be released?

- We are planning to start our film festival submission process this summer. It is currently finishing up graphics and audio mastering/mixing.


7. Where can people order the film or watch it?

- I am currently working on building the website to have a home for art, photos, comic updates and behind the scenes videos. Once we are done with the festival market we will probably post the entire film online. Until then it will only be playing at whatever film festivals it may get into.


8. How long did it take to come up with the look for the characters?

- Not very long. When I write something I have a clear vision of how the characters act and look. I knew the two main worlds that we were focusing on for the film and comic would have two completely distinctive looks. Aria and her secret organization; The Equisitrum, here on Earth have a very cyberpunk, goth-punk look and feel. The otherworld’ Solteris, will have a very steampunk look to everything. The hardest part was finding the right articles of clothing with the budget we had. I think we achieved a great balance for the short film.

 - I also worked closely with our makeup artist, Mia Franco, to come up with the looks for both Aria and Rhea. The two brothers were our “normal” characters so they had no makeup or stylized clothing. Rhea comes from another world so we had to come up with a design. Mia worked up a couple of sketches before landing on the final design that you see in the film. We needed to come up with a design that was both time and cost effective to do. We didn’t have the luxury to have our actress sit in the makeup chair for hours. The other twist to the design was that Rhea needs look a lot like a human. She couldn’t have a design that made her stick out in a crowd. I think Mia did an amazing job balancing it all out.


9. Are you able to give an outline of the 2 leads?

- Aria Silvermoon is a Knight of The Equisitrum, A centuries old organization created to protect the world from the dangers of the “Multiverse.” However, Aria believes that The Equisitrum is just keeping the truth from the world in order to keep control of the planet. Aria heads out on a quest to uncover the real truth behind The Equistrum. Aria is what you would get if your crossed Deadpool and John Mcclain and put it into a female body. She is strong, tough, unpredictable, fun, funny vulgar and free spirited.

- Rhea is Captain of the Royal Guard. An elite fighting unit of the Queens of Synal. She is a member of the CHURAN race, the most dominate race on Synal. Rhea is strong, aggressive, tough and dedicated. She has no trust towards the human race but a secret mission handed down from her Queens puts her on a journey through Earth.


10. Who are some of the characters we should look out for?

- Both in the comic and short film you will see Aria and Rhea. In the short film you will meet Aria’s cousins, John and Edgar. John is an angry young adult who is fed up with busting his ass in life and can’t seem to get ahead even with his expensive college education. His older brother John is more settled in life even after being recently divorced. He’s the kind of guy that takes things in stride and always sees the positives in life. These guys are an explosive cocktail in Aria’s hands.

- In the comic we get to see a whole bunch of characters and locations. The comic is a prequel that takes place a few months before the short film. There are a lot of scenes on Earth but the majority of the comic takes place on Solteris, so you get to meet the Queens of Synal, the pirate lord Kain and the mighty Voltrus. A race of steampunk, samurai dragon warriors. Plus numerous creatures, monsters and giant airship, mech battles!


11. Are you planning a sequel?

- I am planning a whole universe for Aria. Right now I am focusing on getting the short film out to festivals and the comic book out to the world. After that there are planned short stories and hopefully more comics. I would love to have Aria be a feature film. If all goes well, the short film and comic would help make that happen.


12. On the Aria FB page you guys like goth/industrial/cyber punk/and cyber metallers Fear Factory. Any of those genres on the soundtrack?

- Both the character of Aria and I are huge fans of those genres of music. So naturally that had to be added into the film. I worked with the very talented Jay Rothman on the score. I gave him a bunch of samples and notes about what I was looking for. A few weeks later he returned with an awesome 80’s industrial, cyberpunk, synth wave score that was just awesome. It had all the right elements, attitude and tone that fit the character. I also hooked up with the awesome cyberpunk band, Invocation Array. We will be featuring their song Perpetual Memory from their debut album A COLOR FOR FICTION. It is a perfect match since that album is just awesome sci-fi, cyberpunk music genius.

- I also created two separate Spotify playlists that I used to help me and the cast/crew get more into the world of Aria. One playlist is ARIA’S KICKIN ASS MIX. Which is a collection of goth/industrial/cyber punk/cyber metal bands that Aria likes to listen to when she’s kicking ass. (Something we reference and show in the comic.) The second is called THE MULTIVERSE: ARIA’S WORLD. It’s a collection of cyberpunk, dark electronic, orchestral, instrumental songs that make an awesome “unofficial” score to both the film and comic.


13. I noticed that you are also huge Sci Fi fans. What are some of your favorite sci fi movies/series?

- Definitely the first two Terminator films, the Alien trilogy, Dark City, The original Planet of the Apes series (and the 2 new ones) the Mad Max series, Warhammer 40k novels, Terry Brooks novels, Michael Moorcock’s Elric and Toho Godzilla films. There are so many more but those are the ones that have been the most influential to me.


14. Is there a table top Aria rpg game coming?

- It is part of the overall plan!


15. Where can people order the Aria miniatures?

- The miniatures are going to be part of the comic Kickstarter campaign. We are working on getting some more miniatures from the comic designed for release as well.


16. How many issues will the Aria comic be?

- Right now the plan is to debut the comic as a 45 page graphic novel. Right now the comic has an art team lead by Tom Mandrake (Batman, Martian Manhunter) and Jan Duress (Star Wars, The Hulk and Spider Man). I am really excited about the comic. It’s going to look awesome!


17. What are the biggest barriers facing independent film?

- Financing and distribution! It’s always hard to get both and both are needed to really get anywhere. It’s hard to sell an original idea to an investor. Especially when most films made don’t make back the money it costs to make it. It is easier if you have a name of some sort attached but most people don’t have that ability. Then once you have the film made what are you going to do with it? How are you going to get people to watch your film? Hollywood is a marketing machine that indie film makers don’t have. So we have to come up with creative ways to get our films noticed. The internet and social media help out a lot but that space has become so over saturated it’s really difficult to get past all the other great indie films being promoted.


18. What do you enjoy the most about film?

- The collaboration! I love every aspect of telling a story on film, but it’s the collaboration between amazing talented people that really makes all the long hours worth it. As a director I have a vision but I feel my job is to create a playing field where each master of their craft can do what they do best freely and respectfully.


19. Are there any other films you are due to work on soon?

- I am planning on a series of extremely short horror films and another cyberpunk/action short film I hope to film this summer. In the meantime I am working on my first two novels, Zero Signal and Dark Passages.


20. What other genres would you like to work on?

- Horror, action and fantasy!


Thanks for the interview Cesar, it sounds like a solid entertaining and imaginative film encompassing a rich and diverse world. Everyone please go follow Aria on Twitter to stay up to date with the latest concerning Aria. Gaz, Ancient Visionz.


 Peacemaker Productions
@AriaTheFilm

#ariathefilm #aria #greyskyfilms #peacemakerproductions #scifi #comedy #fantasy #indiefilm #movies #film 

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