Thursday, November 11, 2021


A salute to everyone reading this interview. I had the opportunity to chat with LEVIN GARBISCH, director and writer of "MIRANDA VEIL" his latest filmmaking work, an mystery - horror film that tells the story of a wannabe serial killer in search of his first victim but stumbles upon with a woman that apparently can't die... from that, the movie develops over a mystery relationship with both of them. You can check out our upcoming note HERE, the movie arrived on Digital HD on June 22 and DVD on July 6 from Indican Pictures.

This represents his second title, he'd shot previously "I SHALL NEVER RETURN". Levin and I spoke about why he decided to get into the film world, his films passions, how he approaches the different stages of a movie creation, from pre to post production and many more things, if you wanna hear practical advice to put on practice when trying to make your first film, well, don't hesitate anymore, scroll down and read this interview.

EFF: Levin, I imagine how tight an agenda you may have now, that's why I wanna  thank you for taking some of your free time out to answer me these questions, really. Let me start with: Where are you from and how did you discover out that filmmaking would be your life thing?

LG: I am from upstate New York. I knew I wanted to be a director from a young age because it just felt right to me. I've always been a very imaginative person, and film directing felt like the best way to get my imagination out into the world.

EFF: How was your first contact with filmmaking?

LG: Like many others, I started making action films with my friends as a kid. But it wasn't until college when I started to expand on the idea of what kind of filmmaker I want to be. 

EFF: Let's get straight to the matter. "MIRANDA VEIL" is your second feature film, but your first horror movie. Levin, why have you decided to shoot your new film in the horror genre?

LG: I never write with a genre in mind. I think that's very limiting. If you start writing according to a genre, you just start doing what other people have done more successfully. My first film I Shall Never Return, was about obsession and it turned out to be a comedic adventure type movie. For Miranda Veil, I wanted to write a story about death, about the fear of the unknown and if you actually have a purpose in life. So, it makes sense to me that it became a horror movie. 
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FF: How the story came up to you? I mean a woman that can't die and a wannabe seril killer anger to make his first murder in... is atypical concept. Maybe any reference from other stories?

LG: I've always been annoyed by immortal characters in media. They often come off as very whiny and tormented. Like the vampires in Buffy, or the man in He Never Died. I wanted to have an immortal character that felt different from what we've seen before. I'm also a big fan of the movie Spring by Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson, about a relationship a man forms with a monstrous woman.

EFF: Tell us a little bit about the writing process... How much time took you to set up the first script? How many drafts did you elaborate until you get the definitive one?

LG: I wrote the first draft very quickly. But it took a while to become film you see today. Original drafts had Soren as a more established serial killer. But I changed that when my cinematographer pointed out that it would be impossible for people to like him if that was the case. 

EFF: Could you tell us about the project itself? I mean, the funding stage, did you have to pitch out the story? How did you get producers for your film?

LG: I had the money available to fund the actual shoot, but I knew we would need more to actually finish the film. So, we did a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for Post Production. It ran on Seed and Spark and was successful. I found my producers through friends and people I'd worked with before. I'd love to pitch my films to people, but there aren't really any open doors for me. I just have to work with what I have. 

EFF: The shooting stage how it was? Knowing the limited budget an indie film could have, what aspect you wanted to sharp on more? Maybe location, actors, I don't know.

LG: I disagree that the budget was limited. It was exactly what I needed it to be. I wrote the script knowing what I had available to me and respecting the creativity and inventiveness of my crew. We shot for thirteen days and were very efficient. I did all the location scouting myself and found all the places I envisioned when I wrote this. If I had a higher budget, I would have put it entirely toward marketing. 
Levin Garbisch on "Miranda Veil" set

EFF: How did you handle the location scouting process? The film had practically two steady locations; the killer shack and Miranda house. What can you tell us about that to those newbie filmmakers out there...

LG: Just driving man. I found the shack just by looking. As well as all the roads, the gas station, the hotel, the parks, the tunnel at the end, everything. The house was owned by a friend of ours. I found that people living in remote areas are nice, and interested in letting you film there. To newbie filmmakers, just ask people if you can film at a place. Let them know the full details and don't lie about anything. 

EFF: Practical advice, practical resolutions, that’s good, many newbie just tangled in that aspect. Levin, this is a two-actor movie, what elements you searched out to find your actors?

LG: Everyone knows the characters of a movie serial killer and the victim. So, I wanted to make it clear that this story was different. For every Miranda audition, I told the actress that Miranda was not a victim. For every Soren audition, I told the actor that Soren was not psychotic. Annabel and Zach had the best chemistry and the only ones that felt like they could be friends. That was most important for me. 

EFF: Now, speaking of the principal photography. What was the setbacks you faced off and how did you solve them out?

LG: The setbacks we faced were mostly because of how remote the filming locations were. We had to work off generators to charge anything, and the crew camped out for a few days in the desert. One day, our equipment truck got stuck in the sand, and we took several hours trying to get it out. 
"Miranda Veil"

EFF: Do you have a particular scene that was painful to shoot and why?

LG: On the twelfth day of filming, when we were filming the final scenes of the movie, a train stopped over the tunnel we were filming at. It refused to leave. So, we left to film other scenes and had to reschedule the final scene for the next day. That was the most painful because everything had gone so smoothly until then. 

EFF: Visually speaking, what did you wanted to convey to the audience? Did you take out references from other movies?

LG: There are many references to horror films. Early stalking shots are taken from Halloween, as well as It Follows. Some of the torture scenes reference Saw and Hellraiser and we do have a Jason mask from Friday the 13th. But visually speaking, all I really wanted was to sell the idea of two characters coming together. The scenes between Miranda and Soren start with them further apart, and get progressively closer until the end of the movie. 

EFF: How long took you to shoot the film and when?

LG: It took thirteen days to shoot. During September of 2018.

EFF: What camera did you use and why and how many?

LG: We shot on a Red Scarlet Dragon. My cinematographer owned this camera. It was very effective and useful in low light conditions. 
Bts from "Miranda Veil"

EFF: What can people expect from the film and what do you expect for?

LG: People can expect a surprising experience. Maybe they thought this would be a film about a girl that gets killed a bunch, and not an existential film about the nature of purpose and what it means to be alive. I expect nothing. I just want to hear more opinions. If this could become a cult hit later in life, that'd be fantastic. 

EFF: I know you ran an crowdfunding campaign for this movie, that's why this question fit with you. As an indie filmmaker, what do you think about crowdfunding?

LG: We did use crowdfunding. But I don't think it's very reliable. Crowdfunding can either lead to nothing, or be a trap where you have to fulfill way more than you expected. I think crowdfunding should be used for specific parts of an idea, not the whole thing.

EFF: What has been the most valuable thing you have learned from this movie experience that can share with us?

LG: I honestly think the most valuable thing about filmmaking is to be passionate about your idea and that's something you can't teach or fake. Write something you're actually interested in. 

EFF: What advice would you give to newbie filmmakers who want to film their first feature film? maybe any key things about pre, shooting or post?

LG: Find actors that really understand and connect with the characters. Casting is really important. Make sure you can connect with the leads. Listen to your crew. Everyone opinion is valuable. Also, don't try to pander to audiences, or genres, or demographics. Don't try to recreate films you like. You will fail at that. So much of directing is instinct. So, if you know what's in your mind, decisions will come easily.
Annabel Barrett and Levin Garbisch
EFF: What kind of director are you? Do you make storyboards? How is your day to day shooting process? 

LG: Nah. No storyboards for my stuff. They're more useful for action movies. I like working with actors and making sure they're comfortable on set. Directing feels kinda like leading a heist mission. You plan everything out, and then when things get set in motion, everything goes wrong. What makes you a director is how you adapt to issues. You want everything to go smoothly, but that's just not realistic. 

EFF: What are your inspirations: directors or films?

LG: Luis Buñuel, Andrei Tarkovsky, Yorgos Lanthimos, David Lynch, and Andrzej Zulawski. Any of their films. 

EFF: How have you lived this pandemic? Personally and professionally...

LG: Personally, I've dealt with a bunch of health issues unrelated to Covid 19. My body doesn't like staying in the same place, and my immune system became really vulnerable. Lots of throwing up and panic attacks. Professionally, it's been okay. Not too many interesting stories there. 

EFF: Yeah, it's been hard for everyone, one more than others, but here we are. If a producer gives you a chance to direct a horror film remake, what would it be and why? 

LG: A Nightmare on Elm Street. I'd want to really explore the dream world and mess with the audience. 

EFF: Would you like to say anything?

LG: I think Miranda Veil is a very unique and interesting film, and I don't want it to be forgotten. 

**LEVIN GARBISCH'S | IMDb Twitter | **

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