Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Bloedsuiers - Interview

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A new South African vampire film is on its way.

Screenforum's Alistair Anderson met with Benjamin Cowley, the producer of Bloedsuiers, a horror-comedy about two vampire hunters who go in search of a vampire prince in the Karoo. The film stars comedian and actor, Rob van Vuuren, Fokofpolisiekar and Van Coke Cartel linchpin, Francois van Coke, Lark singer, Inge Beckmann and actor Andre Roothman, known for Known gods, Charlie Jade and Home Alone 4.

AA - Why a vampire film?

BC - Two years ago, my team and I looked at the SA film market and decided it fit in with the Afrikaans music scene. Bakgat and Poena is koening were both box office successes and we saw potential in this market. But we wanted to do something different. We wanted to do a popular genre and decided to make a horror movie combined with comedy.

AA - How did you get rock stars to join the cast?

BC - Well, we got to know Francois through Inge. He was originally doing just music for the film but then he decided he wanted to have more involvement within the film. This led to him becoming a star of it. We knew who Inge was. She was still cast from a group of 40 to 50 people.

AA - Francois is not renowned for his acting ability but more so his musicianship and collaborations. Was his transition into a character of the film smooth?

BC - He is a natural performer and a good actor. He fitted in well.

AA - What are you trying to say or achieve with this film?

BC - We want to create entertainment. We have hot guys and sexy girls. We want to take people on a fun journey. This film is purely about entertainment. We have a very strong script and very strong content, which made it attractive to investors. We are excited about this film.

AA - When is it due to open and how wide will the release be?

BC - We are looking at getting it on 150 screens. We have two release dates; October this year or January next year. The next Twilight film appears to be out in October and we do not want to release our film too close to its opening.

Much of the film was funded using public crowd funding. Many fresh film makers pool their families and friends' financial help to fund their early films. Cowley worked on films in the US before Bloedsuiers, his first local feature.

The general South African public was invited to support the film through pledges.
When a person pledged on the Bloedsuiers website, they automatically became a member of the project. They received a user name that let them enter competitions. The prizes included music concert tickets and meeting the cast. They could even win an appearance in the movie. Bonus features about the movie were also available.

Let's hope Bloedsuiers is better than last year's critical failure, Eternity.

Alistair Anderson

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