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Urbanworld 2012 Profile - 'Tunnel Vision' Director Delila Vallot On Telling Dark Stories

Features
by Tambay A. Obenson
September 12, 2012 11:30 AM
1 Comment
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Throughout the week, until next week, when the 2012 Urbanworld Film Festival begins, a few filmmakers with films in the festival will be sharing their individual stories here on S&A, whether with regards to their films screening in the festival, or their process, or anything else they deem worth sharing.

To kicks things off is Delila Vallot (photo above, on set) whose feature film, a thriller called Tunnel Vision, will be making its world premiere at the festival; a trailer for Tunnel Vision follows underneath Delila's story, which is immediately below:

I’m a fan of reaching an audience with old school suspense. I’m not against blood and gore, it’s just that people have seen everything. So I’ve returned to the classic with some visceral flash cuts embracing many stylistic worlds at once.

It was tempting to handle our twenty-day shoot with a run and gun plan but we originally wanted to shoot Tunnel Vision on s16mm. We stuck to mostly static set ups and aimed toward the Golden Mean, straight down the center or super tight. Our lack of movement might have helped to drive the movie into an even heavier hero’s burden. We also wanted to embrace the Reds’ crispness with a low key, film noir aspect; inspired by Georges De La Tours’ Penitent Magdalen, to accomplish some sort of grittiness in spite of the poppy high res picture that the Red naturally produces. Leland Krane, our DP, asked me if I thought the world in this story was benevolent, malevolent or neutral. I decided on malevolent and accentuated this by the constant loss of color throughout.

I loved that Scott Barry and Cristos’ story featured a tattooed, criminal past, anti-hero hero albeit regular family man inside a classic story that’s been told over and over. I asked that they add a bit of esoteric psychosis bordering on spiritual thriller. So although the family dies, their presence can be found haunting throughout the picture.

The actors gave the truest and subtlest delivery and I also wanted the women to play strength accompanied by a softness of yesteryear's past.

The idea was to edit with the timing of a delicately faulty ballet. I worked with the already horror privy James Kondelik toward a rhythmical cut that worked against any natural or expected pulse and sustained uncomfortable silences that mimic the painfulness of a mundane hyper realistic present tense.

Michael John Mollo scored a dark monotone soundtrack echoing sounds of the last industrial hammer heard bouncing off distant railroad tracks while simultaneously introducing notes of classically used violin and lower decibel rumbles apropos to this genre.

The city of New Castle is a dream suspense backdrop. I wish I’d had more time to capture the strange mixture of Victorian against industry that the city juxtaposes. Wardrobe stayed in melancholic navy’s, blacks, grays and reds. Every department introduced an aspect into every shot so that the journey is subliminally uncomfortable, filled with ceaseless unease.

It’s been seven years in the making for me and seventeen years since inception for the writers. I’ve always believed that continual persistence does make a dent by pushing through when impatience and the drudgery of “no” overcomes the idealistic fire in the belly to adjoin reality and the dream. However I’m secretly amazed that my philosophy is real and with help by remarkable individuals, like Chris Leggett, we’ve got a finished piece. I’d say I’m a positive person with a propensity to tell dark stories, and my desire is that the audience joyfully experiences this very dark ride.

Here's the trailer for Tunnel Vision:

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1 Comment

  • D.C. Kirkwood | September 12, 2012 7:19 PMReply

    Very proud to see African Americans showing what we can do in other genres of film. Very excited for her. I hope this is a trend that continues. I will definitely be supporting this.

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