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Mania Exclusive 1:1 Jamie Bradshaw of BRANDED
Chatting with the co-director
By Robert T. Trate
September 07, 2012
Branded opens today in select cities. It looks (if the trailers are any sort of indiction) to be the kind of film any Maniac would flock to. We are always on the lookout for something new and completely different. Many would argue that Branded looks like someone updated John Carpenter’s They Live. Mania was the given the opportunity to sit down and chat with one the film’s co-directors/ co-writers, Jamie Bradshaw. Here was our chance to ask the director/ writer exactly what we are in store for with Branded.
Mania: What can you tell me about Branded that I can’t see in the trailers?
Jamie Bradshaw: Well, I don’t know what’s not there. Does it look like a story that you have seen before?
Mania: Actually, it does. A lot of people are making comparisons. The biggest being it looks like John Carpenter’s They Live.
Mania: What was it like to work with and direct Max von Sydow?
Jamie Bradshaw: The first thing one would say about Max von Sydow is that one doesn’t really need to direct Max von Sydow (laughs). One brings great material to Max or one hopes that good enough material inspires Max. In this case, we brought a script to Max von Sydow that he said was not only an inspiring script, but a movie he had never seen before. It was also a movie he had to see, that he was dying to see. He said, (in an okay Max von Sydow imitation) “ I got to see this movie”. I can’t do his voice, “I can’t wait to see this movie”. I almost fell over dead when he said that, because I grew up with the 8,000 great Max von Sydow movies (laughs). Essentially, he loved the script and agreed to do it and showed up with the same aspirations and interests that we had. He shows up, 83 years old, stands on his marks and does it all day and is perfect and absolutely prepared. the guy is a living legend and everything you would expect. It’s just amazing.
Mania: You and your directing partner [Alesandr Dulerayn] are new to us here at Mania. In a way to help us better understand you, can you tell me what recent Sci-Fi movie has made you cringe? As in, they were so close to getting it right and didn’t.
Jamie Bradshaw: Close to getting right? That’s interesting because I cringe all the time. I see so many films that have cool ideas, but don’t really have, in my opinion anyway, the epic scope. They are below the line to provide that entertainment value that I want out of the idea. Especially in the Sci-Fi/ Thriller genre because of how those films are financed, which you means they don’t have a whole lot of money to play with to make the film. I feel that I am often let down, because I go to the film expecting to have this cool, incredible journey and it just doesn’t do it. We wanted to put every penny below the line so that we could see it all up on screen; so that we could give the audience as many locations as possible. Our film becomes completely visual for ten minutes over the course of this ritual someone performs, you just want to go here and there. I get so bored so quickly because the thing [the movie] tells you what it is five minutes in and it doesn’t really have much stuff to show. It, then, doesn’t have any more ideas to it. We wanted to make something where every five minutes you had fresh ideas and an exciting hold to put the audience in so that they are having a good time. The Matrix, to me, is the perfect example of the perfect film. The Matrix is literally the perfect film, in my opinion. It marries ideas and fun in a way that I think no one has ever been able to do expect maybe in Raiders of the Lost of Ark.
Mania: The Snap Tag Reader is everywhere in your marketing. How do you make a film today for the average movie goer in relation to the kid that is always on his phone checking out everything the Snap Tag allows him to learn about your film?
Jamie Bradshaw: It is a profoundly mysterious film. I like movies that work on all different levels. I think for a movie to work, it has to be entertaining on a very physical and external level. It has to have a hero trying to do something, change the world or solve a mystery. It also has to have some ideas. Those ideas can have a labyrinthine reality to them, they can be esoteric. As long as they don’t get in the way of the fun story that you are telling, as long as they have the organic connection, then you are enjoying the movie. I think that is what is with this kind of marketing. What’s really cool about social media kind of marketing, these days, is that it functions on all kinds of different levels. The movie is discoverable on many different levels and on as many different levels as you want it. You don’t need to know anymore about our film than what you see in the trailer.
Mania: What’s your Geek confession? For example, I interviewed Brian Henson and he said he hated puppets (read it here). So, what’s yours?
Jamie Bradshaw: (long pause) Oh lord. (long pause) I think I like movie trailers just as much as I like movies.
Mania: Sometimes they are better.
Branded opens September 7th, 2012 in theaters.
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