(Courtesy of Vertical Entertainment)
Villain Media has an exclusive interview with director James Cullen Bressack about his terrifying witchcraft-centric Blood Craft. Bressack opens up about putting together a revenge thriller about two sisters seeking out vengeance against their already dead father.
Two sisters who suffered abuse as children at the hands of their sadistic father decide, after his death, to use witchcraft to bring his spirit back to get revenge.
Available on digital and VOD, James Cullen Bressack discusses how the project came about, adding the visual cues to Madeleine Wade’s screenplay, and filming inside a single location. Check out our review as we step into the director’s studio and chat about the filmmaking process.
Villain Media: How did Blood Craft come about?
James Cullen Bressack: So Madeleine [Wade] approached me about this script many years ago. She circled back a few years later. She said, “I’m going to make this. Do you want to do it?” I said, “Yeah. We would have to make these changes to the script.” We did. And it was a really good collaboration!
VM: I’m glad you mentioned Madeleine Wade. Tell me about directing Wade and visualizing her screenplay.
JCB: Madeline gave some great insight! She kind of stepped away and let me do my thing directorially. It was a really good experience! She trusted me with the material. She allowed me to creatively come up with the effects. Some of the stuff, like the bathtub scene where she sees the reflection of her father in the water, that was something that I added on the day.
VM: I loved how the movie gave such a visual layout of the house. Tell me about the challenges of shooting in one location.
JCB: I remember when we were shooting a lot of stuff with Michael, being on the ground, crucified. I was really concerned if the audience would get bored in there. We were in the same room for so long. I took it upon myself to continuously try to change up what part of the room, how I covered the room, and how I lit the room. It would feel different each time we were in it.
VM: Dominique Swain has been one of my favorite actresses since Face/Off. Tell me about working with Swain on the role of Hilde.
JCB: Dominique had so many great ideas for the role! It was a great collaboration! She’s a talented actress and working with her was a really good experience. She brought it and gave it her all. It was amazing how she was able to compartmentalize. She’d be crying in one take. While we’re setting up the next shot, she’d be off to the side joking with everybody. And then she goes back. It was really interesting to see.
VM: I loved the editing and camerawork of the séances in the movie. Did you storyboard these scenes for preparation?
JCB: I always shotlist my movies. We had a plan of attack for how we wanted to shoot them. We’d discuss lighting and all that stuff. Something we had crafted before we arrived on set, we executed the plan we had set in motion.
VM: How did Blood Craft change you as a filmmaker?
JCB: I feel like with every movie I make I change and grow as a filmmaker. Every time I try to do something different, I try to evolve. I try to challenge myself. Part of the challenge of Blood Craft was how do I make a movie that takes place inside a house that is predominantly one location, that is in the mind of one character. How do you make it interesting to the audience? I try to make it visual and story-driven at the same time.
VM: Where can the readers of Villain Media find your movie?
JCB: It’s on all the VOD platforms.
VM: What are you working on now?
JCB: I’m just gearing up for a new movie. I start shooting pretty soon. I’m just working away. And trying to get a lot done! [Laughs]
[Writer’s Note: This interview has been edited for clarity. Links are highlighted in bold.]
Blood Craft is now available on VOD.