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Fausti_Films at Genreblast 2016

Following on from the successful  screening of Z.A.F. At Mexico’s Post Mortem film festival, Fausti_films were delighted to be part of the official selection for the New Genreblast Film Festival held in Culpepper, Virginia, USA.  


The brain child of film buff and all round nice guy, Nathan Ludwig, Genreblast is a brand new film festival held at the state-of-the-art State Theatre in downtown Culpeper, Virginia. The venue being an awesome art-deco building packed full of all mod-cons! ​

Aiming to celebrate the finest true genre cinema; films were selected from international film makers and writers leading to an eclectic mix of features, shorts, music videos and screenplays from  the horror, action/adventure, sci-fi, fantasy, martial arts, exploitation, grindhouse, international, experimental styles! Truly a festival for filmmakers, by filmmakers.  

Z.A.F. screened on Saturday night alongside The Zombie flick Peelers which is receiving a lot of attention on the film festival circuit! Such a fantastic film to share the screen with! 

As well as the main film festival, there was an award ceremony for film makers and actors and we are pleased to announce that Michael Fausti was nominated for ‘Best Actor in a short Film’ -It was an honour to be nominated!

On top of all the awesome films, Genreblast also did a great job on providing some top quality mechanise for guests to purchase! Check out the t-shirts!! 


All in all, great job Genreblast! Looking forward to Genreblast 2017 

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ZAF at Genreblast filmfestival 2016

Great news! 

ZAF has been selected to show at the Genreblast film festival in Virginia, USA. 

We’re really excited to be bringing our film to North America! …and to such a groovy looking cinema! 💖

Keep tuned for more details! 🎬

 
From all at Fausti_films  

An Interview with ‘The Pyramid’writer Mathew Bayliss

This interview took place on the set of The Pyramid in March 2016.

The first thing I’d like to ask about The Pyramid is the look of it. How much of that was in the script?
Well, the location came first, which is something I don’t think is that unusual on low budget short films. The location, the balcony and the panoptic view of London’s skyline was the starting point and the look of the film was always very much determined by that shot. It is clearly London, but also has features that are evocative of L.A. The two main roads, wide pavements. Therefore, it wasn’t a massive jump to reach Michael Mann’s Heat as an aesthetic influence and I believe that both the Michaels [director, Fausti and cinematographer Despard] have achieved that with great success.

So, with Heat as an influence, did you set out to write a crime piece?

No. Once I had the location, I knew I wanted to explore the damaging neoliberal ideology taking greater hold of the city. This idea that a self centred competitive nature is rewarded is placed in one of these ubiquitous apartment buildings that cut communities in half and send people who have lived in an area for generations out of the city. The ‘utopia’ we live in, this great city of London punishes those that already find life hard. Now, that’s a difficult and isolating idea to communicate in a short film, so it was from this desire to highlight this bullshit ideology that I reached crime. Because what’s happening to the working class in London is a crime.

The subtext is established then, what about the actual text?

I started with a line, and I can’t tell you where it came from because I don’t know: “I helped build these flats”. And from there, I had this character, this working class man who is symbolic of the larger class and his back story just started to fill itself in. Used to live in London, pushed out by gentrification yet used as a tool to build houses he’ll never be able to live in.

And that, I assume, led to the pyramid analogy?Exactly, the idea of slaves building property for the wealthy, but also the hierarchy.

Exactly. The penthouses at the top of all these buildings.

Yes! The buildings themselves are a hierarchy. The hierarchal class structures that we all live in, the false idea of democracy we have is a hierarchy. So, the idea of these buildings as pyramids developed.

Do you find that the writing process is very much like that? Ideas that develop as if by themselves?

Well, that makes it seem a little like it’s not work! But, I know what you mean. There comes a stage when it becomes more organic. A point when your characters are so fleshed out that their actions and reactions come much easier to write. But, before you reach that stage, a lot of work has taken place.

What is that process?

I imagine it’s different for everyone. Whether I’m working on a feature script or a short, I’ll want to keep writing drafts until I’m either happy it’s as good as I can get it, or I can’t see it anymore for looking at it too much. That’s when I’ll send it to someone I trust to read. And back and forth until it really is, as good as I can get it.  

Is that process different when you’re acting in the film?

Yes. Dialogue is hard and you have to write so that I range of actors could read it and find it appealing. Although I write as if I’m not going to be in anything, but with The Pyramid I knew it would be me and Mike (Michael Fausti).

You didn’t want to act in it?

It’s more necessity than desire. We’re making very low budget short films and right now, the money is going on getting the script on film. Professional actors are not a luxury we had on The Pyramid.

You’d rather be behind the camera?

Yes. In some capacity.

What were the biggest challenges in getting The Pyramid from page to screen?

The attack at the end. On page it worked really well, but filming that was very difficult. In fact, of the two nights we spent filming, one whole night was spent filming the attack. Filming an action scene like this is hard, because as it appears in the script it is aggressive and rough and shouldn’t appear staged and ballet like, yet for it to appear to have the former qualities, you need to really plan and break it down into its individual moves. Mike (director, Michael Fausti) did a lot of research into fight scenes and influences from those found their way in. I’m excited to see what it looks like.

How does the process of writing features compared to writing shorts?



I like the immediacy of shorts. From writing The Pyramid to filming it was a couple of months and a few months after that, it’ll be being submitted to festivals. Features are a much longer process. Both the writing and getting them made.

So, what’s next then?

I’m working on both a short and a feature. If you want to be successful, you just have to keep making things and, Fausti Films is putting together a team that makes that happen.

The Art Work of Fausti_Films

At Fausti_films we pride ourselves on producing visually striking art to publicise our films. An obvious feature is the use of stark images and saturated colour. This has the effect of making the prints distinctive and stand out from the crowd. 

  The Fausti_films background for our Twitter Feed is, of course, no exception. with contrasting red with beige and a corrugated card effect, the is one reminiscent of a previous era-prefect for Fausti_Films. 

image

Developing this theme the one sheet for Z.A.F. used the same figure-that of Olson, as the main feature with a crumpled paper background effect. 

The latest one sheet for the upcoming ‘The Pyramid’ departs from this but uses many of the characteristic Fausti styles of strong colouring and stark lettering. 

 
Fantastic! Can’t wait for the next one! 

New One Sheet Revealed. 

All at Fausti_Films are really excited to bring you new one sheet for the next Film; The Pyramid. Watch this space for more news about the film. 


Michael Fausti Biography

Michael Fausti is a Director, writer and actor. He was born in the U.K. where he studied Literature, Art and Film at the universities of London and Kent, specialising in surrealist cinema and art house horror. He cites his cinematic influences as the films of Michael Powell, Jan Nemec, Dario Argento and Jean-Pierre Melville. An exponent of Lo-fi filmmaking and practical effects he studied film make up and visual effects at the London Academy of Film and TV.

 
Fausti’s first foray into filmmaking began in the late 1990s and continued during the early 2000s with a series of Non-Narrative experimental shorts that utilised Super 8 and video technologies. 

In 2013 Michael Fausti’s first narrative short film Dying Seconds (2013), was completed. This was followed in 2014 by his second film the surreal horror-noir Z.A.F. (2015). Fausti chose to shot the whole of Z.A.F. on a home video camera, stating, “I wanted to show that it is possible to make a movie with what you have to hand. Too much emphasis is being placed on technological spectacle. Ideas are the most important technology of filmmaking.”

In 2015 Z.A.F. received its world premier at Mexico’s prestigious Postmortem Horror & Bizarre Film Festival.

In 2016 Fausti directed The Pyramid (2016), scripted by writer and long term collaborator Mathew Bayliss. In addition to his current film Dead Celebrities, which is scheduled for filming in the summer of 2016, Michael has a number of projects in development for film and TV.

A focus on Fausti_Film’s Make-up and Special Effects

Here at Fausti_Films we love make up and special effects. Director and writer Michael Fausti is a  graduate of the London Academy of Media, Film and TV and regularly runs special effects make up courses for aspiring film makers.

make up in progress

These skills were put to good use on the set of Z.A.F. when Michael and Louise Dobson created the effects for the zombies canteen scene. 

  
Michael says “I’m a big fan of practical effects, whilst CGI has a role, you cannot beat the old school practical effects for authenticity and flair – it’s a characteristic of the Fausti style”.   

 

zombie gord
  
Bloody finger!
 
Gun wounds, stabbings and severed fingers all feature in the Fausti Films aesthetic, with the effects on the up coming film,’The Pyramid’, being some of the most ambitious to date with a smashed skull appearing in the new short. 

Head Shot!
 
Products used range from those bought over the counter in Chemists andspecialist VFX websites to make up shops to fruit!! But if I told you any more… I’d have to kill you!

  
 

Z.A.F. Director’s Statement

We asked Director Michael Fausti to give us the background into the ideas behind Z.A.F.  See what he has to say below. 

  
I wanted to create a film similar to those I grew up watching: films that engage the audience through narrative and atmosphere, rather than technological spectacle. I’m also of the punk generation and subscribe to the idea of the D.I.Y. philosophy. I made Z.A.F. on a domestic camcorder to show that you can make a movie with what you have to hand. The great film directors of the past, whose films we still enjoy and turn to for inspiration, did not obsess about the specifics of their equipment. Ideas are the most important technology of a film.

Z.A.F. F.A.Q.s: An Interview With Writer/Director Michael Fausti

This interview was conducted in a screening room in West London after the film’s completion, but before being submitted to any festivals. It was screened to a number of people, one of who had experience of working in film for many years. The latter is asking the questions.

Let’s start with the most revealing question, why did want to make Z.A.F.?

I wanted to create a film similar to those I grew up watching: films that engage the audience through narrative and atmosphere, rather than technological spectacle. I’m also of the punk generation and subscribe to the idea of the D.I.Y. philosophy. I made Z.A.F. on a domestic camcorder to show that you can make a movie with what you have to hand. The great film directors of the past, whose films we still enjoy and turn to for inspiration, did not obsess about the specifics of their equipment. Ideas are the most important technology of a film.

  

 

Who are your influences as a director? Who are the people you admire?

 My earliest film memories are watching films by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger on BBC2 and when I was older watching European films like Wajda’s “Ashes and Diamonds” and American film noirs that ran on TV as late night movies. Then came home video and access to American and European movies that weren’t being shown on British TV. Getting to see movies by Abel Ferrara, Dario Argento and David Lynch had a big impact on me. The film that changed me and made me want to be a film director was Cammell and Roeg’s “Performance”, which I still think is an extraordinary film.

 It’s an incredible film, and one that kind of defies categorisation. What kind of a movie would you say Z.A.F. is?

Horror-Noir, it is something of an unusual hybrid. A friend who I showed a rough cut to described it as “A Matter of Life and Death” meets “The Ipcress File” and “Night of the Living Dead”. I like that.

 
Not films you would usually put together!
 Exactly. This is my first film and when you don’t have the technology or capital to put into it, you have to find a way to make people sit up and watch.

 I know a little of the process you went through in making this, but on screen it feels very complete. Now obviously this is not what making films is like. What was the most challenging aspect of making Z.A.F.?

 We were very generously given access to all our locations completely free of charge. However, we were only given access for a limited amount of time, basically three Saturdays, 8am – 5pm. This meant having to shoot quickly. This was particularly the case with the aerodrome, where we only had half a day. The other key problems were the restrictions I’d placed upon myself by only shooting with a camcorder. The biggest problem was using just the internal mic to capture all of the live sound.

 Sure. A domestic camcorder is for recording baby’s first word, not making horror-noirs.

 It was a challenge, but what I learnt has been invaluable. I’m sure looking back in a few years there are things I would like to change, perhaps even now, but Z.A.F. stands as a piece of work that reflects my interests at the time and is important to me for that reason.

 Fun as well as challenging?

  Getting to meet a lot people, who I’d never come into contact with, all of who gave without expecting anything in return, was fun. When you tell complete strangers you’re making a film I was surprised by how many people drop everything to be involved. A number of our actors stepped in at the last moment and were totally happy to don contact lenses and an RAF uniform and be covered in make up and blood.

 The costumes are impressive. Very evocative of a certain post WWII era.

 That was really an aim and where a lot of the money went. Much of the mise en scene has been carefully staged to create the atmosphere you just described. A lot of the scenery, not just costumes are of the time. eBay was a great help!

 
 Debuts are notoriously hard. How did you go about getting the film “off the ground “?

 After writing an initial treatment for Z.A.F I gave it to a close friend of mine who had quite a bit of experience in the industry from the point of view of scriptwriting. He asked a number of questions about the story, which I didn’t have any answers for so I then went away rewrote the treatment and turned out a 20 page script. All the time I was writing I was conscious of the fact that I had a limited budget and would need to reflect that in settings and character choices. The project is entirely self-funded.

 How long did it take to make the film from pre-production to final cut?

 The whole process from beginning to end from pre-production has taken almost exactly a year.

I read that Spielberg made Munich, from day one to completion in six months. I don’t know how true that it, but it makes me realise the importance of more help next time!

Plus, he’s got a little experience!

 And more than one domestic camcorder!

 You’re now going to send Z.A.F. around festivals, which I guess leaves some creative space. What’s next?

 Like most filmmakers, I’ve got a number of projects in development at the moment, but those at the top of the queue are a supernatural period piece I’m currently working on with one of my writing partners and I’m also developing two other short films.

A shot from the next Fausti_films project

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