Exclusive Interview: Charles de Lauzirika Talks Crave

Shock sat down with director Charles de Lauzirika at Comic-Con 2012, to talk about his new film.

Crave is the story of a man struggling to cope with life’s annoyances and romances, while trying to distinguish between fantasy and reality.

Lauzirika wrote, directed and produced the film. He has long worked in the world of video documentaries and DVD special features; regularly working as Ridley Scott’s right hand man.

Crave marks Lauzirika’s feature film directorial debut. Shock gets the details on the storyline, the level of violence, and what Ridley Scott thought had to say about the film.

Shock Till You Drop: Tell us about the film’s storyline.

Charles de Lauzirika: When people ask me what genre the movie falls in, I have to say that it’s not really horror, at all. I ask them, in return, “What genre is Fight Club, or Taxi Driver, for that matter?” There’s a lot of drama, there’s a little bit of horror. There’s a little bit of this, there’s a little bit of that.

I feel like Crave is not easily put in a box. That’s why I was so in to making it. Basically, it’s kind of a psychological noir. In my heart of hearts, it’s a dysfunctional love story. But, I can’t sell it as that. It’s about a crime scene photographer, played by Josh Lawson. He’s seen so much violence and decay and gore on the job that he has retreated in to this fantasy world. As the film begins, those dark fantasies of sex and violence are starting to crack and break out of him. As we begin the film, we find him out of balance. But, then he meets this woman, Virginia, who brings him balance. We think that everything is going to be OK, but then she realizes what’s really going on. Then, we go entirely off the rails in the third act of the film. That’s when it gets really fun.

Shock: Did your  background working with Ridley Scott influence the film, at all?

Lauzirika: In being on set for his films and documenting his work, I’ve learned a lot, just from that. That was a really great film school, seeing him at work. So, when it came down to making my own film, I definitely drew upon some of that experience. I could think about problems that I was facing with Crave, and I would ask myself “How would Ridley solve this?” The thing is, he is working on $100,000,000 movies. This film cost as much as the catering budget did for one day on Prometheus. But, basically, I would always go back to what I learned from Ridley. I have shown him the film. After the second cut, I sent him a Blu ray to watch. The next morning, he called me and gave me wonderful notes. Off of those notes, I cut eight minutes from the film. It was the exact right eight minutes to cut. It was like the film was off balance, a little bit, and what he got from those notes nailed it.

Shock: What can viewers expect from the film, in terms of violence?

Lauzirika: We had several people working on the gore and the blood and the effects, throughout the film. Unfortunately, most of it is spoiler territory. But, there’s a lot of red in the third act. The great thing is that it’s not all physical horror; it’s also psychological and emotional horror. The last 20-30 minutes of the film go pretty dark, in a way that I think is justified. We aren’t just pulling out the stops to make horror porn. We are going in to a dark place for reasons of character. There’s some power tools involved, and some body destruction and things like that. There’s also a zombie in it. There are moments, but I don’t want to oversell the horror aspect of the film. It’s tied in to a more dramatic structure.

Shock: Were you able to make the film that you wanted, in spite of working on somewhat of a micro budget?

Lauzirika: The low budget part was a challenge in terms of day to day logistics, and getting through the day. But, what I tried to do was learn from what I have seen other directors do. I learned to practically embrace the problem and turn it to your advantage. You don’t just switch off because you aren’t getting what you want. You have to find a way to make it work. That’s kind of what I got from all of the other filmmakers I have worked with. I learned to try to take low budget problems and turn them in to big budget solutions. Even though there are some seams that you can see, here and there, we approached it by applying the gloss of a big budget movie, as best we could.

Shock: Any word on a release date?

Lauzirika: We’re at the very beginning of that process. The film will make its world premiere at Fantasia. I’m very excited about that. Then, we are waiting to hear from some other festivals. We will be doing festivals for the rest of the summer. I am meeting with distribution companies and sales reps. I haven’t done that before, so I am taking it a little slow, but not too slow. There will probably be an LA screening in August, but we are still in the early days.

Watch the trailer for Crave right here!