Vito Dinatolo is the director of Face of Evil, which is soon to starts its festival circuit, and this reviewer had the opportunity see his latest film and discuss it and filmmaking style, and, just a note, the movie contains a creative twist in the final act. His movie, while low in budget, still brings a welcome change in the horror genre when discussing the real factor of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
BC: What can you tell me about your film, what it the film about?
VD: An American soldier comes back from the Middle East and his friends throw him a welcome back party. It’s a psychological thriller, which talks about issues like PTSD… what’s going on in veterans’ minds. Also, it touches on the “Big Brother” conspiracy. I wanted to entertain, as well as bring this serious issue to light; my goal was to write a horror story, which I did in this film, but bring to light the serious issues happening. I always loved horror; I used to get scared but not anymore since I’m used to it, but it’s a better way to express style.
BC: Why did you choose PTSD and how did you convey it in the film?
VD: PTSD was a way to justify things in the movie, like the characters behavior from the characters point of view from a psychological standpoint. Always psychological issues and getting inside characters minds.
BC: This is your first feature film and I noticed you did many short films prior to this. Did those films get you ready for the big feature?
VD: Yes, they did help. Planning feature films out of a short, I won a few awards, and short films were character based which helped build a story and characters. This film leaves the audience wanting to see it and the characters again. The characters are like a family, and they keep building.
BC: The way you speak about characters, you remind me of Alfred Hitchcock. Do you take inspiration from him?
VD: I cannot pinpoint where I was inspired by him but that inspiration is there.
BC: What was your process for the casting?
VD: It was a long four-month process and I went through a thousand people or so. It was fun and interesting to see how the characters developed. I was very happy with the cast in the end. I tried to find people that were ready and didn’t need as much directing; they were all up and coming actors.
BC: What was your budget, your shooting schedule and post-production timeframe?
VD: The budget was a couple $100,000s, but it went down to $30,000 in the end. I cut down on extras, so the party was just a few friends in the end. It worked better and I like it better that way. I thought about the budget when I wrote the movie. The first half takes place in a house and the second half was in different locations – it was easier and cheaper, but of course longer. It took longer, it was more challenging to stay fresh, it was shooting/editing after each scene different layers, so it took a couple of years.
BC: The film seemed to have the word “foe” meaning the enemies within?
VD: It could be it was a coincidence the letters were just foe with the titles of the scenes or http://www.foemovies.com or on twitter it seemed to work. It’s meant to work that way; the initials of the film ‘foe’, enemy, I didn’t think it would give it away. Previously there were some tag lines that said “What’s your demon”.
BC: I liked what you did with your film. What is the distribution plan for the film?
VD: It’s not distributed yet I wanted to see the reactions to see what I wanted to do with distribution. I’m waiting to see what the circuits will show for the best option. I’ll just go to festivals for now see what the best offer will be.
BC: You handled the PTSD issue with a lot of class, it kept me engaged for the entire 90 minutes the third act was the key of the movie.
VD: I am very glad to hear your comments, Baron.
BC: How can people find and contact you?
VD: You can find out more about me and my work at the following links:
BC: Thank you for your time Vito, and good luck on the festival circuit and with securing future distribution.