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Written by Administrator   
Sep 04, 2004 at 02:00 AM
Its been a few years since Eric Stanze's last movie, the cult hit SAVAGE HARVEST! But now he is back, and far more brutal and controversial than ever before!  Eric's latest movie, ICE FROM THE SUN, is a gorefest beyond imagination! It includes brutal scenes of murder, rape and torture! We recently sat down wirth Eric for a quickie interview about this lastest endeavor!
Dark Gallery) Can you tell us the basic story of ICE and how the idea developed?
Eri Stanze) ICE FROM THE SUN is about a mortal woman pulled from the earth and sent into another dimension by the angels in heaven and the devils in hell. The angels and devils send her in as an assassin, her mission being to kill The Presence, a former wizard's apprentice who has gained too much power.
We developed the story knowing that we were intending to make a very surreal experimental film. We felt this story best lent itself to this kind of film.
DG) Why did you choose super-8mm as your format?
ES) Super 8 film was what the budget allowed. We had enough money to do better than shooting on video, but not enough money to shoot 16mm.
DG) What was our budget and how did you raise the funds for the movie?
ES) The budget for ICE FROM THE SUN was four times the money we spent on our last feature, SAVAGE HARVEST. Most of the money came out of my own pocket. The rest of the budget filled out with money from investors, donations, and fund raising events.
DG) The movie contains a lot of nudity, a lot of brutal violence and a lot of gore. How did you go about both convincing the actors to play such roles and making them comfortable while shooting them?
ES) Well, there wasn't much "convincing" to be done. At their auditions, everyone was asked questions pertaining to nudity, makeup effects, and minor stunt work, just to see who was interested in doing what. Then, if they impressed us with their audition, we considered them for parts that we knew they would be comfortable with. We actually had a lot more people say they were comfortable with the nudity than we had parts containing nudity.
It also helps that I have a good reputation here. This isn't my first movie so it didn't look shady when I asked people about doing nudity. I mean, if you keep it professional, there never is anything for anyone to get upset or suspicious about. You tell people what you are doing with the movie and they always have the opportunity to get involved or not.
After an actor or actress was picked for a part, I would be up-front and
no-bullshit as possible with them, telling them everything that would be required of them. Then I made them think about it for a few days before accepting the part. Then we just started shooting! No one ever tried to back down and not do a nude scene. No one ever questioned the offensive aspects of the script. It was a very cool cast! I had over sixty actors and I never had a single problem with any of them.
DG) What was the most difficult aspect of the production? Was it the effects, a particualr scene, shooting on film?
ES) The most difficult aspect of the movie was just the overall complexity of the shoot. We had 54 days of shooting on ICE, almost all the days in different locations, on different sets, with completely different props, etc. So every day was fun because it was brand new. But it was hard to settle into a groove. Each day of shooting had the logistics of it's own little movie. Plus, it's a very weird movie, so days of simple conversation scenes were very few and far between. It was always about some gory effect, or a muddy naked person, or a bunch of extras, or whatever. So it was overwhelming. But thanks to a fantastic crew backing me up, the complexity of it all never kicked our asses.
DG) In one shot you actually run over a film camera several times - can you talk about the scene in more detail (and how did you get the film from not getting exposed to sunlight because it looks like you total crush the thing!)?
ES) We actually destroyed four or five cameras over the course of shooting ICE, I think. We used pro super 8 cameras for our main photography. But for the "stunt camera" shots we used lower-end cameras. You can always buy consumer super 8 family movie cameras at yard sales and flea markets. So we bought a few of those for ten or fifteen bucks each and had a few given to us. And we trashed them! We would never put a video camera or an expensive 16mm camera through that. We just saw the opportunity due to the format we were shooting and we took it! Because super 8 film is housed in its own plastic cartridge, you could really demolish a camera before it damaged the film or leaked light all over it. We would strap the camera to a car and then have the car drive through stuff. Or we'd put a camera in a pile of trash and have the car smash into it... It was a lot of fun!
DG) The movie is quite an achievement - how do you regard it now that it is all done and finally hitting video shelves? How about in comparison to your work before it?
ES) Almost more important than the finished movie is the incredible time I had while we were shooting ICE. I could have kept shooting that thing for another year! It was challenging, exciting, and just a blast to make. I had a good time with all the cool people who worked on it with me. It was just fun. It was what I always hoped making movies could be like.
I'm proud of what we did on ICE. Compared to my older work, ICE is far superior, but it is also very different. Watching ICE again and again, however, illustrates to me a lot of stuff I could have done better. I'd like to think I did a good job on ICE, but I'm more interested in learning from the mistakes I made on it. I just want to get out there and make another movie.

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