Friday, May 17, 2019

Chilling Entries Of Demonic Possession: A Interview With "The Possession Diaries" Director Juan Frausto

Start an entry in the frightening The Possession Diaries, featuring acclaimed actor James Russo (Django Unchained, Beverly Hills Cop), arriving on DVD and Digital this June from Uncork’d Entertainment. 

Juan Frausto, director of Road Kill and Once Upon a Time in the Hood, invites you to log on for a streaming screamfest that will leave one girl possessed… and you on the edge of your seat!

ASouthernLife:How does one get into filmmaking? Or let me rephrase that, how did you?
Juan Frausto: Ever since, I watched the making of Star Wars at the age of nine – I’ve discovered that I wanted to make films like George Lucas. I was fascinated on how movies were made. Around the age of 11, I got all my friends together and shot a little horror movie called “Run, before it’s too late” on an 8-milliter camera. I went to Columbia College for film studies, dropped out in my second year to work on music videos and on independent films for free. And, by doing that, for a couple of years, I decided to make my first feature film at the age of 21. It took 2 years to make “Change” and it premiered at many film festivals where I was considered the first Latino filmmaker in Chicago to make a feature film. In 1999, I made Drive By for $50,000 and was picked up by Artisan Entertainment. It became a huge hit on DVD across the nation and even premiered on HBO. With the success of “Drive By”, I became a hired gun directing films for many production companies.

ASouthernLife: Was it easy to get local funding for THE POSSESSION DIARIES?
Juan Frausto: Nothing comes easy on making a film, especially when it’s about financing. I broke the first rule in producing that you should never use your own money to make films, but I wanted to make another film so badly that I decided to do it. I also convinced two investors to put up the other half of the budget when I informed them that I had a couple of well-known actors attached to the film.

ASouthernLife: Did having known actors, like James Russo, onboard the film helped get financing?
Juan Frausto: Having known actors always makes a great difference on getting films financed. James Russo was the biggest draw and I knew his name would draw attention; I really needed him for this film. He gives the film more credibility and importance.

ASouthernLife: Munroe is remarkable in this movie. Can you tell us how you convinced her to play this part?
Juan Frausto: Yes, Katherine was an absolute find. During auditions, I like to go out of script and improvise on the spot, she responded so well and in character. I did not do any convincing on her; she convinced me that she was the one to play the role. This woman can cry on cue, it’s incredible.

ASouthernLife: Is there anything about the independent filmmaking business you still struggle with?
Juan Frausto: One of the struggles I dealt with it before signing on with Uncork’d Entertainment was really finding a good distribution company that is transparent and really care to promote your movie out there. At this point in time, I’m very impressed and happy with the way Uncork’d is really pushing the movie out in the market. I made the right choice with them.

ASouthernLife: Where do you think your strengths lie as a filmmaker?
Juan Frausto: It’s always good to be the director of your own scripts. I do both jobs very well; they come hand in hand for me. As a Director it’s easy to translate the written word on the screen because you clearly see the whole picture in your head. I always see my characters as my children and after many rewrites you see how much they’ve grown on you.

ASouthernLife: How important is marketing? Do you think a project can make any dent without it these days?
Juan Frausto: Marketing is key. Promoting your film on social media can make a huge difference and it doesn’t cost a thing, but it takes time and hard work.

ASouthernLife: What do you hope audiences get from the movie?
Juan Frausto: I just want the audience to see the love and passion that was put into this film. I feel it’s a really well crafted film considering it was done on a low budget scale. I hope they find it interesting, entertaining, and creepy and have some kind of a psychological effect on them. I know the audience will not look at it as critics because they know it’s just a movie regardless of its budget and shortcomings. All they want is to be entertained; I know this because I am the audience.

The Possession Diaries, on DVD and Digital June 4,

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