Directed by: Jeremy Berg
Starring: Angela DiMarco, David S. Hogan and Kate Alden
Some alien genre films start off with an attack or conflict in attempt to grab the audience. The Device is much more personal and begins with two sisters Abby (Angela DiMarco) and Rebecca (Kate Alden) attempting to rekindle their relationship after their mother passes away. Calvin, (David S. Hogan) is Abby’s fiancé and the three of them find The Device and the nightmares and unexplained happenings start occurring. Calvin can’t part ways with the device and it brings out the worst in all three. The characters reactions had a true sense to how people would react if this was a real life situation.
The family has a history and secret revolving around the device and Abby needs to find out more in order to understand her nightmares and why Rebecca and Calvin are acting strange. Bizarre happenings, alien visits, past occurrences resurfacing, and an exceptionally talented cast, all contribute to The Device being a captivating film from start to finish.
Five Quick Questions with Jeremy Berg
Your films comprise of phenomena’s including aliens in The Device. Any specific reason these subject matters appeal to you?
JEREMY: I grew up watching horror films, from a way too young age, basically. (laughs) Films, horror novels, and stories of actual abductions and other phenomena. I’ve always loved that stuff. When I was a kid we owned the Time Life Mysteries of the Unknown series and I couldn’t get enough of those books. I would say that real life mysteries have always held a fascination for me.
How did the concept of The Device come about and the process writing the script?
JEREMY: My first film, The Invoking, was a no budget film that was distributed by Image Entertainment. They were impressed with what we were able to do with no resources and they asked if we would be willing to make a film for them for slightly more than what we made The Invoking with. (laughs) I thought it would be a good opportunity so me and my producing partners agreed. I had one kernel of an idea, which is that the main characters find an object in the woods that may or may not be of earthly origin, and how does that object affect them and change their relationships to one another?
Image liked the idea and we were off. We had a very compact amount of time to make this movie in so my partners Matt Medisch and John Portanova started working around the clock to make this a reality. That meant that John and I had to start writing so we all three hammered out the full story as quickly as we could. From there we wrote the script in a month, with a few extra weeks for rewriting. It was a really intense schedule!
The Device truly got into the characters personal lives and emotions. Tell us how you approached and developed the characters.
JEREMY: It was really about taking this object, The Device of the title, and working our story around that. Who are these people that find it? What fears and weaknesses do they have that this discovery will prey on? We started with the two sisters with the strained relationship and built from there. We only touched on it in the movie but we had to create a whole backstory for this family that has been potentially tormented by aliens for generations. Once we had a rich history we could play with these characters in the now and drop hints as to what might have happened in the past.
Since there is a lot of emotion involved with the characters, was it ideal as a director working with a small talented cast?
JEREMY: Yes, always. You can’t really understate the importance of strong actors in your film. They are basically the ones telling the story. If the audience doesn’t buy these people as characters then they tune out the rest of the story really quickly.
In the case of The Device it was really important because Abby has a slow descent into madness, with a steady dose of paranoia throughout. That arc had to be carefully modulated and only a strong actor can do that. Luckily, Angela Dimarco is extremely talented. But even the sister, Rebecca, had to be played by somebody who could internalize all those years of trauma and self-doubt. It wasn’t an easy line to walk. But Kate Alden walked it perfectly.
You’re working on the upcoming film Valley of the Sasquatch. Looks like another family in a sci-fi situation. Can you tell us about it and roughly where it is in production?
JEREMY: We actually just wrapped that film so currently it’s done and being submitted to festivals. John Portanova wrote and directed it and it’s been his passion for a long time to make a good Sasquatch film. It’s very character driven, like our previous films, but also has some great action and is very much a throwback to fun, gory monster films. I think festival audiences are really going to dig it when it starts releasing next year.
The Device is now available on DVD and digital download, be sure to check it out. Also, keep current with Valley of the Sasquatch starring the amazing Bill Oberst Jr. on the official Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/valleyofthesasquatch
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