Interview: Anthony DiBlasi, Last Shift
If you’ve been reading this site for a while, you’ll know a few things about me:
If you ever want to piss me off, say you’re remaking a movie from my childhood.
Musicals and I don’t really get along.
Really, really love it when someone strikes a sweet spot between atmosphere and gore in a horror film.
I’ve seen enough of Anthony DiBlasi’s work to place him firmly into category C of the above list. The man’s got style; I feel as though I’ve plunked down with a good book, and my imagination is filling in the gaps. It’s not often that we get honest-to-goodness storytellers. He also happens to be incredibly nice – I reached out on Twitter when I wrote up Dread, and he was polite and gracious; not what you’d expect with an award-winning director. After watching Last Shift, I felt the film needed to be commended. Way led to way, and I wanted to ask a few questions. Mr. DiBlasi was kind enough to answer them for me.
|I had a lot of fun watching this.|
BS Driver: I’ve noticed that your films have a trademark of sickly lighting, as though to suggest that there’s something physically wrong with the environment of the story. Is this a conscious piece you add to your films?
Anthony DiBlasi: I think I’m drawn to stark locations and in turn those locations really pop when you push that contrast between yellows and greens. In Dread we wanted the whole thing to feel like a nicotine stain. And in Last Shift we really wanted to embrace the white walls and the sickly feel of flourescent lights.
|Totally got this parallel while watching it.|
BSD: This film also seems to say a lot about familial acceptance. What would you say is the takeaway from the relationships in this film?
AD: For me, I was touching on the dangers that familial bonds can sometimes have on an individual. I think often times children follow in their parents footsteps out of a sense of duty or honor… or to make that parent proud. Or do things just for that feeling of acceptance. And that is the only thing that made Jessica vulnerable in this situation, and Paymon, as people often do, used that against her.
BSD: It’s difficult to have a script that features one main character, as it restricts the amount of dialogue that the audience gets to hear. Yet this film features quite a few interactions, and we never once get the opportunity to feel bored. Was it tough to set the story around one main character who is essentially by herself for the bulk of the film?
AD: It was actually pretty liberating, it forces you to find ways to tell a story and not rely on dialogue. It also really puts the audience in the shoes of the main character, making everything feel more experiential and in the moment. It was also great working with Juliana in such an intense way, scene after scene with no breaks, it really allows an actor a chance to submerge themselves in that reality.
|Goddamn, just take my money.|
man is to deal with. Can’t wait to see what comes next, sir. I have a feeling we’ll be
seeing a lot more of your work in the future.