CREEP Chat With Mark Duplass, Patrick Brice & Jason Blum SXSW 2014
Creep is the first feature for writer, director and star Patrick Brice, which he made with long-time friend Mark Duplass. The film follows Aaron (Patrick Brice) as he agrees to film Josef (Mark Duplass) for reasons unknown to him after he answers a Craigslist ad for a videographer. As the film descends into dark, disturbing places it delivers plenty of thrills. Creep is shot found footage style, and as Producer Jason Blum of Blumhouse Productions (Insidious, Oculus) said in an interview with Screen Invasion, there really is no other way to do this film and do it justice. We had the opportunity to talk to Brice, Duplass and Blum on the red carpet for the SXSW 2014 premiere of Creep and learned a little more about the making of this cautionary tale.
Director, writer and star, Patrick Brice told us that the film was a collaborative effort between himself and Mark Duplass, as well as editor and co-producer Christopher Donlon, who received high praise from all involved in the making of Creep. Brice felt security in his first feature with Duplass there to guide him through some of the new experiences that come along with such a project. Brice told Screen Invasion that his hope for what people will take away from his film is, “if you have a good idea (for a film), there’s nothing stopping you, just run with it.” He goes on to say, “…all it really takes is a good idea to make a movie these days with the technology that’s available.”
Writer and star, Mark Duplass told us that many of the films he works on are birthed from ideas that he and friends come up with together, as is the case with Creep. By Duplass’ admission he and Brice are slightly obsessed with strange and unpredictable human behavior and like to people watch a lot. They decided to examine how trusting people are when answering Craigslist ads. Duplass says the story for Creep came out of the potentially “funny, strange and terrifying things that can happen when you walk in to a person’s house that you don’t know.”
After the screening of Creep, Duplass shared his own disturbing Craigslist experience. After buying a bed off Cragslist, he found a very intense man with whom he spent the day in Queens, New York when the supposedly disassembled bed was not so much taken apart as still in one piece. The man spoke openly at length to Mark about his divorce and Star Wars as the two took apart the bed, generally creeping Duplass out and making him thankful when it was finally time to leave. Duplass states that despite the micro-budget nature of Creep, and many of his other projects, he is not out to make the smallest budget films possible. He believes in making films in a responsible budgetary manner to ensure that he and his friends can keep making the movies they love.
Producer Jason Blum describes the budget on Creep not only as micro, but micro-micro and told Screen Invasion that his interest in the film was sparked when he saw an early cut of Creep. “When anyone comes in my office with a found footage film these days I usually discourage them and say, just shoot it normally, but the concept of this (Creep) could only be shot found footage and I thought that was very compelling.” When asked what will surprise people most about Creep, he responded emphatically that it will be Mark Duplass’ extremely creepy performance.
Director Patrick Brice is certainly being modest in his estimation that any good idea is all it takes to make a film these days. Execution of an excellent idea can fall short of the intended goal without a strong group of people behind it. In the case of Creep, the team assembled is what really made the story work as well as it does. It is very surprising that this is Brice’s first feature, as it is executed expertly with the help of Duplass, Donlon and Blum’s horror expertise.