“The Alphabet Killer”
Loosely based on the unsolved 1970s Alphabet Murders in Rochester, NY – which claimed the lives on three girls, all having the same first letter in their names as the town their bodies were discovered – Rob Schmidt (“Wrong Turn“) directs this thriller about a detective assigned to the case who hopes solving it will eliminate the troubles in her personal life.
A fan of the true-crime genre, Schmidt jumped to the chance to direct the project after screenwriter Tom Malloy passed him the script. What he was most taken by when reading it was the plight of the main character, Megan (played by Eliza Dushku). “She has to witness all this pain and try to prevent it and the weight is too great for her and she cracks,” Schmidt says while taking a break from scouting locations in Rochester. “It’s a very grim story about misery, but it’s also about a woman trying to fix herself and I think the audience will be sympathetic to her.”
In preparing for production Schmidt has familiarized himself with the case and has tracked down the most recent investigator on the case. He also interviewed current Rochester detectives and investigators.
But Schmidt admits not everyone in Rochester is happy that they’re making the movie. “There are some people in the community that would prefer that it not get brought up again,” he says. “Families of the victims are still living in the area and I think for them it’s an unending heartbreak. But hopefully attention from this will bring new interest or leads in solving the case.”
Produced by Wideye Films (“The Attic”), filming begins this month and it will be shot on 35mm.
[For more information, please visit the film’s website <http://www.alphabetkiller.com>.]
Set over one night, two groups of regulars at a bar reminisce about their time together and wonder what the future will bring as each are dealing with the end of important moments in their lives.
Shot on HD over three weeks last month in a vacant New York City bar, writer-direct Steven Tanenbaum says there are many biographical elements in the film. “In no way is this a diary or journal of my experiences,” he says. “It’s more of a way of expression and what constitutes tomorrow and how long can you string out today.”
Coming from the world of theater, this film marks Tanenbaum’s feature debut. He’s found success in directing plays like “Q101 or How To Get to Rikers” and the critically acclaimed “Mono.” In preparing for his first film, Tanenbaum says storyboarding everything was a big help in understanding what he was looking for when it came time to shoot, other than that he put his trust in his crew. “We moved so fast that I relied on the advice of the people around me to get through it,” he says. “As far as directing the actors I was comfortable with that.”
Because of his theater background, Tanenbaum’s main goal was to make the set have the same family vibe that theater actors have from sharing the same stage. “The most important thing for me to do was to try to create an ensemble feeling,” he says. “The cast and crew were going to live in that space for three weeks and the atmosphere exceeded everyone’s expectations. They all were eating and drinking in that space, it was life imitating art.”
Currently in post, the film was shot on HD by Eun-ah Lee and stars Lori Petty, James McCaffrey and Cara Seymour. Jay Hernandez is producing and executive producers are Enrico Ciotti, Laura Adamo and Richard Byron Peddie.
[For more information, please visit the film’s website http://www.alphabetkiller.com.]
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|Eliza Dushku (Bring It On, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) has joined the cast of Rob Schmidt’s thriller The Alphabet Killer, according to Variety.The film is based on the true story of the double initial killings in Rochester, NY. with a cast including Timothy Hutton and Cary Elwes.
The movie will be filmed in Rochester and is expected to be release in October, 2007.