A DEER CAUGHT IN THE HEADLIGHTS, 22min., Netherlands, Thriller
Directed by Anil Wagemans, Idzi Wagemans
A woman's night turns sinister when she fears the charming stranger she went home with has very different intentions.
Get to know filmmaker Anil Wagemans:
1. What motivated you to make this film?
Due to the on-going pandemic at the time I didn't make any film for quite some time. Frustrated that no (big) funds were coming through for any other project as well I wanted to just make something again. So I limited myself to just one location and two actors, so keep it producible without a budget. In the end it got kinda out of hand as we got more and more people in, but we were able to shoot something quite remarkable without budget I think.
The idea came that I wanted to play with the aspect of ambiguity. Movies with clear-cut bad guys are always very boring to me, so I wanted to toy with the idea that you're never really sure whether or not the man is in fact a serial murderer. This way the movie unfolds in the audience's mind and they can make their own conclusions. Heavily inspired by BURNING and THE EMBRYO HUNTS IN SECRET, but also American films like PRISONERS.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
It took us around 12 to 16 months from first draft to finishing post-production. Obviously a lot of downtime in between due to the no-budget nature of the film. We shot the film in 3 consecutive days in The Hague, the Netherlands.
3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
One of biggest obstacles was finding the location. To me the house in the film is also a character in itself, and needed to have the right look and feel to fit in with the guy's character. Since we hardly had any budget the interior needed to match the vibe as well, which fortunately this house had.
To find the house we put flyers through multiple mailboxes in well-off neighborhoods in multiple cities throughout the Netherlands. We got very lucky and got this house just a week or two before filming!
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
I really loved the audience reaction! They really understood the ambiguity and the nuances we tried to deliver with the film, so I am really happy that what we set out to do worked for this audience.
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
Much later than most people. After dropping out of college (university) I was at a crossroads in life and unsure how to continue. Since I always loved films, it suddenly dawned on me that I should make them myself, and I've never looked back!
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
Probably Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade or Jurassic Park, especially as a kid. Those two films to me are still the pinnacle of adventure films and work on all aspects. Masterclass filmmaking and entertainment!
8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?
Not sure. I'd love if (American) producers would see it who might be interested in working with European filmmakers. I don't expect you - or any other festival - to help in this regard, but it would be nice if festivals could bridge the gap between directors and producers between continents.
9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
Great! FilmFreeway is very easy and quick to submit.
10. What is your favorite meal?
I love Asian food, but a good juicy steak really hits the spot for me once in a while.
11. What is next for you? A new film?
I'm currently working on two new (short) scripts about the dangers of nuclear warfare and anti-war themes. We're in the midst of securing funding for one of those, and will start on the other soon.