Cinequest 2010 Interview: Co-Writer/Director Greg Derochie (SOLITARY)

Chase Whale

by: Chase Whale
March 11th, 2010

Making an independent film is already hard enough, but you also have to get the word out so people can see it. This is where we come in, the movie bloggers. I spoke with writer/director Greg-Derochie, who has a film playing at Cinequest called SOLITARY. The film's about a house ridden agoraphobic woman. She's somehow lost her husband, and during the process, starts to lose her mind.

One cool thing about Derochie, he's done visual effects for a lot of movies you've seen - SPIDER-MAN, I AM LEGEND and MEN IN BLACK II to name a few. I spoke with Greg early last week about the transition from visual effects editor and the process of making SOLITARY. Check out the interview after the jump!

Where did the idea of SOLITARY come from?

Solitary came about from a decision to write a movie that I could shoot entirely in my own house on a shoestring budget.  That limitation, and my love of Hitchock-style thrillers sparked the idea.

What made you want to use agoraphobia as the central problem of the story?

It was starting point that allowed us to trap our character in a single location.  I can't say any more without giving too much away.

This might be a silly question, but did you met people with agoraphobia?

No, but we did some research, especially Amber Jaeger, who plays Sara.  She did a lot of research on panic attacks and other symptoms.

This is your second full length film - what kind of pressures came along with that?

This is my first feature film as a director, and I made it with my own money in my own house - a very demanding process that I don't recommend to anyone!  The most difficult part was staying focused on directing the film, while wearing so many other hats during the production.  The pressures were all of my own making.

I saw that you've done a lot of digital compositing work.  How difficult was it to transition from that to writing, directing, and producing a film?

Not difficult at all.  I put my digital effects background to good use throughout the production, as I handled all of the editing, color
correction, titles and FX myself.  It felt very natural to make the film that way, using the power of digital tools available today on the desktop to make the film possible on my tiny budget. Also, I've been making films since I was a kid, starting with super-8 film projects, film school, and many short films.  I felt very confident going into production on "Solitary".

What's next for you?

I have several ideas in development and I'm keeping my options open.  My next film will be something not shot in my own house!

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