They were supposed to be preservers of peace…
Cast: Colin Paradine, Raven Cousens, Ashley Armstrong
Director: Reese Eveneshen
Genre: Sci-Fi, Thriller
Running Time: 101 minutes
Synopsis: From writer-director Reese Eveneshen, director of Dead Genesis, and genre specialist Uncork'd Entertainment comes the highly-anticipated Defective. In the near future, the corporation S.E.A., has implemented North America's first and only police state. Uniformed, anonymous Preservers of Peace investigate, judge, and sentence people for even the smallest of crimes. The punishment? Instant public execution. Rhett Murphy and his sister Jean must escape certain execution after witnessing the dark secrets of the nefarious corporation.
Interview with Reese Eveneshen
Question: Can you tell us about Defective?
Reese Eveneshen: Sure can! In a nutshell, it's the story of an estranged brother and sister who find themselves suddenly on the run from a police state! In the movie North America as its first legalized police state where these soldiers (also called Preservers of Peace) patrol the streets. At a glance things seem to be working, crime rates are down, streets are cleaning up. However what people don't see is that if you don't follow a certain lifestyle that fits the status quo, you are deemed 'Defective" and pretty much executed on the spot. It's kind of a low-tech sci-fi movie with a little bit of everything, drama, action, thriller, a tiny bit of horror… I'd like to think that it's got a nice mixture for everyone to sit down and enjoy.
Question: What inspired Defective?
Reese Eveneshen: It was inspired out of frustration and desperation mostly. My producing partner and I had been trying to get another project off the ground and unfortunately we just couldn't make it happen. We looked at each other and realized that we had to make something! I had been wanting to take a crack at a sci-fi movie as I'd been thinking a lot about some of the creative aspects of 70'-80's science fiction films. Defective was born out of that notion of trying a more shot from the hip, down and dirty kind of science fiction flick. And I was also intrigued by having a multi-character piece, where they all interact at some point and their character arcs coincide with shared events. I knew going into it that we were not going to have much of a budget, but I tried not to let that limit the scope of what we wanted to see. And I also just love sci-fi movies, always have, I didn't feel like making a small budget horror film. You never know if you're going to have a chance to make another movie, so we figured we might as well do whatever we can and have a lot of fun on this one.
Question: What was the most challenging part of filming Defective?
Reese Eveneshen: Everything seemed to be challenging during the shoot. We were working with very little money, we weren't able to pull together the full funding. So right off the bat, we had a shoot that had to be dictated by our lack of funds, which meant we kept having to stop production. We'd shoot for a bit, take a break, raise more money, come back to camera and start shooting again. This took about a year to get all of our footage in the can. That was tiresome, it takes a lot to hold on to a good crew and specifically a big cast for a whole year. Also we were doing some action sequences with big set pieces that we didn't have the means or access too. It was a lot of making up ideas on the fly! Luckily myself, the cinematographer and the set dresser had a fair amount of experience in the low budget field. We put our heads together and thought our ways out of tricky situations. We were also very committed to practical effects on set, which again was tough given the budget. But our Preservers of Peace were 100% practical on set suits with no digital augmentation. They had to be constantly repaired as they were falling apart from day one. There designated fixing stations where lots of hot glue and tape was used to make them functional! Readers can check out our Facebook page by searching for, Defective-The Movie. We've had the page up and running since production started, it's got tons of behind the scenes photos, videos and cool stuff.
Question: How did you go about casting Defective?
Reese Eveneshen: We had to handle the casting ourselves as we could not afford a casting agent. The two main roles of Rhett and Jean (played by Colin Paradine and Raven Cousens) were cast about a year before we started shooting. I had written the roles for both of them as I had know them for quite some time. Colin actually ended up being the casting director for the film as he had experience running casting sessions in the past. It took us two weekends worth of casting sessions to pull together the primary cast. Then from there, the bit parts were either fellow actors we knew or referrals from other filmmakers. But it was a good group of people we had to work with, especially over a year. During that time we only lost one actor! Which was horrible, but given the nature of the shoot, it could have been a lot worse.
Question: What or who originally inspired your passion for film?
Reese Eveneshen: I'm not sure anymore. All I know is that I loved movies since I was a kid. I was constantly finding ways to make movies with whatever I could get my hands on. I think it was just an outlet. For the first fourteen years I was an only child who was a bit of a loner, I would stay inside and write. I would constantly be watching movies and behind the scenes documentaries. I just needed to be a part of that world, whatever it was. Fortunately I was able to find myself in a position when I was younger where I found I had family working in the industry. They would bring me onto sets and let me sit off to the side to watch. Everything I'm doing now just feels like a natural extension of what I was doing when I was younger. I only really started taking this career path seriously about ten or eleven years ago. I've still got a long way to go, but that love of movies I had as a kid is still there.
Question: Why do you love the thriller genre?
Reese Eveneshen: I just love twists and turns in a narrative. I like pot boilers, I like characters in rooms not getting along and trying to argue their view points. Really you can do that in any genre I suppose. But in a thriller, there's always room for the 'who can we trust?"… which is great. You also have more freedom to build multiple layers into your story, instead of just A leads to B leads to C. You can weave in and out of that and create other fun little threads. I also like where you can't trust your main characters, you can't trust their motives or the people they surround themselves with. There's also a bit more freedom to dispose of main characters half way through a story and try to recover from that. Not only that, but you can take pretty much any story or character and work them into a thriller with ease! It's a giant, twisted playground.
Question: What movies are you currently watching?
Reese Eveneshen: I'm currently trying to catch up on movies. I just had a nice streak of seeing a handful of movies in the theatre, which was nice. I saw Phantom Thread, The Shape of Water, Molly's Game, The Post (which then lead to a first viewing of, All The Presidents Men). All of which I had a great time watching. Then to top it off I started watching, New Girl on Netflix with my wife. You have to balance these things out you know!
Question: What's next, for you?
Reese Eveneshen: I have three different projects that I'd like to do. All of which are pretty much done at the script phase. But we'll see what happens next! I always hate this part, right after the movie is finished… there's no guarantee on what will happen next. It's looking like we're going to be doing potentially another sci-fi movie, thanks to the relative success of Defective. But it'll be on the opposite end of the sci-fi spectrum, story wise. Which I'm pretty cool with, as mentioned earlier, I love sci-fi, I don't mind taking a walk through that park again.
Interview by Brooke Hunter