Monday, January 15th, 2007
If it seems like filmmaker Brian Avenet-Bradley has been making films all his life, well, it’s because he has. He wrote, directed, and played in his first short film, House of Frankenstein,at the age of 10 using a VHS camera supplied by his dad who was an optical engineer for Magnavox.
“The first film I ever saw in a theater was Star Wars,” explained Bradley when asked what first interested him in filmmaking. “Being so very young and seeing such a visual film left an impression. I became very obsessed with Star Wars and started re-enacting scenes with Fisher Price toys. Soon that got old, so I started making up original stories for the characters and then started creating my own characters. After that, I wanted to do an epic science fiction live-action play, but it was impossible to stage for an audience.” This is where Bradley’s dad intervened with the camera, and the rest is history.
Bradley attended USC Film School because there was no question of not going to college in his family. Since making films was the only thing that interested him, film school was the only logical solution that pleased both Bradley and his family.
Today, Bradley has several feature-length horror films under his belt including Freez’er and Ghost of the Needle. His most recent is a film called Dark Remains, also a thriller, which depicts a young grieving couple who seeks to find solace in the mountains after the death of their daughter.
““All the features I’ve done fall into the horror genre,” said Bradley, but he admits that his style is a little harder to pin down. “I’ve been working ever since the days of making shorts on developing a style. But I’ve been letting it naturally emerge through the work. I’ve never thought of how to verbally describe the style that’s been emerging. Other people have told me that it’s very atmospheric, suspenseful, and well, twisted and dark.”
I’m more of a visual filmmaker,” explains Bradley. “Atmosphere, suspense, mood, chills, and scares all come from a visual language. It’s in the lighting, the shots, and the editing of those shots. Even though I think visually, music and sound design are critical. I spend a lot of time with the sound design of a film to help create the right atmosphere.”
Bradley, who admits that he will cut crew and equipment in order to budget in as many production days as possible, feels that the films he produces closely resembles the original concept that he had in mind. But he is not so rigid that he will not change course if something better presents itself while filming. Bradley also confesses that he cannot comfortably choose one aspect of the filmmaking process over another.
“Personally, I feel like writing, directing, and editing are all part of the same process,” said Bradley. “When I’m writing, I’m thinking of how I’ll direct and edit it; when I’m directing, I’m thinking of how I’ll edit it; and when I’m editing well…”
Bradley’s films have been featured at numerous film festivals all over the world and won several awards including two Best Horror Feature awards for Dark Remains. Bradley currently lives in Los Angeles, California. For more information on Bradley’s newest feature film, visit www.darkremains.com. The Dark Remains DVD is available from Amazon.