Director Jason DeVan has worked with talent such as Michael Biehn and Bruce Davison, both respected veteran actors. So when we heard that Jason had his first full fledged horror film ready to go, we were excited. Thankfully, he had time to sit and talk with us. Here is what he had to say…
In the title sequence it says based on true events could you tell me more about that?
Yeah, I have a very close Brazilian family friends of ours. they have an amazing story with the mother and her growing up with a childhood involvement with the church along with her daughters. I took elements of the story between the family and the exorcist side of things. to protect the family and not give to much away and make them feel uncomfortable. That’s the story that also resonates with the audience when you see the two little girls in the closet by the father that were abused when they came out, that stuff really happened in this family. Some of the haunting visuals, like the devil in the corner or her seeing herself in the bed these are kind of new elements of a family that went through this type of stuff. I was able to mix the exorcism story, we wanted to tell, along with the true events of the real family. We were fortunate enough to tell their story as well.
Wow, that’s pretty wild.
It is a very wild story
What was your favorite scene to shoot and why?
That’s a great question, I think my favorite scene to shoot was the teenager scene on the doc. Where all the teenagers were doing the EVP session with their phones because we were still in the beginning process of shooting the film and all the parents were standing off set and kind of wondering how the movie was going to look. As a film maker, you have all these shots in your mind a year in advance and what things are going to look like. To see the chemistry between the kids sitting around the camp fire and the way that whole evening went into the late of the night ended up being a touching and fun scene. I was able to have my father sit on set that night behind the station and watch on cameras. To see him in the film making process, that holds a special place in my heart.
it was satisfying to what you had visualize beforehand.
It was one of those aha! moments where you kinda realize that you’re sitting there in the process of filming it and you had seen this happen so many times. I had plenty of those moments throughout the haunting scenes but that was more of a pleasurable one.
Awesome, the movie the exorcist is referenced early in the movie how much of an influence did the exorcist have when writing and filming along came the devil?
Obviously, I’m a huge exorcist fan, I’ve always wanted to do an exorcism movie. We didn’t set out to do an exorcism movie and reinvent the wheel. I know a lot of times people who do a new exorcism movie try to go to deep and stray away from what the formula for a good exorcism movie. We never wanted to do that, we just wanted to do an exorcism movie that’s relevant in today world and have the horror generation say “hey I enjoyed that that was a good exorcism movie they stuck to the formula.” At the same time welcome in some of the teenagers and younger generation as well who maybe haven’t seen the exorcist movie or any exorcism movie. They need to be scared with things that make them jump out of their seat. We wanted to add that while telling an exorcism story have that horror and scariness, jump scares as well and I feel like we achieved that.
I was looking into the movie online and it seems the original movie was titles tell me your name is that true and why the name change.
True story I woke up at 3 in the morning while filming mindless and woke my wife up and told her were going to do a film called tell me your name she said great and went back to sleep. I started writing the treatment the next day. The first thing I came up with was “tell me your name” because when performing an exorcism, the priest has to get the demons name to even begin to get whatever the individual is possessed by out. That’s how the original name came about. When selling the film, they kinda felt like we should come up with a name earlier in the process because when people are searching for movies to watch a lot of the times they don’t make it through the first part of the alphabet, unfortunately. We had to ask do we stick with tell me your name? will people get to tell me your name? I’m giving you a truthful answer, they asked if there were any other names that you thought of that was further up the alphabet to help people see the movie. We said the devil is what comes along and possesses Sidney, it’s not a demon but the devil himself, so we said let’s go with one of our other ones and changed it to along came the devil.
The ending seemed kinda open to interpretation is this just leaving it to the audiences’ imaginations or is there a possibility of picking it up in a sequel.
We wanted to do an exorcism movie with an ending that hasn’t been shown before. I had so much that didn’t make it to the screen that we have so much more of a story to tell so we wanted to leave the movie open to a squeal. Hopefully we leave the audience wanting more.
Last question, in DeVan Clan Productions I noticed that there are 5 of you that were in the ending credits. What is it like to work with so much family on set and is it difficult?
Its just like a family business for all of us, my wife and kids are involved in the industry in some shape or form. It can be difficult sometimes on a relationship level because when your wife is your business partner you sometime forget you have to separate business partner from the husband and wife side of things. there is always that aspect of things and it always works out in the end. We couldn’t be happier, we are very lucky to be fortunate enough to be working together.