Apparition (United States | 2014, 100 min)
Directed by: Quinn Saunders
Written by: Pete Cafaro
Cast: Katrina Law, Jody Quigley, Lili Bordan, Thomas Roy
Apparition is a supernatural thriller exploring the themes of love, death, and the fragility of the mind. When Doug's fiancee, Lori, is killed in a car accident, he retreats to their isolated farmhouse to deal with his loss. Left to grieve amid years of memories, Doug realizes he has not returned alone. As he learns the tragic history of the farmhouse, supernatural occurrences leave him fearing for his sanity, and reveal a secret Lori took with her to the grave. Struggling to determine whether what he is seeing is real, or all in his head, Doug finds solace in the company of Jamie, a local grad student. As their friendship deepens, Doug draws her with him into the horrifying events unfolding in the old farmhouse.
Interview:Guy Quigley produced the film Apparition, which will screen at the 7th Annual NYC Independent Film Festival.
NYCIFF: Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us, Guy! We’re looking forward to having your film, Apparition, in our festival program this year. Can you start off by telling us a bit about your background and what got you into film?
GQ: I was born in Ireland to a second-generation thespian family and educated in Ireland. My family goes back a long way in the entertainment business. For example my Grandmother was on the London vaudeville stage, my Grandfather was a conductor, who turned down the honorary role of conducting the orchestra on the Titanic (fortunately for me). My Mother was an actress and myFather was a concert violinist. My uncles, aunts, and siblings were all in the business. I left the theatre and entered the business world and formed my own marketing Company in England for a number of years. When I married I moved to Zambia, Central Africa, also the country of my wife’s birth, where we established a cattle ranch.
From 1970 through 1979, we built the property to 40,000 acres with 5,000 head of cattle and imported 100 pedigree Simmentaler cattle from Bavaria, Germany via three Boeing 707 Skybarn aircraft, establishing the first pedigree Simmentaler stud in Zambia. Until prohibited during the Zimbabwe liberation war, I owned and operated a real estate company in Salisbury (Harare City), Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) acquiring a Private Pilot’s License for my travel between cattle estates in Zambia and offices in Rhodesia. In my spare time, I wrote two fictional novels entitled, “The Smoke That Thunders,” and a children’s story, “The Little People,” for my daughters. The ever-present threatening situation of living in a host nation to a neighboring liberation war eventually prompted our departure.
I started over yet again and moved to the United States in August 1983, and became a consultant for Ophir International, Inc., where I developed one of the first lines of resemblance French perfumes in the United States. I formed The Quigley Corporation in 1989, filed an S-18 registration and the company became a public entity on February 7, 1991, trading on the NASDAQ under the symbol (QGLY). I successfully developed and marketed a cold remedy zinc product under the franchise name COLD-EEZE®, establishing the United States zinc-lozenge marketplace. The product remains on the shelves of most outlets in the United States. I resigned from the Company I created some twenty years earlier and retired on June 12, 2009.
I have always had a yearning to return to my old roots and found writing to be of tremendous therapeutic value and a full circle return to the entertainment world. Since then, I have written two additional books, “The Rebel Son,” and “Hellevator (The Master’s Son),” and I am editing “Predators at the Gate,” and re-edting “The Smoke That Thunders.” Plus, I’ve written a number of movie scripts.
I was one of the two Executive Producers of “Magic Boys” filmed in London and Budapest. I was also an Executive Producer of the spoof “Breaking Wind,” and “Wicked Blood,” a film with a host of A-line stars. In 2013, I joined forces with Futurist Ape Productions, utilizing my ThunderSmoke Media Company to collectively make the movie “Remorse,” released in the U.S. as “Apparition” and internationally as “The Nesting.”
NYCIFF: What inspired the story of Apparition?
GQ: We were seeking a movie that was more of a psychological thriller than an outright horror script. Having written several scripts myself, I was seeking something that was not my own work. The rational being that it can be perceived as narcissistic to indulge in self promotion. I’ve viewed movies that have been written, directed and produced by a single individual and thus, it would be difficult to shoot something where there is only one voice on set. We combed through several scripts until we found one called REMORSE. It had been floating around for a number of years, with start and go several times with different players. What inspired me to the story was three fold (1) The script had a Sir Alfred Hitchcock feel to it, who was a particular favorite of mine (2) Like a Hitchcock film, It did not contain volumes of hacking and slashing and oozing blood. We all know there are enough of those around (3) It is a thinkers film, what is real, what are hallucinations and how will it all end.
NYCIFF: The house played another character in the film. How important was it to find the perfect house?
GQ: Being based in Pennsylvania, finding the ideal house was a slight challenge. We ended up in a historical building called the Penrose Strawbridge House which stands proudly, as it has for nearly 200 years. It is reputed to be haunted and has been visited several times by the Jersey Ghose Hunters. It is impossible to ignore the sunken floors, peeling paint, and deteriorating foundation that have come from years of neglect, thus making it the perfect location where the bulk of the film was shot. The main actors were all interviewed at different and the general consensus was, nothing was ever seen, but it was a scary place. There are several links to the house. Here’s one where we created the bedroom.
APPARITION Movie Penrose Strawbridge House
NYCIFF: Creating a horror movie on a budget can be a challenge. What did you find was your greatest obstacle to overcome?
GQ: One always wishes one had those extra available funds to seek total perfection. We believe we did a decent job with the budget restraints we dealt with. Our greatest obstacle was time as the actors all had schedules, as did our director who had commitments in LA. There were long and tiring hours running into nights, particularly for lead actor, Jody Quigley who is almost every scene in the film. However, with a great crew and undemanding cast, we completed the entire shoot in eighteen days.
NYCIFF: What are your horror movie influences?
GQ: I’m not the biggest horror fanatic in the world as I’m more into Psychological thriller with that horror element. Hitchcock’s Psycho, The Birds, Rope
NYCIFF: What’s the most important thing you learned throughout the making of Apparition?
GQ: Listen to everyone around you. There are times when one get the best from their actors and crew, if they only open their eyes and sometimes realize that nobody is always right.
NYCIFF: What can we expect to see from you next?
GQ: I have formed a partnership between my Company ThunderSmoke Media and Screengage (Micheal Yurinko) for a new and totally exciting Psychological Supernatural Horror entitled “IMPURATUS” This is a great story set in 1922 and jumping back to the civil war. It has won a Best Script award at a Festival so far and is a finalist in another. This story has the perfect mix for me, a touch of Hitchcock/Nightmare on Elm Street/Freddy/Exorcist, all rolled into one. We have already cast it as can be seen on IMDb. Raising the funding is always the tough job.