Local Filmmaker Finishes Latest Film After Change in Direction | Local News
When local filmmaker Jacob Perrett last spoke to the Meadville Tribune in October, he was trying to raise money for his latest film, “If You Decide to Kill Me.”
More than six months later, Perrett has a finished film, albeit a different one from what he originally planned. Funding for ‘If You Decide to Kill Me’ didn’t quite reach the level he had hoped for, which mixed with uncooperative wintry weather to make it impossible to shoot the movie he wanted to. the origin.
“We were really hoping for this movie to have a harsh winter backdrop, and it really felt like last year was really uneven and it really wasn’t consistent to shoot,” Saegertown Junior-Senior graduate Perrett said. High School.
Instead, he approached “If You Decide To Kill Me” backers, let them know the reality of the situation, and asked if they would be okay with him doing a different movie, promising a refund if not. Luckily for Perrett, fans were more than in favor of the change.
“All the backers were really excited about this movie and on board with the change,” he said.
So what started as “If You Decide to Kill Me” became “We Never Stood a Chance,” a thriller centered around a man and a woman on a first date. The film is complete, with a trailer released May 19 on its YouTube channel, titled Something Sinister.
Backers of the film will get a chance to see it in October, when they receive Blu-ray copies. As with everyone else, Perrett is in the process of submitting the film to various film festivals, including Erie Horror Fest.
The film depicts Perrett stepping out of the horror genre in which his early directing efforts were firmly grounded. Previous films he has directed include 2015’s “Planet of the Dead,” which was shown at The Movies at Meadville, and an entry in the anthology film “10/31 Part 3.”
Perrett instead described “We Never Stood a Chance” as a psychological thriller, approaching the drama genre, which “If You Decide to Kill Me” was meant to be. He said the film plays on the anxieties of a first date.
The film is also different in the way it was put together. Using a limited budget, Perrett worked closely with the two lead actors, his fiancée Karlee Mihailov and Jacob Guseman, and allowed them to improvise with their dialogue to keep it realistic.
“It was really, I think, a good collaborative effort from the three of us,” Perrett said.
The two leads seemed to agree, both speaking positively about their experiences working on the film.
“It was actually easier for me,” Guseman said of the improvisational style. “I had a lot of trouble memorizing my lines, and I think it’s more natural.”
Mihailov said that when Perrett was writing the film, the pair had watched several films involving improv. At first, she felt discouraged by the prospect.
“I always thought ‘Oh, I could never do that,'” Mihailov said.
Instead, she found it allowed the dialogue to flow more naturally and ended up being something she enjoys the most about the project.
Mihailov had acted in previous Perrett films, but only as minor or supporting characters. It was his first time as a leader.
“It was really nerve-wracking to get started,” she said. “I did a lot of theater in high school, but theater is very different from cinema.”
Likewise, it was Guseman’s first major film role. Although he had minor ones in friends’ productions, he said it was “easily” his biggest.
“It was a very fun experience,” he said. “It’s basically my first real-time acting, so it was a real challenge for me, but I feel like I learned a lot.”
Prior to the film, Mihailov said she did not know Guseman. As production wrapped, she said the making of the film almost turned into three friends hanging out with the closeness between them and Perrett.
Perrett hopes that by taking “We Never Stood a Chance” on the road to the festival, he may be able to gain some industry attention to help support future projects.
“I have four distribution deals right now, which is pretty awesome, but it seems like this area of getting a distributor has peaked,” he said. “It doesn’t open the doors I would have hoped for.”
He hopes to do full drama next, seeing it as a natural growth for him as an artist to try out different genres. He doesn’t plan to attempt “If You Decide To Kill Me” again, calling it “filed”.
For anyone interested in seeing the film, Perrett said he would make announcements about festivals agreeing to show it on his Twitter account, @SpeaksJaccob.