Dracula Untold is an all new story, the tale of Vlad Tepes - a mortal man who wants nothing more than to protect his family and his homeland from tyranny. But when fates makes it impossible to stand alone, he finds a dark power to fight back.
It's looking like spectacular stuff, as you can see here.
The film is the first to be directed by Irish chap Gary Shore, who has previously worked on a number of music videos and commericals. And he got to work with an incredible cast for his first film, including Luke Evans, Dominic Cooper, Sarah Gadon and the right legendary Charles Dance.
Dracula Untold shot at locations all around Northern Ireland, including on a massive outdoor set just outside Belfast. And were lucky enough to go along and visit, coming upon a massive fortress and a huge number of muddy extras getting ready for an intense scene where a building catches fire.
In the midst of all this, we grabbed Shore for a very quick chat.
Gary Shore (left) with star Luke Evans Enlarge
CLICK: How have you found the process of making your first film?
GS: It’s fantastic. It took a while to get off the ground; getting a first feature done, and then for it to be a studio feature and being able to do it at home... It’s amazing; that doesn’t really happen. I’m having a fantastic time and I feel very very lucky.
CLICK: When you went to LA, did you ever dream that your first feature would be shot back home in Ireland?
GS: I didn’t know where it would be, to be honest, and I would have taken itanywhere in the world because to get the opportunity to do this, to play around with all these ‘toys’ at this scale... You’d take it anywhere. I could never have imagined it would be done here.
CLICK :As director, you have to work with so many different departments. What was that like?
GS: My background is in commercials, so I was very used to working with multiple departments. The biggest difference between doing this and the commercials was the pace; commercials are really a fast sprint, and this is a marathon. By the time this is finished, I will have been on the project for three years. It’s just been amazing, butyou treat it the same as anything else; it’s just a different phase of the process. For a lot of the time my job, on the creative side, becomes managerial and you spend 20 weeks in prep doing office work, so you are just glad to get out [on set] and breathe the fresh air, and burn things down! Why not, you know! [laughs]
CLICK: What has been the highlight for you?
GS: I have my best mate in the film, Glen [Barry], and he is playing a monk; I had to throw him out a door earlier! [laughs] I got him to roll around in the muck, so that has probably been a highlight for me!
CLICK: Would you have known people working on the film from the Irish film industry?
GS: No, I didn’t really know anybody in the Irish film industry to be honest. I didmy training in Eastern Europe doing music videos and commercials. Music videosyou will never find! [laughs] They have been buried! I started there and then went toLondon, then Stateside, so I bypassed working in Ireland. That wasn’t out of choice;there just weren’t the opportunities available, so I didn’t come up through the shortand independent film ladders. I have had an amazing career.
CLICK: Were there other filming locations considered before you decided to film in Northern Ireland?
GS: There were, yeah. Originally, we were going to go to Romania. It had been considered for a while; before I came on the project, there was another version,where it was either going to be done in Australia or Romania, then it was considered between the republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, and it ended up going to Northern Ireland.
CLICK: Obviously Dracula Untold is very different to the trailer that you did for The Cup of Tears, are you still interested in making that into a feature?
GS: It’s in development; we have the script finished – it needs a bit of work – but that’s a very ambitious project. With any first time director going to a studio, they take a chance with you, and [the film] has got to be in the realm of the projects that fittheir slate. Something like The Cup of Tearsis so bonkers and out there that it’s probably something for down the road, once I have done a few films and got that bit more experience.
Dracula Untold is in Irish cinemas from the 3rd of October 2014.
Director Gary Shore will attend a special charity screening of the film in Dublin on the 29th of September, with Luke Evans and Sarah Gadon. Details here.