Brad Parker talks about directing “Chernobyl Diaries”

Brad Parker is making his directorial debut with the new film “Chernobyl Diaries”. The film is co-wrote and produced by Oren Peli, known for the “Paranormal Activity” series. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Bradley about working on the film and what we can expect.

Mike Gencarelli: Can you tell us why you chose “Chernobyl Diaries” for your directorial debut?
Brad Parker: There were two things really. The idea of working with Oren Peli who is a great guy and sort of a master of suspense was very exciting. The other thing was the city itself. It was a place I had been aware of and had collected photos of the location thinking that someday I would shoot a film there. When we first met we hit it off and were instantly able to start talking about the city as a character. We got right into the nuts and bolts of production. The place and the man were the two main elements.

MG: So you had knowledge of the area prior to starting?
BP: Yes I did. I had sort of learned from my friend Mark Romanic that as I came across fascinating photos I should save them on my computer. I created an archive for when I needed a specific look for something. I was able to pull from the knowledge of the place through a photographic sense.

MG: What do you think was this projects biggest challenge?
BP: The biggest challenge I think was the amount of time we had to do the film. I met theproducers of the film about a year ago. I had a rough treatment of the film at that time and we were set to start shooting not too long after that meeting. We really got into production very quickly. We shot the film in about 20 days so that was probably the biggest challenge. It was a lot of fun but very hard at the same time. Some of the locations were challenging and there were a number of things going on in a few of the scenes.

MG: Your background is in visual effects. Did you get involved with any of that for this film?
BP: I did. I got involved by deciding where not to use visual effects. I have being doing visual effects work for so long that I have become aware of where effects work and where they do not. I had a limited budget so I had to figure out how to use that appropriately. I worked with my friend and former co-worker Mark Forker on the visual stuff. It was great to be out there with a friend and an ally. We are very like minded and I trust him. He and I see eye to eye when it comes to visual aesthetics.

MG: What do you think you were able to take from this shoot that you will be able to use in future projects?
BP: The experience of working with this group of actors. It’s kind of semi-improvisational which I really liked. I found it very liberating and it was a great way to work. Working on long takes was another thing I loved. That was a great way to shoot and get natural performances. I think I will be taking that with me for future shoots.

MG: Are you at all nervous about the film opening up against “Men in Black III”?
BP: It’s hard to say. I don’t know what to expect being this is my first film. I am a big fan of the “Men in Black” series. I hope people respond well to the film. I don’t know how we will do but I hope people like it.

MG: Do you know what your next project will be?
BP: I am in development right now with Bad Robot. My friend Matt Reeves is producing the film and it is being released by Paramount. I can’t really say too much about it just yet.

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