Colin Minihan and Stuart Ortiz make up the Vicious Brothers. They are the Writers/Directors of “Grave Encounters” and Writers of “Grave Encounters 2”. The first film has already become a cult classic after a very short time. “Grave Encounters” is an awesome found-footage horror film and the sequel is twice as good as he first one. Keep an eye out for these guys because they are going to be huge. The guys took out some time to chat with Media Mikes about their sequel and what we can expect next.
Mike Gencarelli: Where you guys get the name the Vicious Brothers from?
Stuart Ortiz: When we were close to being done with “Grave Encounters”, we figured we should come up with a directing handle. Since if you have just two dudes names it is too much information for the audience to take in.
Colin Minihan: Dude, just tell him the honest answer. He was coming out of a huge bender…
CM: …and he woke up one morning had the name in his mind and just wouldn’t shut up about it. I just went along with it. [laughs]
MG: Are you surprised with the quick cult status the the first film has achieved?
CM: Yeah it has been really cool to see all the different countries take to it. We are very excited for them to see the sequel?
MG: Why did you step aside on this film and let John Poliquin take over directing?
SO: The main reason was that right when “Grave Encounters 2” became a reality and we were going to move forward. We are also at the same time finishing up another project that is a sort of proof-of-concept trailer that we made for a film we are trying to get off the ground right now. It would have been too much having to go into production on “Grave Encounters 2” and then finishing up the other project. We just didn’t want to be able to commit 100% to it. We have known JP along time. He is a great director and we were friends with him anyway. After one conversation with us, he totally got the material. It really seemed to make sense.
MG: Tell us about the production on “Grave Encounters 2” and how it compares to the first film?
CM: The production definitely differed a fair bit [laughs]. On the first one, Stu and I just were just constantly writing and make “Grave Encounters” almost out of necessity almost with no money. It was literally Stu and I running around a mental institution with the actors. It became a success and allowed us to do the things we wanted to do on the first film but didn’t have the manpower or visual effects budget. I think as a result we really crammed this movie with as much stuff as we could. We stretched this budget way further than we thought we could, while still staying sane and pulling it off. I am definitely glad we didn’t pussy out and make something safe. We really pushed the limit and made JP’s life challenging for sure.
MG: Shooting at the mental institution, any things creepy happen during production?
CM: I definitely below in ghosts and have had a few weird occurrences in my life for sure. I am one of these people that can walk into a house and if I am not paying attention I can pick up a vibe.
SO: Colin has a radar for that shit. Down to the point if we go something I would ask “Yo, you getting a haunted vibe?” He will look around, squint his eyes and say yes or no”. We were just in London a few weeks ago and he was just freaking out the whole time saying “This whole city is haunted man!” [laughs].
CM: As far as the building goes, when there is so much energy and people on set, in order to experience something you really need to be alone and in a quiet place. Otherwise, there is too much distraction.
MG: Tell us about the decision to bring back Lance Preston?
SO: We kept a tight relationship with the actor, Sean Rogerson. We would hang out all the time. Even from the very beginning, after we finished “Grave Encounters”, we knew from the get-go that no matter what we did, Sean was going to be in it.
MG: The ghosts in the film are super creepy, tell us about how they were conceived?
CM: I think when you are writing it you just try and do to a dark place and find out what is going to scare ourselves. We tried to visualize it with some sketches and then just put on the makeup and hoped that when you turn the lights off and hit the night vision that it is as effective as it is in your head.
MG: “Grave Encounters 2” takes a real clever approach to found-footage genre, what were you concerned about most that you wanted to accomplish when writing the sequel?
SO: There was a couple of different things. We didn’t want to retrace our foot steps and it was important for us to do something different. There was so many possibilities especially if you are talking about a found-footage or mockumentary approach. You can go even farther than a convention film. It seemed like a waste just to do the same thing again. First and foremost was just to do something fresh. They Colin came up with this idea to be set in the “real world”, where people know about the movie and there is this conspiracy. That was the #1 priority. The #2 was that one we were in the building was to actually how that the building is a character and has an agenda and purpose of its own.
MG:What do you two have planned next?
SO: We are keeping very tight lipped on it now. But we are waiting on financing to close by the end of the year. We have a sci-fi horror movie called “The Visitors” that Colin and I wrote and will co-direct again. It is a lot different than “Grave Encounters”, it is not found footage in full but does have a little bit of found footage for the most part it is a classically cinematic film. We are hoping to get that started next year.