The Real Estate Agent's Inspiration

An interview with Cyrus Neshvad, noted down by Matthias Wannhoff.

To enter a dark vacant house is probably one of those situations that most people are afraid of. How did you get the idea to turn this into a film?

Well, for one thing I was very impressed with Oren Peli’s film PARANORMAL ACTIVITY. It also had some resonance with my job, because since I can’t live from being a filmmaker I work as a real estate agent on the side. I originally found the house that would later be our shooting location, when I was about to show it to some possible investors. But upon entering the house I grew so afraid that I thought: Somebody definitely ought to shoot a film in here before it’s torn down. So I wrote the screenplay with the location already in mind.

How did you find the main actor for your film?

Well, originally I had scheduled a casting session but wasn’t satisfied with the people who turned up. So I casted a friend of mine for the role, which turned out to have been a very good choice indeed.

A L'ABRI can be seen, in the broadest sense of the word, as a horror film. How would you describe your personal connection with this genre?

I like films that give me the chills. But on the condition that they’re realistic. I even thought THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE felt rather realistic. I tried to do the same thing with A L'ABRI, which is why we shot with a hand-held camera and very reduced lighting.

How long did the shooting take?

We were only on location for three days, but the editing took two weeks.

How vibrant to you perceive the film scene in Luxembourg, especially in regards to the acceptance of short film?

Public screenings of short films are very rare. I have the feeling that the people here are not very interested in that. But the filmmakers don’t give up hope. There are about 15 directors in Luxembourg, and when we get the funding we sometimes even produce more extravagant short films. Otherwise it’s mostly small productions like A L'ABRI.

What are your plans for the future?

I have just finished a 14-minute documentary called EN DEHORS DE L’EAU, which revolves around the Persian immigrants in my country. Another short film project entitled L'ORCHIDÉE is already scheduled, and for the time after that I’m in the planning stages of a project called ANTOINE.

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Mon, 06.12.2010 0

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29.01.2010

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