The secret segment on “V/H/S: Viral” is revealed.
On Blu-ray and VOD, the final short film missing from the original VOD release last year is now included in the collection.
“Gorgeous Vortex” is a very different horror film from the usual V/H/S short films that fans enjoyed in the past. This story is about a fashion model haunted by visions from something mysterious.
Latino-Review had an exclusive interview with director Todd Lincoln concerning his “Gorgeous Vortex” short film. He explained the premise of the film, a new direction and what is still kept a mystery.
“Gorgeous Vortex” is available today on the “V/H/S: Viral” collection for VOD, Blu-ray and DVD.
Read the interview below:
Latino-Review: "Gorgeous Vortex" was left off the original VOD release for "V/H/S: Viral." Now it will be on the Blu-Ray/DVD. Was this a deliberate viral marketing campaign to make it appear your film to be a found footage for the release? Or is there more to the story?
Todd Lincoln: It was deliberate. “Gorgeous Vortex” is a secret film for the hardcore fans and the true diggers. The way my film is included as the surprise final segment of “V/H/S: Viral” is a throwback to the way that 90’s CDs for bands such as “Nine Inch Nails”, “Nirvana” and “Ministry/” It would have a cool hidden track after the end of the album. “Gorgeous Vortex” hints at a larger mythology and points to a new direction for the “V/H/S” franchise.
Latino-Review: Your film is not like the other found footage movies in the V/H/S series and much more like a standard film. Tell me about this approach to be different from the others.
Todd Lincoln: I’m a big fan of the “V/H/S” films, but I thought it was time to change things up both tonally and stylistically. “Gorgeous Vortex” is definitely not found-footage. It’s extremely cinematic and more like an ominous transmission from the future. I wanted to push things farther with my segment and challenge audiences’ expectations and perceptions.
Latino-Review: How were you approached to be a part of this cult-favorite series
Todd Lincoln: Very carefully. I was approached by one of the producers while I was walking in the Topanga Canyon mall eating cookies. He told me he was putting together the third V/H/S and asked if I had any thoughts on it. So I immediately started listing off my wish list of directors that I thought he should get for the new lineup. [Laughter] I was just in fan mode/producer mode/mall mode. And he said, “No man. What would YOU do with V/H/S as director?”
Latino-Review: The following questions will obviously be spoiler alerts. These types of films need explanation to the audience. So with many V/H/S films, many viewers will watch and cry out "What the fuck!" Care to explain your story a bit to the viewers on what's going on your film? How did you come up with the idea for this film?
Todd Lincoln: I’m perfectly fine with viewers crying out “What the fuck!” A lot of times that means that you could be onto something as a filmmaker. It’s certainly better than no reaction at all. It’s best to leave “Gorgeous Vortex” up to personal interpretation. I can’t entirely say where the idea came from. A lot of it is made up of different concepts and imagery that I’d been storing up for a while that began to connect in surprising ways. It was partly inspired by avante-garde video artists, fashion photography, old Italian Horror movies, George Lucas’s early experimental films, and the writings of J.G. Ballard and Jean Baudrillard. I’d been interested in combining elements of fashion photography and horror films.
Latino-Review: I've watched the film four times myself (I really did) with wonder of a beautiful woman being haunted by dead models, faceless humans, a monster and a creepy guy. It was described as a "high-fashion horror experimental film." I'm taking there's a lot of symbolism with the various images of dead bodies, water spraying of legs, shoe burnings and a music video style ending. Care to elaborate on this or am I off the mark?
Todd Lincoln: Thank you for watching it four times. Personally, I have a completely different experience and opinion of the film with each viewing. I don’t consciously deal in symbolism. I’m mainly flying on instincts. It’s better to leave “Gorgeous Vortex” up to individual interpretation. I’m not trying to say too much with my work. I’m simply shooting things that I want to see or that I think others should see.
Latino-Review: Why did you go with a nearly dialogue-free film? I believe only three words were muttered as "Please help me," from one of the victims.
Todd Lincoln: It’s great that you noticed the “Please help me” line. “Gorgeous Vortex” was always scripted and planned as a dialogue-free experience. I wanted to create a visceral, visual onslaught served up in a post-human/post-narrative way. Dialogue would have cheapened it and taken audiences out of it. It was my hope to make this film pure, universal and immersive. I would have preferred to have Smell-O-Vision for the film and also wind blowing on the audience during scenes where there is wind. Wind was important to this film. But I guess it’s stronger without all that nonsense.
Latino-Review: What is that creepy creature in film? What do you call that thing? How did you come up with that look?
Todd Lincoln: The creature doesn't have a name. I’d love to tell you what the creature is and its back story, but I can’t at this time.
I’m a huge fan of practical effects and try to use them whenever possible. I was excited to get Vincent Guastini and his power team at V.G.P. Effects & Design Studio to come onboard the project. For this mission, Vincent assembled some of the best creature effects artists, sculptors and technicians around, including Joshua Ballze, Josh Wasylink, Mike Rotella, Steve Winsett and Evan Campbell. I loaded them up with brainstorm notes and visual references for the creature. They went above and beyond on the design and operated it beautifully. It was so thrilling to see it come to life. Creature effects artists have always been some of my favorite people to hang out with both on and off the set.
Latino-Review: Talk about the recruitment of the actress to play this model of yours.
Todd Lincoln: There were some amazing name actresses/models that approached us, wanting to play the lead in “Gorgeous Vortex”. But I was set on finding a fresh face. My casting director, Matthew Lessall and I looked through all the submissions and dug deep at the talent agencies. I came across Jayden Robison who had a really striking look. Once I spoke with her and we discussed the character, I knew she was the right person for the role. There was no real audition—just a conversation. I could see that she had a strength and fierceness, but also vulnerability. She really went all out and went to dark places.
Latino-Review: I believed all the filming takes place in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Is this your home turf? Are all the other actor and actresses from the local area?
Todd Lincoln: Yes, the film is shot entirely in Tulsa. I decided to bring this film to my hometown and use a mostly local crew.
We flew in Morgan Susser, my Director Of Photography, who did beautiful next-level work on this. And my longtime friend, Jeremy Lamberton who lives in Tulsa was the Second Unit Director Of Photography. He and I worked together capturing more abstract moments and details.
The lead actress / model, Jayden Robison flew in from NYC, but her family used to live in Tulsa. The rest of the actors and models are all from Tulsa and surrounding areas.
“Gorgeous Vortex” is not supposed to literally take place in Tulsa. It’s set in its own world and own time. But in some ways this film more accurately captures and reflects the real Tulsa or at least a version of Tulsa that I experience.
Tulsa has such cool, unique, untapped locations for filming. There’s so much built-in production value.
“Gorgeous Vortex” is set primarily in non-places and abandoned places. These are locations with either not much history or not much future. Places that most people would never notice or never choose to aim their cameras at.
Throughout the shoot I kept thinking of Walter Murch’s quote about working with George Lucas on THX-1138. Murch said, “What we were interested in doing was making a film from the future rather than about the future.”
Latino-Review: The music obviously put your film over the top. Tell me about the recruitment and approach with Joseph Bishara on this project.
Todd Lincoln: I’ve known Joe for years from seeing him around Los Angeles at different horror community events, screenings and parties. He’s good friends with several of my filmmaker friends. I loved the music he was creating and we would talk about finding a project to collaborate on. “Gorgeous Vortex” was a perfect fit. He brought so much to the film and really enhanced it with his haunting original score. I’m beyond excited about the recent release of the “Gorgeous Vortex” soundtrack album on vinyl and digital download. http://shop.voidrecordings.com/
Latino-Review: By the way, that's one crazy ending to the film. You left it on a cliff-hanger I think. I wanted to know what's going to happen next. Do you want to explain it or you're going to leave us hanging?
Todd Lincoln: Thank you. I think it’s best to leave people wanting more and not explain anything. Let audiences make their own connections. The film was specifically constructed to offer a different experience each time.
Latino-Review: And to wrap things up, what's up next for you that you can talk about?
Todd Lincoln: Nothing. I’m done with this dying art form. This was it. I’m out of here. Just kidding. Right now I’m taking meetings, reading scripts and in research/development mode. I’m writing a new feature script. It’s kind of a Psychosexual Sci-Fi Thriller. I’m also exploring new forms of storytelling and world-building in other mediums such as real- time mobile augmented reality.
In the meantime, keep checking up on www.gorgeusvortex.com for new side-story micro-films that tie in with “Gorgeous Vortex”.
Thanks for the great questions, Gig!! It was a pleasure talking with you.
“Gorgeous Vortex” is available today on the “V/H/S: Viral” collection for VOD, Blu-ray and DVD.