The production duo of Heather and Jason DeVan are returning to the world of demonic possession with Along Came the Devil 2, a sequel to their 2018 film of the same name.
I had a chance to speak with the couple and over the course of this candid interview, we discuss their new film, working with your significant other, dealing with negative reactions to projects and more.
LRM Online: So we’re here to talk about Along Came The Devil 2 and I had a chance to view it and I wanted to know first what was your inspiration behind this film?
Jason: Shooting part two, when we got into writing the treatment in the script, we knew we wanted to take it into a little bit of a different direction but still answer questions that we had that the fans wanted to know from part one. And, and I feel like we were able to do that. And then, we were inspired by obviously The Shining and a few other classic horror films that I grew up as a child watching. And that just inspired me that I felt like we were able to capture in this film and give it a different spin and a twist that I think the fans will be pleasantly surprised by.
LRM Online: Okay. And I think you’re right. I did see there’s a shot in this movie from The Shining, where the lead actor, that you do the Jack Nicholson through the doorway with the axe. And I was like, “I know that scene. I know that.”
Jason: Yep. That and also Jack Nicholson, the camera shot up at his head looking straight down is the shot from The Shining as well, like right in that closet scene. Yep.
LRM Online: That’s awesome. So I did not see the first film. Would you, one or both of you, would you mind giving a synopsis of where we started in the first one to where we are now in the second one?
Jason: Sure. Okay. My wife wants me to say. So in the first one it was, it was based on a Brazilian family and their true story with two daughters. We were able to tell some of the story and then I took some of their story and changed it, you know, for the integrity of the family, which was very much an exorcism movie. And it was in vain with the original Exorcist movie. Which drew comparisons to that movie, which is unfair because it was a low budget film, but I feel like we did a good job with capturing and telling that story and it was scary.
We also wanted to make an exorcism movie that was scary and that had some scares and jump scares in it. So with that being said, the story continues into part two with Jordan coming home and answering some of those questions we weren’t able to answer in part one because we were able to take the story into the direction we wanted to take it and we weren’t shackled to that first story. We were able to create, which is how we came up with some of the surprise horror that’s in the film in part two.
LRM Online: Okay. And how long have you all been working on these?
Heather: Well we started part one in 2014 and then we sold it to … Or with distribution, we partnered up with distribution Gravitas in 2018 and it came out. And then as soon as it came out, they asked us to get started on part two. So part two was a crazy ride because we’d got that done, started it and wrote the script and got it delivered in six months. So it was a big-time difference from the two. But to be honest, I feel like we learned so much on part one that we just brought it right into part two and it helped that process go by quicker and better in my opinion.
LRM Online: Okay. And so I know people that have a hard enough time doing just one project. Was it always your intention to make this more than one film?
Heather: Yes, but we didn’t have any idea that it was going to be done this soon after the first one came out. We’d hoped there would be a part two. And Jason is the visionary behind all of the films that we do and he talks about it in his sleep. He’s always processing new ideas, movies and like, so he has been talking about ways he wanted to take part two, if there was ever a part two since we finished part one.
Jason: And I’m like anybody a fan of even on TV shows, you know with your cliffhangers. Part of the cliffhangers are what keep the fans coming back for more or wanting to see what’s going to happen next then that way. So I’ve always wanted to set it up where we had a good cliffhanger at the end to let you know we had answers to come back for the next part. If there is a next part. That way if there is closure and an ending to the film, we can really end it with a bang.
Jason: When the day comes.
LRM Online: Okay. And have you guys always been fans of horror?
Heather: Always. Both of us.
Jason: I grew up watching every scary movie you could think of.
Heather: It’s funny, Jason is more of like the, I want to say Michael Meyers that you know, that slasher …
LRM Online: Slasher films …
Heather: I’m more of like the Anne Rice. Yeah, like the not …
Jason: Well, not necessarily. I was going to say, well, first of all, we’re just fans of film in general, but we both love horror. Like we love film, just all kinds of films. But as for horror, I mean I was that 12, 13-year-old kid with my friends who we would go into the video store and literally rent as many and every horror movie on the shelf that we could. And happened that we’d spend our weekends doing that.
Heather: And I was at 12, 13-year-old kid who would need any Dean Koontz, Stephen King novel that was out there. So when we met we were like, it was kind of funny.
LRM Online: Okay. And so you all have the opportunity in the second, I believe, the first film as well to work with Bruce Davidson. Is that correct?
Jason: Yes. Oh, man.
Heather: Working with a legend.
Jason: Yes he is, but he’s so, I mean just to say that he’s such a nice guy or just so much fun to work with because he’s an actor and, and he has his …
Heather: He’s been around.
Jason: Yeah, he’s been around so long. He’s worked with so many other legendary people and filmmakers. He can pretty much do everyone’s job on a set, but for him to have the … To be on set and be in his character and watch younger filmmakers coming up and then tells you when you’re doing, ‘Wow, that’s different. That’s really good. I’ve never seen that before. It really, I would say for me warms my heart. But then you build a relationship because he will give you that respect when he sees you deserve it. And it’s just been a pleasure working with him because once you are in with him, he does welcome you in his family. So he’s very much like family now.
LRM Online: That’s awesome. So I have another question for you. When I was doing some research for this interview, I found it interesting. I didn’t realize at first that you all were a married couple doing this. And Heather, you said that in 2014 you all had been working on this, so that’s when you all started your production company, right? 2014 to DeVan Clan?
Heather: Yes, we started it, I believe that actually started it in 2013 but yeah, pretty much.
LRM Online: All right, so two questions from that one. What was it like, what’s it like working with your significant other on these projects? And then the other one is, I know that both of you all have done acting and Heather, you’ve done modeling. What was it like transitioning into these more creative roles behind the scenes?
Heather: It, honestly, sorry, I’m a little tongue-tied because I feel like, yeah, the producing side of things is to me, there’s no comparison. I enjoy it. Yeah. It’s a lot different, but I enjoy it more. I feel like I’m more of a producer than anything. Like I think I can speak for you to say the same, that you did feel like directing is your …
Jason: Because you learned a lot. You learn a lot just being on set or in the environment and then you learn a lot more when you’re making a film. But I felt like for you, you’re really good at producing.
Jason: But it made it easy. It made it easy for us Brandon to work together because Heather’s been acting for a long time and obviously modeling, she just has that look, but it makes it easier, you know, when couples work together or when families work together, you never want to sacrifice any and you know, the integrity of your project or your film by just hiring a family member when there’s other actors that you may want to hire. And even that being the case, we have three sons and my youngest son plays Xander in the film.
I felt like it was an easy choice because they are, you know, to me as a director, they’re really good at acting. They’re really good actors. They’re really good at their craft and they’re passionate. And so it made my job a lot easier having the two of them play those roles. It just was able to work with family and not kill each other in the process.
Heather: And to be honest, as an actress, Jason is one of the best directors I’ve ever worked with. So it makes it, and I’m not just saying that it makes it very easy to work with him cause he communicates with you. He’s very open minded. He gives you feedback, which actors really appreciate from a director’s point of view. From an actor’s point of view.
Jason: I think I get that from being an actor in my acting days. It makes it easier to relate to them and communicate with them. By the way, Brandon, I wish we could spend more more time with you.
Heather: I know.
LRM Online: Oh yeah, me too. I’m having fun. I do have a question though. It’s slightly more difficult and I was wondering if you could give me a little bit of leeway and I’ll try and ask it in a way that that doesn’t offend, if that’s okay.
LRM Online: All right. So I was reading something that David Ayer talked about. Somebody was talking negatively about Suicide Squad and he said, “yeah, you know, it’s very hard to do something and have your blood sweat and tears poured into something. And then people just talk about it in this way.” And Jason, you talked about some of the comparisons that people were making to things like the Exorcist and things like that. How do you feel when that happens as a creative individual that, that you’ve done this, you started this with your production company, you’re making this with your blood, sweat, and tears, and so for both of you, how do you react to something like that?
Heather: I appreciate this question.
Jason: Yeah, I’m so glad you asked this question. It’s really cool of you. At first, you know, no one can prepare you for when you put something out there and you just want people to like it and be happy with it. No one can prepare you for when the negative comes. And people, I don’t think people realize that somebody’s worked so hard on something and then they just start to cut it down and I mean and that’s all part of the process.
So first, any good comment you heard kind of went in one ear and out the other and the bad ones would resonate and then you learn that even if anyone’s talking about your project in general, that it’s still a good thing whether they love it or, you’re always going to have people who have an opinion and love something or hate it and you start to learn that it’s okay and don’t let it affect your day. Life’s going to go on and you know, thanks for watching it. If you did enjoy it, great. If you didn’t, okay, I understand. And so that took some time for the first couple haters or bad reviews that we got on a film, but then we know from other filmmakers that it’s all part of the learning process and it’s just something you do and you just have to ignore them or don’t read them good or bad, just kind of avoid it at all costs. So it doesn’t affect you. But I think now we’ve learned to handle it.
LRM Online: Okay. Heather, did you want to chime in on that?
Heather: Yeah, yeah. No, I mean, I feel the same way. Obviously some of the negative feedback is hard. And I just always say to myself, if these people that I guess are haters or they have hate comments, if … You try and do it, like, let’s see you try. Yes. And then we’ll talk.
Jason: Or compare a low budget film to an original classic sixties million dollar film. You can’t talk to everybody and tell them, ‘Oh, this is how we did that.’ You just hope that they like it.
Heather: And we’re in this for the long run. So …
Jason: We’ll learn.
LRM Online: Great. And so I have one last question. I know we’re short on time. I the last question that I have for you all. So what’s next? What’s coming next for you guys? The demand client?
Jason: Well, so right now obviously we left part two open for a three, but we’re working on a project called Broken Souls. And I’ll give you a quick synopsis of it. It’s about a couple who loses a young child and it caused them to go through a separation, but they still love each other and the father blames himself. He ends up kidnapping his son from the mother and a serial killer, ends up kidnapping his son from him, and he can’t turn to anybody to explain. And it’s kind of a roller coaster ride of leaving the audience, wondering if it’s all in his head, if something went down. But it’s an amazing journey and it’s got a great end, and we’re really excited to get this one started. Yeah.
LRM Online: Okay. Well, that sounds really awesome. So thank you both. I appreciate both your honesty and your time. I, I really had a great time talking to both of you.
Jason: Yeah, thanks a lot. Brandon, feel better. Go drink some lemon tea.
LRM Online: I have my cup of tea right here.
Jason: Awesome. Nice talking to you, man, and thanks for the interview. Bye
LRM Online: You as well. Thank you.
ALONG CAME THE DEVIL 2 releases in theaters, on demand and digital on Friday, October 11th.
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