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The Signal in our magazines

THE MOVIE: The Signal

Justin Welborn • Anessa Ramsey • A.J. Bowen • Scott Poythress • Sahr
DIRECTOR: Bruckner/Gentry/Bush

Justin Welborn THE CONCEPT:
New Year’s Eve in a large metropolis – not to mention the love affair between Ben (Welborn) and the unhappily married Mya (Ramsey) – is savagely interrupted by a mysterious signal that disrupts all normal television, radio and phone transmissions, turning many who hear and see it into homicidal maniacs. Through the chaos, the couple fight to find each other, even as Mya’s abusive husband Lewis (Bowen), who may or may not be affected by the signal, hunts down his wayward wife. The Signal is directed by three men, each of whom helmed one segment of the film from his own perspective.

U.S. RELEASE: February 25 2008, Nationwide
• Rated: R


“We tried to have a lot of respect for what each others' vision was, but that doesn't mean there aren't moments where you don't step in and whisper stuff into each others' ear and kind of lend a helping hand on what that perspective is. But there's definitely a line you start to feel where you have to back off a little bit and go, 'What Dan and Jacob are trying to do, I may not completely understand in the moment,' because it's all just images and ideas in your head, and until that thing gets caught and gets put together, you don't totally know what's going on in somebody's mind. So there's definitely a line where we had to respect that, and I think that as we found that relationship over time, we had less and less conflictual issues.”

“Your ego definitely flares up under two different circumstances; one, you think that the person you're dealing with is an idiot; or two, you're afraid that that you're an idiot. I think we all have learned to trust each other, and I don't know if it would have worked with three other guys, or me working with two other guys, but I trust these guys and respect them. And if sometimes I don't know where they're going with something, it's worthy of a conversation, and I think every time that provided an opportunity to make the movie better. If you couldn't back up your point and inspire the other guys in a pitch about why this idea was the one - and there were times where I'd remember Dave would jump on the table and go, “No, it's this way, man!” It was very impassioned, but at the end of the day, it just provides an opportunity to make the film better.”

“There's a healthy competition there that helps raise your game in terms of being a filmmaker - like, ‘Whoa, you did that? Ah, man ... are you trying to show me up?’ Especially when you're making a horror movie, because you're talking about the kills in the movie - you're talking about the weaponry. That was a huge competition. You're just trying to one-up the weapons - like, ‘Oh, no, you didn't - the mace with the knives on it? I've got to come up with something different.’ That's why the stuff may seem over the top, because we were just trying to go, ‘Oh, no, you're not going to get away with that - I'm going to have this moment be way more scarier than that other moment that you had that's comparable in your section.’

Written by David Waldon. Back to top

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Images above © Magnolia Pictures
Feature © 2008 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #693, March 2008 cover

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