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Brad Anderson Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (1) | Mini Bio (1) | Trivia (4) | Personal Quotes (6)

Overview (1)

Date of Birth 1964Madison, Connecticut, USA

Mini Bio (1)

Brad Anderson was born in 1964 in Madison, Connecticut, USA. He is a director and producer, known for The Machinist (2004), The Call (2013) and Transsiberian (2008).

Trivia (4)

Nephew of Holland Taylor.
Brad is a graduate of Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine.
Taught filmmaking classes at the Boston Film and Video Foundation.
Was member of the dramatic jury at the Sundance Film Festival in 2002.

Personal Quotes (6)

[talking about what inspired him to make Session 9 (2001)]: The actual story itself, the story about Gordon's journey, was kind of inspired by a murder that occurred in Boston in the mid-Nineties, '94 I think it was. This guy Richard Rosenthal, who was an insurance guy, just a regular guy, lived in the suburbs. I guess his wife had just had a miscarriage or something, and he was starting to become somewhat unhinged. He came in one day, and his wife had burned the meal on the stove, his evening meal, and something in him snapped. He killed his wife, and then he proceeded to cut out her heart and lungs, and stick them in the backyard on a stake. He left it there for a couple days, and he went to work... back to John Hancock in downtown Boston, like it never happened. When he was finally caught, they asked him why he'd done it, and he truly couldn't remember the act or even why he had done it. It was something that had been so buried in him, and then again after he had done it, he had buried it back down there so deep that it was just... It was the monster side of him that had somehow reared its ugly head. And there's something about that, this was a big story back in Boston in the mid-Nineties, and there's something awful about that notion of a seemingly normal everyday young family man who leads a fairly banal normal life and then just cracks, and just becomes, you know, the monster. That is, I think, something that everyone in a 9-to-5 job can relate to potentially, to becoming unhinged. That was a weird little anecdote that fertilized some of our story.
[talking about the origin of his film, Session 9 (2001)]: The seed for the film came out of that location. I used to live in Boston, so I would often see this place driving down route 93, looming there on the hill, and it always occurred to me that would be a nice appropriate place to do a good horror movie. I went up there with Stephen Gevedon, who's the co-writer and one of the actors in the movie, and we invited ourselves on one of these little urban spelunking missions. We met these kids we found online who go and explore deteriorating, broken-down places like old hospitals, old prisons, old military installations, subway tunnels, and stuff, and they invited us on this little journey. They went up to the Danvers Hospital and just explored the place, went into all the tunnels, wandered around, and went to the old morgue and went to all the patients' rooms and found all these really cool things. They gave us a lot of the history of the place and filled us in on some of the stories about the place. It was from that initial little journey that we kinda got the seed for the film, certainly the location.
[talking about why does he think his film, Session 9 (2001), was a scary picture]: The nature of the location and the creepy reality of where we were shooting, I mean it really was an abandoned asylum. I think that imbued the performances more than I could, more than any sort of weird, Werner Herzog-type things I could do, like, hypnotize the cast or freak them out in any way. I didn't really need to. I really feel like the place itself was sufficient to create "the vibe", you know what I mean? The shooting schedule was so fast when we were there, just jamming this thing out so quickly that we didn't really have time to play those kinds of games. We just had to do it, and I think everyone went and did it.
[talking about the casting of actor Peter Mullan in Session 9 (2001)]: The thing that appealed to Peter Mullan about playing Gordon was less the fact that this was a movie where he ends up killing everybody at the end, but more the fact that it was like an American tragedy. Here's this guy from overseas who's come here to try to make it, make it good in this country, marry, raise a family, start a successful business... and it's starting to unravel around him. For whatever reason, he cracks. And it's that thing which I know drew Peter to the project... because of that quality, he found that really moving... His story, in some respects, has horrific...It's a horrific story on the surface, but, like David Caruso was saying, underneath there's also the fact that there's this tragedy as well. That's really what makes it resonate, at least in my mind, a bit beyond just your run-of-the-mill slasher picture. If you look at the movie, I think, there's very little explicit violence, really. I mean, there's a little towards the end, but most of it's off-camera and implied. That's creepier to me. To me, that leaves a lot more up to the audience's imagination. Whether audiences are going to get that or not remains to be seen, but that might be the intelligence factor, which could be, you know...I think audiences are itching to be creeped out. I think something like The Blair Witch Project (1999), which I'm not comparing, because I think they're very different movies, but at the same time, I think that movie was appealing because it freaked people out.
[talking about the two stories that parallel each other in Session 9 (2001)]: Well, I think we left that somewhat of a mystery. There's definitely a parallel going on between what's happening in Gordon's life, or what's happened in Gordon's life, and what he's beginning to realize... he's starting to realize who he is, and what happened in the past in regard to the Mary Hobbes story, the one that we hear on the session tapes... she's suffering from extreme multiple personality disorder. So, there is a parallel there. How closely and tightly these things end up merging at the end, we kind of wanted that to be somewhat of a mystery, in regard to whether Gordon is somehow infected by the spirit of the monster side of Mary Hobbes, or whether he, like her, exhibits a kind of multiple personality disorder. We all have aspects of ourselves, we might not even sometimes be aware of, actors in particular, have a sort of multiple personality disorder. They get paid lots of money to exhibit those!But, no, I think that was part of the idea. One of the things I wanted to do initially with this movie was to tell a story, but with the use of sound as well as just with images. A lot of the sound design in the movie and the stories that we get coming from that scratchy little old tape deck, that idea really appealed to me. How the sound can really create a creepiness, a creepy tone, and also help tell a story. That's often so neglected in movies, good sound, and that's something we really wanted to play on.
[talking about the location for his film, Session 9 (2001)]: The seed for the film came out of that location. I used to live in Boston, so I would often see this place driving down route 93, looming there on the hill, and it always occurred to me that would be a nice appropriate place to do a good horror movie. I went up there with Stephen Gevedon, who's the co-writer and one of the actors in the movie, and we invited ourselves on one of these little urban spelunking missions. We met these kids we found online who go and explore deteriorating, broken-down places like old hospitals, old prisons, old military installations, subway tunnels, and stuff, and they invited us on this little journey. They went up to the Danvers Hospital and just explored the place, went into all the tunnels, wandered around, and went to the old morgue and went to all the patients' rooms and found all these really cool things. They gave us a lot of the history of the place and filled us in on some of the stories about the place. It was from that initial little journey that we kinda got the seed for the film, certainly the location.

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