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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

August 5th, 1999

Rick reading opposite an actor auditioning while I roll camera

This brings me to ruminate on Dexter. People ask me what I think about it.

Hey, I like the show. But it's very hard to watch that first episode. I think it steals pretty liberally from HH.

And before you say, "Hey, it was a book!"--I read the book. The book's only similarity is that Dexter also ends up being stalked by a serial killer. The Dexter of the book differs pretty greatly from the Dexter of the show. The show-Dexter seems to be Aric Blue more than book-Dexter.

Did one of the show's creators borrow from my movie? I don't know. But I think if you watch HH back-to-back with episode one of Dexter you can make a pretty convincing argument...

August 5th, 1999

Well. How things change.

Production on High was halted, due to the sudden dropout of our Director of Photography. He sent me an email claiming he was going to Hong Kong for a year to shoot a documentary.

That's what you want to hear when you're about a month from shooting a movie.

So High was scrapped, just like that.

But there is good in the bad. I decided somewhere along the line that the "Slacker with a gun" film--the movie everyone with a camera and no money films--was not a wise idea to invest money in. It was also not a genre I'm all that excited about.

Somewhere after we scrapped High, an idea came to me.

Follow me here. I love serial killer stuff. (Don't look at me like that, millions of you buy those True Crime novels, so I'm not the only one). Serial killer films have been done about as much as the Slacker films. Many good(Silence of the Lambs, Henry:POASK) and many bad(too many to name). But my idea was a little different. It's the kind of idea that I started talking to people about, and they'd get this funny, far-away look in their eyes. "Wow, that's a cool idea" and "I don't think I've ever seen a movie like that" were common responses.

I was onto something. That something was "Hunting Humans".

I began with a serial killer named Aric Blue. He was young, he was popular, he was handsome.

But none of his co-workers knew that he was killing people for a hobby. None of them knew that he secretly despised them, because his front was that good.

Aric picked his victims at random, thus avoiding motive as a way of being caught. He stalked his victims, assessing and using the patterns in their life to kill them.

Up until now, you and everyone else I talk to are thinking, "Hey, what's new about that?"

Plot point one: Aric picks a new victim, finds their pattern and goes to kill them. He finds his victim already dead, though, with a note attached to the bloody body. It reads "I'VE GOT YOUR PATTERN".

There's another serial killer, and he's hunting Aric. The movie then becomes a cat and mouse game between the serial killers, as both try to outdo each other.

That's normally enough to get people's minds going with the possibilities. Most people don't see the problem inherent in it, though: There's no protagonist. My intention is to get the audience to at least admire the cold yet precise way that Aric does his killing, and the fact that he's funny in a cruel sort of way shouldn't hurt either. But it's still a tough situation.

But it's the kind of different that could make the difference on the festival circuit.

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