From the Director
The idea of this movie was derivative of an image that occurred to me unexpectedly, of the very distinguished hero of many a movies and literary advents - Dracula.This image was one that was essentially contrary to those popular images of him that portrayed him as the vampire craving for the virgin's blood, as the cold-blooded beast that is all claws and gory canine tooth. These dangerous notions about Dracula and his canine teeth originates from the age-old psychic fears of all fathers with daughters and all men with beloveds that they may misplace them, I suppose. The image in my mind revealed Dracula to be a fervent lover- 'Saint Dracula'.
The canine stains he left on the necklines of virgins, appeared to me, the passionate motifs by a possessive man on his ladylove. My contemplation through this movie was to grab poles apart a Dracula, who is principally a poetic one, the one only a versifier can grasp and establish. This poetic Dracula is the epitome of love, as he acknowledges and adores his lovers to such a level that he even drinks their blood, which is an ultimate act of acceptance,worship and submissiveness.Then was the endeavor made to comprehend and capture the historical facets of Dracula. Thus, I got myself acquainted with the wits of Prince Vlad Tepes of Wallachia of the 15th century, the pitiless sovereign who entwined forty thousand ottoman civilians on the crucifix as recommended by the Church, to impede Islam from spreading in Romania. He, in course of time and history, became the blood thirsty vampire of the myths and folklores .
He emerged to me as a misread champion of the yesteryear, the comrade of the cross who later became the anomalous villain, the worst foe of the cross and the monster greedy of blood, the one who can be killed by the crucifix itself. An attempt is made in the movie to take hold of this side of Dracula too.On the personal plane, I identified with Count Dracula more than ever,in the process of developing the story. Dracula, as a character is never one-dimensional. He is a multi-dimensional man in terms of his attitudes, actions and mind processes. He exhibits manifold identities and can be presented in multiple metaphors. His deeds are not controlled by his one-time instincts. He is mutable and dynamic.
I could identify with these attributes of Dracula, as I myself is variable and compound, by virtue of my mutable birth sign and my very temperament that is multi-dimensional. Many a times, Dracula and I were not two people, but one. This personal identification and empathy did help in materializing this show.Saint Dracula is essentially the story of love and passion. While building up the script of 'Saint Dracula' I went through the most thumping love experience of my life. It was in the air; it touched me and distilled me. This exceedingly weird and wonderful personal experience facilitated the script. In another state of mind and love,this would not have been possible.
On My Producer
It was a blessing that the producer of the movie was a film maker himself (DAM 999). It helped to work with ease, as he understood the nuances of making a film, the meditation of a film maker to capture the perfect shot et al. He is the one who perfectly learned, understood and loved the script to such an extent that I could just get in touch with him for any kind of toting up and help. He was not a boss, but a brother.
On my cast and crew
There was a time of dilemma when I was not successful in finding a perfect face to play the role of Dracula. It was even anticipated that the shooting of the movie has to be postponed because of this very reason. It was when I found Mitch Powel, our hero of the film. Converse to the popular opinion I chose Powel to play the lead role, regardless of the fact that he has a saintly face and not a typical vampire face.
That was what I exactly wanted. Patricia Duarte, needless to say was chosen among 300 contenders. She was just perfect, I must say. Daniel Shayler (Benjamin) - our priest with the vampire face, he immediately fit in so well. Francois Coppe, the Cinematographer came with a counterfeit key, to my heart. He knew every frame I wanted to capture, before Julian, the Stereographer created miracles.
Why Saint Dracula 3D?
This movie is the ever first Indian production, which was shot exclusively abroad.The entire cast and crew are foreigners except the director and the music director. The whole cast was recruited after a scrupulous process of auditioning. Not even one character was selected without a try out. For example, the appropriate cast for Clara- the leading woman of the movie was chosen from over 300 candidates from the United Kingdom. The hero of the movie is not just like any other 'video game' hero, who is less solemn and abstemious. Our hero is a sober one, who a poetic one. He is not a superhero, but a unique being with a lot of historical magnitude. The movie also touches various facets of the present day Catholic Church and does take into consideration its attitudes towards many a thing.
An animated Christianity is not the one that is in question, but rather a pragmatic one. It reflects the church's priorities, outlook and mind-set. Unlike the popular Dracula movies, the champion of our story craves not for blood, but for vengeance. This is a major and constructive deviance.Nun possessions have occurred in various parts of the world until now, but later proved to be controlled crimes. Many of them were essentially satanic. However, our story deals with no nun possession, but it narrates the predicaments of an untainted nun, who is convinced and definite about her love for the vampire king. She falls in love and maintains it and it is never a case of possession.
A minimum use of graphics was conceded and was realistically done. A sensible, practical tenor was maintained throughout the making of the movie as far as graphics, locations and related matters are concerned. We have used the best rig, equipments and technology for the making of this movie.While talking about locations, two local, virgin, supposedly haunted forts were used so as to maintain a realistic tone of things.
It was not our aspiration to give people a jolt of horror, by using 3D format. Rather, the story demanded it. The main protagonist of the movie and the various occasions of the narrative were not the ones that could be captured in a 2D frame. Thus, the 3D stereoscopic layout became a necessity to capture the story in totality.