Their zombie apocalypse movie Jeruzalem premiered at the Jerusalem Film Festival last summer, before hitting Fantasia, FrightFest, and Sitges, among other notable festivals. Now it’s out on iTunes, VOD, as well as a run at Toronto’s Carlton Cinema (read our review here). We talked to the brothers about the genesis of the film and where they are headed next.
You’ve discussed how Jeruzalem is not “found footage” but “POV” and that it was the invention of Google Glass that helped you bring your concept to fruition. What other ways does technology impact the narrative of the film that maybe aren’t as apparent to the audience?
Most of the time, when we are making a film we can use an unlimited amount of audio channels but only one channel of video. By using the “smart glass” interface we were able to tell other stories at the same time (in the way that people check their smart phones while watching a film) and that was a great tool for the storytelling. We were also fascinated by the contrast between the history of the old city and the newest wearable technology.
Jeruzalem is a horror film but also a film about the horror of the apocalypse. What are some other apocalyptic films that influenced Jeruzalem? Are there any that might surprise your fans?
It doesn’t really matter what the nature of the horror – if it’s a volcano interruption, tsunami, world war or a raid by vampires – we are all fascinated by apocalyptic films because we keep asking ourselves “what if,” or how will I react in this situation, what will I do, will I survive? It’s always about the “I”…. and this is why we, like most people, just love catastrophic movies, from Independence Day to Saving Private Ryan. If the danger levels are high, we are there.
In the movie, Kevin and Omar discuss “Jerusalem Syndrome,” a real phenomenon. I just watched an episode of The X-Files from Season 3 that discusses this very same thing. Have you ever met anyone who suffers from this condition? Did you do any research into this for the movie?
We didn’t feel the need to do research about the “Jerusalem Syndrome,” because every time we visit Jerusalem we get to meet these kinds of people, from biblical kings to prophets of god or other weirdos; most of the time they are just there, walking the streets of the old city. There is definitely something about this city that messes with people’s heads.
What was it like to have your film screen at FrightFest in the UK? What was the response from the audience?
Wow, FrightFest is the best! We had the honor to meet amazing people over there, true fans of cinema and horror. The festival is located just in the center of the city [Glasgow], the screenings were packed, and the energy around us was electrifying. People laughed and jumped at all the right places and were warm and kind. Even the weather was just perfect; how strange is that?
You’ve tackled so much already in Jeruzalem: technology, ancient cities, Biblical prophecies, the undead, and the power of grief. What do you have planned for your next movie?
Our next movie is a Sci-Fi/Horror film set in the Middle East. This time no one will be coming back from the dead, but for sure there will be a lot of blood! Stay tuned…