Shannon talks about his first film, something no one’s heard of called “Stygian”.
“Stygian”…I produced that at MIT (the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology). I was in medier arts there.

Are medier arts like Media arts? Sorry Go On. That was a joke.

Shannon laughs good-naturedly, but secretly, he thinks it was stupid.

This film “Stygian”, pronounced Styjan or Styjeean…

Depending on whether or not you’re Australian?
No, Literally depending on how you choose to say it…I say Stygan, because Stygian sounds too much like Stingy, (which it was) it was an action/fantasy/guerilla fiction. It was shot on 16 mil, cost about ten grand, and that played at Melbourne Underground, won an award there, played at Melbourne Fringe, Dead by Dawn in Scotland. A few places. Got a lot of press, which is good for a little movie.

An otherworldly purgatory where the world’s dead bad guys go. That had some fantastical killers, a killer clown running around with an axe and big fangs, which was a bit of a hit. These two young lovers who are journeying the countryside accidentally come into possession of a talisman. It’s actually the key to the gateway to this purgatory, not quite heaven not quite hell, and the world’s dead bad guys end up locked in this place. We shot it in all of the ghettos all around Melbourne. We made it a desolate Urban Landscape. It was really cool. The couple end up dying in the first twenty minutes, then they wake up in this otherworldly place and they have to find each other so they can get this key and escape. They slug it out; there are gunfights and all sorts of cool stuff…

You know how on IMDB they always have a suggestion under a film you’re looking at like, “If you liked ‘Something about Mary’, you’ll like ‘Meet the Parents'”? Well, if you liked Razor Eaters, you’ll like “Usual Suspects”, and Fight Club, or maybe even Reservoir Dogs. Is that a good thing in your opinion?
Oh yeah, that’s’ great company to be in. We like to describe Razor Eaters as “Fight Club” meets the Blair Witch Project. That’s a pretty good combination.

Shannon on his film making style.

There are two worlds in the film: Their whole world had to be completely different. That’s why when they investigate, it’s quiet, its methodical, the camera is usually locked down, it’s slow. They don’t rush. We wanted to grade the colors of the two worlds completely differently. The “Razor Eaters” stuff with the 5 guys, obviously, we boosted the colors, we used things like neon lights, things that really glowed, and they’re living in their own strange and twisted little reality. The police, we desaturated the color. We pulled the color out. We made it look like Xerox world, to make everything black and white.

I’m glad you picked up on that Heidi; you’re really quite brilliant.

Ok, so he didn’t say I was brilliant. But Shannon Young is brilliant. And we’re having a great time drinking at this bar, er I mean, at this official interview. All of the other questions that we spend hours discussing would give away the plot for those of you who haven’t seen the film.

Posted on September 3, 2004 in Interviews by


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