Delve Deeper

Friday, December 6, 2013

Announced: The Dreamlands (Die Traumlande)


Having won multiple awards for his first foray into Lovecraft Country, The Color Out of Space (Die Farbe) Writer/Director Huan Vu once again channels the gentleman from Providence with his new film project, the Dreamlands (Die Traumlande). Attempting to make the first ever, feature-length, film focusing on Lovecraft's Dreamlands.  

The film is to center around Roland, an orphaned boy with a troubled past who finds himself led into another world by a mysterious old man. That world is one that has been created by the great dreamers of mankind in their sleep during the preceding thousands of years.  There the old man rules as a king and he wants to educate Roland to be his successor. But Roland is unable to overcome the dark shadow that weighs on him, and he must decide whether he wants to use his abilities to further expand the Dreamlands, or to destroy what others have built.

Having first come to fan prominence after the internet leak of his first project, Damnatus, Mr. Vu's first commercially available film took the Lovecraft community by storm and created a great deal of blood. For his latest project, he once again teams up with producer  Jan Roth and Director of Photography Martin Vincent Kolbert in an effort to recapture the mythos-magic of Die Farbe.
We had a chance to catch up with Mr. Vu and ask him a few questions about the forthcoming production.

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Unfilmable: Because you were born in Vietnam, and grew up in a divided Germany, you have said that "borders and limits have always been something to be probed, pushed and contested." With those feelings in mind, do you think that your background might give you a special view and insight into Lovecraft's Dream Cycle?

Huan Vu: Hmm, don't know if I can answer that question... you know it's just a "story", has to be read as tongue in cheek I don't think my background does really give me a special view on Lovecraft's writings I'm just a guy who obviously loves to seek out great challenges, wherever that came from, I don't know.

Unfilmable: This film reunited you with producer Jan Roth and Director of Photography Martin Vincent Kolbert. Obviously, having worked with them before, your existing relationships can certainly give you a head start. How much of an advantage is it that the three of you last worked on another Lovecraft film?

Huan Vu: It was really important for me to team up with large parts of the former Farbe crew again, it just makes sense And since "Die Farbe" received much praise for its beautiful and special cinematography it was out of question not to ask Martin if he would be interested. I have to admit though that he was a bit reluctant in the beginning, since he's not that much into fantasy films, but when he had read my first treatment he could see, that this won't be a sword & sorcerer type of film.

Unfilmable: The plan is to shoot this film in varied locations such as Iceland, Croatia, Turkey with an English-speaking cast. Do you feel that this is going to create any special challenges for the production?

Huan Vu: Those locations are possible destinations, we have seen other film productions like "Game of Thrones" going there to get special landscape shots and so we're considering to spread out and look for suiting locations for our story as well. Iceland has wonderful ash deserts and volcanos, in Croatia you get rocky beaches, in Turkey there are many ruins of Roman, Greek and Byzantine times. It would be awesome to be able to go out and capture those real environments. 

It certainly will be a new challenge for us, since we haven't yet shot anything on a larger scale outside of Germany. But I think with thorough preparation it will be manageable. And we're not planning to go there for months and shooting lots of scenes with lots of actors - just a couple with a small cast and crew.

Unfilmable: If budget and technical constraints were no obstacle, what story would you most like to bring to the screen? What is the "dream project" from the writer of the Dreamlands?

Huan Vu: Perhaps you already know that my first feature film was a Warhammer 40,000 fan film ("DAMNATUS")? - I would really love to go back to that universe and tell a huge sci-fi epic with vast space battles, giant daemons and Gothic cityscapes.

Unfilmable: As a Lovecraft fan, who is your preferred cult-film star? Mark Kinsey Stevenson as "Randolph Carter" or Jeffrey Combs as "Herbert West"?

Huan Vu: Oh, that's a question for co-producer Jan Roth, I think he has watched anything that has "Lovecraft" written on the cover. I know that both films are cult classics, but I still haven't found time to watch them.

<after checking with Jan Roth> 'definitely Jeffrey Combs'.

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To fund this ambitious project, Mr. Vu is reaching out to Lovecraft fans with a crowd-funding effort that is scheduled to begin in March of 2014.

More information about the project, as it becomes available, can be found at the film's website http://www.the-dreamlands.com/

Check out this special teaser from the production blog at http://www.the-dreamlands.com/the-awakening/

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