Apparition: Unconventional Ghost Story
Written by Todd Lincoln and starring Ashley Greene, Sebastian Stan, Tom Felton, Julianna Guill, and Luke Pasqualino, “The Apparition” arrives in theaters August 24, 2012.
Todd Lincoln makes his feature film directorial debut on “The Apparition,” from his screenplay. “The Apparition” was produced under the Dark Castle banner by Joel Silver, Andrew Rona and Alex Heineman. The executive producers are Steve Richards, Sue Baden-Powell and Daniel Alter.
Lincoln was joined behind the scenes by director of photography Daniel C. Pearl, production designer Steve Saklad, editors Jeff Betancourt and Harold Parker, and costume designer Kimberly Adams with music by tomandandy.
When frightening events start to occur in their home, young couple Kelly (Ashley Greene) and Ben (Sebastian Stan) discover they are being haunted by a presence that was accidentally conjured during a university parapsychology experiment. The horrifying apparition feeds on their fear and torments them no matter where they try to run. Their last hope is an expert in the supernatural, Patrick (Felton), but even with his help they may already be too late to save themselves from this terrifying force.
Rounding out the cast are Rick Gomez and Anna Clark, who play the only neighbors in the empty housing development where Ben and Kelly reside, and Julianna Guill and Luke Pasqualino as students who participate in the college experiment that first unleashes a dark force.
When Kelly, a veterinary student making a living as a vet tech, and her boyfriend, Ben, a tech expert, move into her parent’s suburban investment property in Palmdale, everything seems perfectly normal—except for the recurring noises, alarms mysteriously disarming themselves, and other strange occurrences. At first, the two find rationale for the odd events that transpire in their suburban abode; but the increasingly bizarre situations defy explanation, and soon make it clear that what they are dealing with is anything but normal.
It all starts with Patrick and his college pals focusing on a large figurine in the lab in order to conjure an apparition. Real-life ghost hunter Joshua Warren was enlisted to lend his expertise to the production. In designing the set, Saklad consulted hundreds of images of Warren’s laboratory, as well as reams of his scientific findings. Among the gadgets were several thermal cameras, including a fake one which was lightweight and rigged with lights to illuminate the actors’ faces in the pitch dark.
Also true to science is the Faraday cage—a metallic enclosure that prevents entry or escape of an electromagnetic field—which was constructed on the set of Patrick’s home, a ’60s-style ranch house found in Calabasas, California. Saklad’s inspiration came from a 1950s battery, which has coils of copper wire wrapped around a square format.
While most of the action takes place in one house, “The Apparition” was filmed on two separate continents. It was shot on 35 mm in 2:35 aspect ratio with vintage anamorphic lenses. Nearly all of the interior sets were built at Babelsberg Studio in Berlin, Germany, and most of the exteriors were lensed in Southern California.
Lincoln and production designer Steve Saklad scouted key locales, finding a back yard in Santa Clarita to double for Ben and Kelly’s back lawn, and the perfect house for front exteriors in Palmdale, north of Los Angeles. The two-story house sits in an unfinished housing development, and the identical structures surrounding it are laid out in a winding grid as far as the eye can see, leading off to mountains in the distance and a buzzing maze of electrical transformers towering above. The overall objective was to reinforce a feeling of shelter and comfort.
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