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Jacob Gentry investigates ‘broadcast signal intrusion’, creepy tapes and Android Nightmare Fuel [SXSW Interview]

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Follow the tapes.

World Premiere tonight in SXSW it is The signal director Jacob gentrythriller of Transmission signal intrusion, billed as “a haunting journey into our collective technological nightmares, facing our deepest and darkest fears of both man and machine.”

While recording decades old tapes of television broadcasts, video archivist James discovers a surreal and disturbing clip that James believes is the product of a mysterious broadcast signal hacking. His discovery takes a sinister turn when he tracks similar broadcast intrusions that send him on an obsessive mission. Now James must face two very real possibilities: that the videos could be clues to a crime beyond all comprehension; and that whoever was behind them may well be aware that James is getting uncomfortably close to the truth. “

Coolest look of Transmission signal intrusion is that it was inspired by the actual broadcast outages that occurred in Chicago in the late 1980s, and remain unsolved to this day.

“It’s largely inspired by a 1987 event known as’The Max Headroom Incident“Where video pirates hijacked the broadcasts of two different Chicago television stations on the same night,” Gentry tells Bloody Disgusting ahead of tonight’s premiere. “They hacked into the nightly news feed on WGN and ‘Doctor Who’ on the PBS affiliate with weird videos of someone wearing a Max Headroom mask with weird, distorted rants about eerie feedback sounds. At the time it was considered a federal crime, but even after a lengthy FBI investigation, the case remains unsolved to this day. “

Transmission signal intrusion it’s set in the late 90’s and it’s a kind of historical fiction of similar events that centers on a video archivist discovering them while transferring videotapes from a decade ago, ”he adds, explaining how the real-life event influenced in the movie’s story. “Although our version of the intrusions is fictional, there are many interesting parallels between reality and fiction.”

Warned with a spoiler warning, the tapes presented in Transmission signal intrusion they all feature an absolutely horrible android.

“The creepy android concept was in Phil and Tim’s original script,” he reveals. “Then once we started designing it, a called creepypasta from the early days of Youtube “I Feel Fantastic” aka “Tara The Android” it was a main touchstone for aesthetics. Once we began to create the ephemeral of pop culture within the world of our history, like the character in the 1980s sitcom SAL-E Sparks, who would have inspired our fictional video pirates, we cross-pollinated. with Tara, the Android, and a host of other haunting video artifacts from the recesses of our troubled minds. Then ‘Dan Martin’ turned it into silicone-based nightmare fuel. “

While Transmission signal intrusion reminds this writer of the horror of the investigation as The ring or even Mothman PropheciesGentry shares the many influences from film to filmmaker.

The biggest inspiration for the approach came from all the films in the Paranoia Thriller or Conspiracy Thriller subgenre that had their prime in the 1970s. With movies like Alan J. Pakula’s “Paranoia Trilogy”: Klute, Parallax View, Y All the president’s men”Reveals Gentry. “BSI it’s a kind of ’70s paranoia thriller recontextualized with a more modern setting for a contemporary audience. And since the story refers to a kind of forensic analysis of videotapes, it is in dialogue with the Antonioni triptych. Exploit, By Coppola The conversationand that of De Palma Burst. In no way am I putting BSI at the level of these masterpieces, but that’s definitely their background.

“Actually, I’d say Brian De Palma is probably the biggest influence on me as a filmmaker, so of course the look, the feel, and especially some of the set pieces are very much inspired by his work.”

As for what Gentry hopes fans will take away Transmission signal Intrusion: “We were trying to make a movie that was a fascinating character study of a grieving widower in an obsessive search for answers, a surreal journey through a maze of interesting characters that blur the line between dream and reality, and the kind of intriguing mystery that leaves enough room in the imagination to inspire a heated discussion in the “parking lot” afterward.

“But the most interesting performances are always the ones that the audience picks up for themselves. And I’m excited to see what they are. “

Transmission signal intrusion It will premiere worldwide at SXSW 2021 tonight, March 16 at 9 p.m. EST.

Jacob Gentry directs a scene between Harry Shum Jr. and Michael B. Woods

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