Unseen Evil Production Notes
Los Angeles is a terrible place to shoot a “lost in the woods” film and I had to beg to get the production to the real forest in the surrounding San Giorgino Mountains. It was worth it and great to have everybody together in one place for a good portion of the shoot. We really were a group of people stuck in the woods and the focus and camaraderie was greatly improved because of it, as I knew it would be.
All the insert footage, that had the CGI monster added to, was shot over a year after the rest of the photography was completed. The interiors of the cave were actually shot out in the desert near where we’d shot Iron Thunder.
With a film where you have higher paid stars involved, you usually don’t see them together in the same scene. Frequently star cameos will pop up talking on the telephone with someone else or will only be in isolated, relatively non-active scenes in the body of the more complicated filming. In order to have our stars Richard Hatch and Tim Thomerson work together at the same time was something of a budget buster. I basically had to beg them to give me each a day for free to make it all work out. This is not usually the director’s job and I often have the producers help persuade the actors. The director’s relationship with the actors is seen as less antagonistic than that of producer/ actor and you're sometimes asked to be the middle man in situations like this which will arise during production.
That's a real cave and real cave etchings in the movie, the stone was so soft you could carve in it with your fingers, which of course lots of people had done. We had to scrape an image of Bart Simpson off one wall before we shot there. An artist Marischa Slusarski came out and carved some specific cave drawings for us and not long after that designed the YOUNG WOLF PRODUCTIONS logo.
I think this is the best overall acted film of those I’ve done and much of the time was spent more on the acting since the special effects were mostly added later and didn’t slow us down while shooting.
Robbie Rist also appears in the film, courtesy of Johnnie Young, and the fact that he wanted to work with Tim Thomerson. He is known in part as having been Cousin Oliver on the Brady Bunch. Thanks to his involvement a scene from the film ran on MTV, as part of a “where are they now” show they did on Rist. Every little bit helps.
This film was the most widely released of my films, but it was released the same month of the Academy Awards and the same month that Training Day, which was nominated for and ultimately won for best actor, was released with a huge campaign. Video stores only have a fixed amount of money to spend each month on films and if you are a smaller film and a big film comes out…. For this reason Unseen, or Unseen Evil as it is called on DVD, is hard to find for rent in the United States. Though it played for a number of years on Showtime and went through two "pressings" as DVD for sale. It also generated a sequel that was released last year that uses much footage from this film as stock footage.
Many of the cast and crew from Unseen would next work on the Battlestar Galatica trailer with me.