“He is an expression of his environment, an inexorable force of nature.” | Chris Nash, “In the Violent Nature”



A masked man with a hidden weapon stands against a forested background.A masked man with a hidden weapon stands against a forested background.Still images from in the midst of violent nature. Provided by Sundance Institute.

Films are made of and from places. The location where the film was shot, the setting it was intended to evoke, and the geography in which the film was conceived and produced. What places tell a unique story about your film, whether it’s a particularly challenging location that requires production ingenuity, or a map reference that inspires you personally, politically, or creatively?

in the midst of violent nature It’s a “Killer in the Woods” horror movie, but it’s told from Johnny’s point of view rather than the cannon fodder that gets in his way.settings of in the midst of violent nature I was based in northern Ontario, where I grew up, along the Huron and Superior coasts in the Great Lakes Forest region. This region of Ontario has a deep history with forestry and mining, a history that is a direct product of the landscape itself and is woven into the origins of the film’s protagonist, the undead slasher Johnny.

Northern Ontario’s remote wilderness is breathtaking in its isolation, but if you’ve ever gotten lost in the woods (or even just been able to orient yourself for a few minutes)… You may soon feel fear in your heart. Travel up the spine to reach the ancient lizard brain. That’s obvious. Everywhere you look, the beauty that was so admirable moments ago is suddenly shrouded in a threatening veil of uncertainty. It was our intention for Johnny to express this beautiful menace.

While filming, it was always our top priority to make sure the location looked beautiful no matter where we were shooting. We wanted these gorgeous settings to be a stark contrast to the horror and violence that Johnny was exposed to on screen, and to create a sense that Johnny wasn’t acting against his environment. I planted it. He is an expression of the environment, an inexorable force of nature.

Growing up in this area, I have always had an appreciation and respect for nature.I’m blessed to be able to go back and shoot at my old base. in the midst of violent nature After living in Toronto for 20 years, it made me realize how much I missed this area and inspired me to move home.

See all answers to the annual Sundance questions here.

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