Interview: Eric Blue Talks ‘Beacon Point’

We’ve been keeping a close eye on Eric Blue’s latest flick Beacon Point for quite sometime, and with the film set to have its world premiere this June 10, 2016 at Dances with Films Festival at the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California, we jumped at the chance for some questions with Eric Blue.

[] – Where are you from, sir?

[Eric Blue] – I’m from Atlanta, Georgia. It’s a great city for filmmakers. We have a booming film industry, tons of talented cast and crew, and some amazing locations. I’m proud to be a Georgia filmmaker.

[] – Is this where you shot the movie?

[Eric Blue] – Yes, we shot Beacon Point mostly in Georgia. It’s our home turf and we were excited to support Georgia businesses and crew members. Georgia production took place in Atlanta, Conyers, and Blairsville. For ease of access, we shot all of our night scenes at the Georgia International Horse Park. The waterfall scene was shot on private land, yes, we had permission, and it is rumored to be the largest waterfall on private land in the US. We also shot on location in North Carolina in the Great Smoky Mountains. This is where the story is based and it was crucial to show the immense size, beauty and isolation of the area.


[] – How much of Beacon Point is based on a true story?

[Eric Blue] – The movie came from a real experience that I had. This sparked the idea for the story. It was 1994 and I was camping with my girlfriend, deep in the Great Smoky Mountains, a stone’s throw from the Appalachian Trail. We had a really strange experience our first night. We both felt like something was watching us from the darkness. We heard strange noises, it didn’t seem like an animal, and at one point in the middle of the night the birds started chirping wildly. It was really scary and we felt helpless, alone in the mountains. This experience stuck with me and was so intense that I felt compelled to use it as the basis for a story. This morphed into my first feature film, Beacon Point.

[] – Did you have your actors read up on the real-life case?

[Eric Blue] – Yes, our actors did some research on similar real life experiences. I don’t want to give too much away because our movie has some great twists and surprises. Let me just say there was a ton of real world material that they were able to pull from.

[] – When did you decide it was time to start crafting your own film project?

[Eric Blue] – Beacon Point has been a work in progress for over 12 years. Not this exact story, or screenplay per say, but the overall dream of writing and directing a feature film. It’s something I’ve been able to stay laser focused on over the years, always working in some way to get closer to my goal. I wrote Beacon Point because I wanted to tell a suspenseful story with compelling characters. We felt that the Great Smoky Mountains and the Cherokee legends based there would create the perfect atmosphere to set the story.


[] – Did you write the original screenplay?

[Eric Blue] – I wrote the screenplay with Traci Carroll. She lives in LA and I live in Atlanta. We were able to collaborate using email and Dropbox for the most part. It was the first time I’ve ever worked with a co-writer and it was a great experience. She brought a real feminine quality to our lead character, Zoe.

[] – In an ideal world, would you prefer to have a major studio make the movie or are you happy you got to do it independently?

[Eric Blue] – I’d love to do a studio picture some day. However, I’m glad I did this as an indie film. It’s my first feature and I was really glad to have the control and visibility that I had. I was involved in every aspect of the movie and was forced to be creative with a small budget. It was an amazing experience. I’ve learned so much about filmmaking and the business side of things.

[] – Who plays the leads in the film?

[Eric Blue] – Our lead actors are Rae Olivier as Zoe, Jon Briddell as Drake and Eric Goins as Dan. We spent a lot of time casting and got a very talented group of actors. We were also very fortunate to have several days of rehearsals prior to shooting. Casting the right actors is such a crucial part of making a successful movie.


[] – Did they find anything emotionally or physically difficult about doing the film?

[Eric Blue] – The general consensus by the cast and crew was that shooting in the woods is tough, especially during a Georgia summer. It’s hot, humid and swarming with bugs. We’re doing 12 hour days and on a low budget indie film you need to be on your game. It really pushed the team. We were fortunate to have an awesome cast and crew. We all pulled together and shot an incredible movie.

[] – Is it a frightening film and how would you describe the tone?

[Eric Blue] – Beacon Point is frightening and suspenseful. We used the environment, the vastness and isolation of the Great Smoky Mountains, to create an ominous vibe. This builds an unsettling foundation and really works for the movie. We didn’t rely very much on jump scares or make up. I think human nature, like paranoia mistrust, is a much better tool to build tension and scares. To me, it’s the characters, and the tension between them, that builds scares.

[] – How important is getting into Dances With Films for Beacon Point?

[Eric Blue] – I think festivals are important. We wanted to do a festival run first to help build prestige and fans for Beacon Point. It’s important to show a distributor you have a fan base and market for your film. Movies are a business and ultimately distribution companies want movies that can make them money. Having a successful festival run is one way to show that you can get good reviews, fans and have a marketable product.

For more information on the film, hit up their official Facebook page.

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