Private Project

Crisis Point

In this love letter to 70s cinema, particularly giallo and grindhouse horror, two lifelong friends find their sisterly bond tested by resurfacing traumas and secrets from the past

  • R.J. Redl
    Know By Heart, Yesterday Once More, Us & Them
  • Daniel Ilija James
    Rise, Blackwater, Space/Time
  • Desiree Vogelsang
    Make-Up Department
    The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Mental, The Railway Man, Unbroken, San Andreas, Swinging Safari
  • Claire Mcdonell
    Make-Up Department
    Teal Soldiers, Into Black, Us & Them
  • Chantal Elyse
    Key Cast
    Jiva, Betty Boo, San Andreas
  • Cassandra Smith
    Key Cast
    Into Black
  • Kylie Stephenson
    Key Cast
    Christmas Blood
  • Holly Rooth
    Key Cast
    "E.V. Robinson"
    The Rizzle
  • Charlotte Stent
    Key Cast
    "Young Alex"
    Sesame Street, Don't Tell
  • Winnie Mzembe
    Key Cast
    Thor: Ragnarok, Hoges
  • Pennyanne Lace
    Key Cast
    Phoenix Rising, Magdala Rose, Aiyai: Wrathful Soul
  • Joss McWilliam
    Key Cast
    "Dr. Paul Gregory"
    The Suicide Theory, Home and Away
  • Nils Nilsson
    Preacher, Dora the Explorer, Aquaman, Thor: Ragnarok, Kong: Skull Island
  • Jordan Buck
    Assistant Director
    Monster Problems
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Feature
  • Genres:
    Psychological Horror, Pseudo documentary, Exploitation film, Giallo, Mumblegore, Arthouse, underground, micro-budget, no budget, independent
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 15 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    December 28, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    19,700 AUD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography

Born Russell James Redl, R.J. developed a strong interest in storytelling at an early age. However, instead of making short films, he spent his childhood and teenage years drawing and writing. R.J. gravitated toward horror stories more than any other genre. His Nana and his father were instrumental in developing his fascination with movies, frequently taking him to picture theaters to see the next tentpole blockbuster. But his stepfather's eclectic taste in movies was ultimately what pushed R.J. into becoming a filmmaker. R.J. was exposed to countless movies (Hollywood, indie AND arthouse). Ratings didn't matter. This over-exposure to different forms of visual storytelling was the catalyst for R.J. changing his preferred tool for creating art from a pen to a camera. He made his first short film straight out of high school, working by himself instead of with a team. This experiment was the culmination of an entire lifetime of cinematic analysis. He would spend the following decade honing his craft while dreaming of, and attempting but failing at, making a full-length feature film. He dabbled in a few short films of various artistic merit. But his perceived strength was his ability to write. And find humanity in the characters he created.

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Director Statement

At its core, Crisis Point is about humanity. Everything that happens and everything that is mentioned is about some variation of the human animal. It could be identity, vulnerability, mortality, love, trauma, et al. Every single thing is about... Well, US. People.
So, with that philosophy in mind, it wasn't really a choice to format the film as a faux documentary. Complete with staged photographs, “found footage”, damaged audio, and interviews (not with the actors as themselves, but with them in character). I mean, Crisis Point itself IS a piece of fiction. But it's stitched together from a string of true stories. It's a fabric bound together with the souls of affected generations of women. Over the course of production, I probably came off as insane for making a film like this. And some might still think so. Nobody really understood what I was doing because I wasn't telling everyone everything. They knew exactly what they needed to know and that was it. In retrospect, I don't know if I can explain properly why I felt this film needed to be made this way. But I'll try.
Before Crisis Point finished shooting, the world changed dramatically for the better. Two massive events unfolded in 2017. They were the #metoo movement's broadening scope, and marriage rights being awarded to the LGBTI crowd. Because of this, I knew that Crisis Point had power. But this film wasn't originally meant as a targeted statement. It was meant to show the raw and edgy side of life through an examination of the two protagonists, who happened to be women. That was it. Moreover, I wanted to revise what the horror genre had become and perhaps breathe a little more life into some of the dwindling sub-genres. Personal horror, for example. I wanted to showcase the horror of real life predators' disgusting primal urges. And the consequences of their perversions. And how, even years after a traumatic event, the victim can be... and usually is... still affected. So I decided on a minimalist color palette, using only primaries (i.e. - red, blue and yellow) along with black-andwhite scenes. I was first influenced to try this approach years ago when I saw Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers. I'd experimented, mostly failed, with this style on several occasions. In fact, this time is the closest I've come to success. I also wanted to show that violence didn't necessarily have to be shown on screen for it to have a very high impact. This is a concept that seems more and more filmmakers are failing to grasp, or forgetting entirely. And it's diminishing the way audiences experience cinema. If everything is a spectacle, nothing is. All through cinematic history there have been films that were more brutal in concept rather than execution. Films like Taxi Driver and Raging Bull. And Full Metal Jacket. Even Psycho. And, while I won't begin to compare my film to Scorsese or Kubrick's work... or Hitchcock's for that matter. I most definitely was inspired by these masters. At least in character development. Visually, I was inspired by Dario Argento and Lucia Fulci.
Over my lifetime, I've researched many different countries' approaches to film making. And my favorites, for the last decade, have been Italian and French cinema. Crisis Point adopted a more surreal structure because of my appreciation toward Fellini's films 8 ½ and Le Dolce Vita, and Michel Gondry's work. Gondry is actually my personal favorite filmmaker. The visual aesthetic on the other hand is pretty much stolen entirely from Giallo horror. But my biggest artistic hurdle was reasoning. My mind works 100 million miles a minute, and I'm always coming up with cool new ways to do things. But if there isn't a reason, then it's pure madness. I knew I didn't want to make a
horror film. I knew I wanted to make something dark and emotionally intrusive that would crawl under peoples' skin, and impact upon them in a more meaningful resonant way. And this is something I couldn't quite grasp until the world forced me to. So Crisis Point definitely became something else, which was not particularly dictated by my direction. Although I did steer into it and dragged my cast and crew kicking and screaming with me. But instead, it was the gravity of contemporary socioeconomic upheavals. Ironically, Crisis Point is about people (two sisters) who are trying to change their bad luck in life for a more positive future. Art imitates life imitates art, I guess.