Chad Ferrin Discusses Parasites -Exclusive Interview
Chad Ferrin took a moment from his busy schedule to answer our questions. In this exclusive online interview, Ferrin offered insight on his latest film, Parasites. Writer, Director Chad Ferrin shares his harrowing experience while filming. In the interview, Ferrin also provides his opinion and replies questions on production, narrative and social commentary.
Parasites released on the 24th of January 2017 via Video On Demand.Based on our interpretation the film delves on the division between social classes. The erosion of respect for the common man has a portrayal in this film. Racial undertones are also evident.
Parasites treks on the theme of Survival Horror. These are films that convey a cat and mouse sequence. The protagonist being the helpless mouse and the antagonist a carnivorous feline.
The synopsis to Parasites reads as follows:
Three friends find themselves lost on Skid Row and are captured by an angry homeless gang.
Mr. Chad Ferrin, we extend our dearest thank you for taking the time to answer our questions, best wishes.
DecayMag.com; Parasites has the aesthetic of a guerilla filmmaking, although not the case. How were each scene composed?
Chad Ferrin; It was very run and gun, not only because of budget constraints but in hopes that the frantic energy would translate to the screen. We would get to the location, block the scene once for camera then shoot, usually got it in one or two takes. Plus we used Kowa anamorphic lenses that captured the gritty underbelly in beautiful 2.35 scope. I love those lenses!
DecayMag.com; The streets of LA provide the backdrop to the film. Did any outside elements hinder the production?
Chad Ferrin; The first night we were filming the opening driving scene through skid row, and a couple bums took after us. Sean Samuels, Jeffrey Decker and Sebastian Fernandez were driving the pick-up truck, while myself, Christian Janss(DP), and Steve Hitselberger(sound) were in the bed filming. We were stopped at a light, suddenly a couple of bums rode up to us on bikes. One of them grabbed my arm, and began screaming, “You aren’t fuckin’ allowed to film here!” I yanked my arm free, just as his buddy threw a beer bottle just missing Steve’s head. Christian yelled to Sean to step on it, and we sped off, as the bums yelled obscenities from the middle of the street.
DecayMag.com; How long was the shooting schedule seeing as how the story unfolds over the course of one evening?
Chad Ferrin; We shot the script in sequence over nine nights.
DecayMag.com; Wilco, the antagonist in the film Parasite wages a personal vendetta. What is this character’s motivation?
Chad Ferrin; Wilco is a Vietnam War vet, who lost his job, home, benefits, and dignity. He feels that he has been pushed aside by society, and takes a stand against those that he feels are responsible for it.
DecayMag.com; Social status, unequal treatment seems to drive Wilco’s animosity. What is his end game and how will audiences relate to it?
Chad Ferrin; I think anyone that feels wronged by another could do certain things in the heat of the moment that can have devastating consequences. Such is the case with Wilco, if one the kids hadn’t mouthed off, then the beating would have been the end of it. They pushed back and Wilco snapped. Anything can happen when you cross paths with the wrong person at the wrong time. I’m sure most people can relate to that.
DecayMag.com; Parasites is influenced by the true event that befell the explorer John Colter. How do Wilco and his homeless henchmen parallel the Blackfeet Indians?
Chad Ferrin; They’re both shunned by society, pushed to the edge, not only physically but mentally as well.
DecayMag.com; For the protagonist, Marshal Colter what are the lessons conveyed through his dilemma?
Chad Ferrin; Expect the unexpected, you never know what’s around the corner.
1. Social Commentary
DecayMag.com; Parasites as a film has a political stance. Please share one message audiences should reflect while watching the film.
Chad Ferrin; Mama always said, “Treat others as you would like to be treated.”
DecayMag.com; An homage is paid to George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead. The scene used in that film reflected the unstable times of that era. In Parasites do you believe the scene caters to today’s social stance?
Chad Ferrin; Definitely. The original ending was completely different, and to be honest, never felt right. It was recent media coverage that helped re-shape it, and spark the Romero homage.
DecayMag.com; What influences were in play with casting a racist Caucasian antagonist against a passive African American protagonist?
Chad Ferrin; The current climate of what’s going on today with racism, homelessness, class struggles, police shootings and corruption and duplicity at every level all helped shape it. Aside from that, I’m a big fan of All in the Family, so it’s kinda like having Archie Bunker hunt down Lionel Jefferson.
DecayMag.com; Do you believe the narrative would have stirred reaction if race were reversed between the antagonist/protagonist roles?
Chad Ferrin; No