Eye On Horror

Wrong Turn with Cinematographer Nick Junkersfeld

March 01, 2021 iHorror Season 4 Episode 4
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

This episode, the guys talk with Nick Junkersfeld, cinematographer on the the new Wrong Turn remake/reboot/re-imagining.

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James Jay Edwards:

Welcome to Eye On Horror The official podcast of ihorror.com This is Episode 61 otherwise known as season four Episode Four. I am your host James Jay Edwards and with me yet again is your other host Jacob Davison How you doing Jacob?

Jacob Davidson:

Doing good. feeling really comfy in my brand new Don't Panic dinosaur pajamas.

James Jay Edwards:

By the time I got there, it was all extra small like oh, I guess my dog can get pajamas but

Jacob Davidson:

oh yeah no as soon as I saw that was like the surprise Valentine's Day release I was like, man, I definitely want to dress up as the as the dude from don't panic who's running around and dinosaur pajamas throughout the entire movie?

James Jay Edwards:

And also with us yet again is your other other hosts Jon Correia How you doing Correia?

Jonathan Correia:

See, this is this is one of the this is one of those things where I'm actually it makes me a little bit glad that I don't have a lot of spare money at the moment because I totally would have bought that and would have it but it would be one of those things where I'm like, this is a really cool dumb purchase, but I would never wear I wouldn't wear it that often. You know, like just cuz like, for me at least it would be like a couple times worn thing and then that would be it. So little glad, but also even better. I got really sad recently because I thought I wasn't going to be able to afford to buy the lex de la Iglesia releases from Severin and I got really sad I was trying to like figure out money wise like how can I get this and then I I've found that I realized I already pre ordered the March package way back in December. I was like, Oh, that's one of the reasons why I almost have no money right now is because I already pre-ordered it. So I so I feel great. That was a that was a great revelation this morning was that I already have some awesomeness coming my way.

Jacob Davidson:

Got to keep track of your pre orders, man.

Jonathan Correia:

Especially since I'm moving soon. Oh, I gotta move all that stuff around.

Jacob Davidson:

And also these were relatively inexpensive. I mean, it was only 25 bucks for the shirt and pants which you know

Jonathan Correia:

That's not bad for pajamas?

Jacob Davidson:

Yeah, no, I mean it's pretty pretty expensive Really?

James Jay Edwards:

That's what I noticed when I when I was shut out of buying them because you know I'm I have the COVID nineteen so I couldn't fit into extra small Yeah, right. But um yeah, they're they're cheaper than a pair of Cavity Colors joggers

Jacob Davidson:

Yeah, that was my thought too.

Jonathan Correia:

But Cavity Colors joggers are totally worth it and I told you guys I got another pair, right?

James Jay Edwards:

Oh they absolutely are, I was making a statement about how inexpensive the pajamas were not how expensive Cavity Colors joggers are, I've got two pairs too

Jonathan Correia:

Yeah, such quality on both ends love it. Please give us more casual wear to wear at home on the couch

James Jay Edwards:

With an elastic waistband because I have the COVID nineteen

Jonathan Correia:

It's called the COVID 15 you gotta be careful Jays for a second I thought you actually you were like yeah, cuz I had the COVID-19 and I'm like, bud, what are you okay?

James Jay Edwards:

The COVID-19 is is it's 19 pounds I wouldn't be surprised if it's more than 19 pounds I don't step on scales because it makes me want to play in traffic.

Jonathan Correia:

Oh well if you want but you can join me on my 75 Day Challenge. It is miserable and I hate everything but

James Jay Edwards:

what is it? Is it like a cleanse?

Jonathan Correia:

No, it's a 245 and 475 days it's 245 minute workouts one of which has to be outside which is a bitch when you have work and stuff and all sudden like for me It kept getting to like oh shit it's 10:30 at night I haven't done 45 minutes outside so I go outside for 45 minute walk which my neighborhood is, eh, depending on what street you're on that late and then like read 10 pages of a book you know and like a bunch of other things don't eat after 8, you know it's just more like just trying to make sure like setting good like you know it's it's going a little extreme in order to set good like habits is what I keep telling myself

James Jay Edwards:

I would just take Loomis on the 45 minute walk every day and he would love that and that would tire him out to this little he's seven months old today. And he is a little terror. Oh yeah, he Yeah, he's he's cute until he wakes you up at four in the morning.

Jonathan Correia:

I still have that poison oak rash going and that's been keeping me up. Just wake up to ravishing my legs with my nails just like ugh

Jacob Davidson:

That's some body horror.

Jonathan Correia:

Yeah

James Jay Edwards:

We usually start the show off by talking about what we've been doing but I don't think this is what people signed up for

Jonathan Correia:

Been scratching the shit out of myself.

James Jay Edwards:

So what has been going on? Jacob got pajamas and you got poison oak and I have a puppy

Jacob Davidson:

It's it's an interesting mix. Yeah, um, although in terms of stuff I've been watching, they just added the entire Muppet Show to Disney Plus has been binge that

Jonathan Correia:

Fuck yeah they did

Jacob Davidson:

Yeah and this is horror related because you know when I was growing up and you know as a kid I used to rent The Monster Laughs with Vincent Price VHS Muppet Show thing from like Blockbuster all the time because it you know back then you could only rent like VHS which only had like maybe two episodes tops of the show. So I get that one all the time because it had the Vincent Price episode and the Alice Cooper episode which

James Jay Edwards:

I was gonna say there's an Alice Cooper episode that's pretty horror-y too

Jacob Davidson:

Yeah, yeah and it was it was both of them so I would watch them back to back and I ya know I love those episodes because you know you had Vincent Price doing as Vincent Price does and like has an inside the Actor's Studio thing with Kermit the Frog. And the Alice Cooper's episodes great because he keeps on trying to tempt the Muppets into signing away their souls. Like it's it's just such a funny episode.

James Jay Edwards:

That era Alice Cooper is awesome because he was like supposedly this counterculture icon and this was technically when he went solo the Welcome to My Nightmare years it was the name of a band up until that point, but he was supposedly this shock rocker but he would be on like Hollywood Squares, or he'd be in the Bob Hope Golf Classic or he'd be on the Muppet Show. I saw an interview with him where he said that he saw it as Alice Cooper being behind enemy lines but I think he really liked to be a celebrity

Jacob Davidson:

Maybe a little column A, little column B

James Jay Edwards:

Maybe

Jacob Davidson:

But ya no, just has been great rewatching The Muppet Show and yeah, there's yeah you know, just a lot of great guests and bits and you know, it just you know, I'm there for the Muppets and the monsters, always fun.

Jonathan Correia:

Oh yeah

Jacob Davidson:

Like like this sketch where all the furniture starts coming alive and eating people

Jonathan Correia:

I love The Muppets so much and I'm so excited to finally be watching season four and five because they were never released on video and they've actually done a really good job of like having them pretty complete I think there's only like a few segments taken out of a couple episodes and there's only from what I can see two episodes missing overall completely, one I believe is just purely music rights. And then the other one the the guest star didn't really have a great...it's probably best not to have his episode on for what he did.

Jacob Davidson:

Yeah, let's let's not go into that. But either way.

Jonathan Correia:

Yeah.

James Jay Edwards:

Are they in a 3:4 aspect ratio? Are they...

Jonathan Correia:

Yes, Yes

James Jay Edwards:

they are.

Jacob Davidson:

Yes, original format.

James Jay Edwards:

That's good.

Jonathan Correia:

As soon as they went live, that was the first thing I did. I went straight to the Harry Belafonte episode. It was like, this better be in the right fucking aspect ratio. Harry Belafonte episode is my favorite. And I think it's one of the great examples of Turn The World Around, the Muppets version, Muppet Show version of Turning the World Around is I think superior to the original recording. Anyways, we're off horror now

James Jay Edwards:

did um, is the Harry Belafonte one to one with that Lime in the Coconut song or is that a different episode?

Jonathan Correia:

He does Day-o, Turn the World Around. Uh I think that's it.

James Jay Edwards:

It must be a different episode. I distinctly remember Muppets doing the Lime in the Coconut song. But anyway, Correia, what have you been doing besides watching the

Jonathan Correia:

I've been getting very Satanic recently, I Muppets? there's a British Museum called The Last Tuesday Society. They're an oddities museum. And they they seem to have a really cool space. I've never been there. But they've been hosting these panels and webinars on Zoom. They're relatively cheap to attend, I think it's under 10 bucks or so. But I attended my first one with them, which was called Satanic Feminism. And I had no clue what I was walking into, or tuning into with that. And it was one of the best webinars I've attended since you know, these pandemic webinars have been going on, you know, reading that title can be interpreted in many different ways. But what it was about was about historical figures that practiced a form of feminism using Satanic ideology and symbolism for their cause. So a lot of times, for example, one of the ways that the patriarchy is being is held up is the use of Adam and Eve and saying stuff like, you know, Eve can't be trusted because, you know, so because of that women can't you know, Satanic Feminism uses the opposite and saying that, well, you know, it's that basic satanic belief that Lucifer gave mankind knowledge and thus, is actually good. Much like Prometheus, how Prometheus is praised, and so with that, you know, so there's a lot of really cool history and it was very interesting, very dense, definitely had to pay attention for a lot of it, but it's very informative.

James Jay Edwards:

How old is the book?

Jonathan Correia:

That book came out in I believe 2014 so it, so it's still in print, and I actually I have mine ordered, it's gonna get here someday. And they're doing a follow up where they're going to talk about modern because this one went through the 1800s they stopped right around the suffragette movement, which was very interesting because the suffragette movement did embrace the Satanic Feminist movement in that, you know, they, they had a minute, but once the suffragettes started to court the temperance to grow their numbers and move their movement forward, they kind of sidelined and rejected the satanic feminists. But it was very interesting because it was also like, a 45 minute presentation. And at the end of it, you know, we all had these questions. And, Per Faxnelf made the point that none of these people were really that successful. Like, they all had these ideologies, they all had these things, but it never fully caught on. So it was really interesting hearing these people who had these views that, that were so adamant about it, but like never, it never got like, huge national publicity and stuff. So it was really interesting. And they ended the talk the owner, owner of the Last Tuesday Society with about a 20 minute bedtime story, because where they are in England, it was nighttime, so you get a lot of bang for your buck. And the money goes towards keeping the museum open, as well. So all around like if you if you ever get a chance, I would highly recommend checking out the Last Tuesday Society and attend one of their webinars because they're informative, and entertaining as fuck.

Jacob Davidson:

Cool.

James Jay Edwards:

I have been continuing my my descent into TV series is not so much movies, I have started rebuilding The Sopranos, which this is probably my fourth time through and what makes me want to rewatch it, I've discovered this, the most effective parts of The Sopranos, for me have always been the deaths, the killings, they're always...they're just so the I mean, some of them are just people getting shot in the head. But other ones, they're just there's more to it than that. And that's what actually made me want, you know, I don't want to spoil anything for anyone. But there's one execution where, and it's actually pretty early in the series where Tony, it's a guy who tried to kill one of his associates. So he brings into this snack bar and, and he gets him to tell him what he knows. And then he says... So actually I said I didn't want to spoil it, but I'm going to because this is over 20 years old anyway. And he says to...He goes, I'm thirsty. So it gives him a diet soda. And he drinks it. He goes, he goes, how is that? He's, well, it's fine. He goes, are you sure that diet soda is the last taste you want to have in your mouth, and he just blows him away. And it's the things like that, that I mean, they're the Tony Soprano is so ruthless in how he does things. And that's what makes me want to watch the whole series over again. And I'm about halfway through this new watch. Um, but the one movie that I have watched since last time we talked is a Shudder exclusive called Shook, either you guys seen Shook?

Jacob Davidson:

I haven't seen it, but I did see the trailer.

James Jay Edwards:

It's kind of interesting I was when going into it, I was expecting something kind of like Host. And it's not unlike that. But what it is, it's about a social influencer, who, for reasons that are spelled out in the first scene, she ops out of a live stream that some of her influencer friends are doing to take care of her sister's dog and shit goes crazy from there. And it's really interesting the way that it's presented because a lot of it is screen stuff because she's watching their live stream while she's taking care of this dog. So she'll be sitting on a couch in a dark room with a computer in front of her. And then her friend's live stream will be projected on the wall behind her so you see what she's seeing. But you also see her watching it, it's really interestingly done, and then there will be like chat rooms stuff that will just appear in things that she's looking at. So it's it's it was pretty cool the way that they did it. It was not I mean, not like Host, Host was like, you know, hit record on a Zoom session and go, but this was, um, they just superimposed things, sort of sort of like Searching I guess, but also, I've seen other movies do it as well, but it's pretty well done. It's, there's a few moments in it, where you're just sitting there going, come on, you know, it's like it gets to that point in a few places, because it takes a few left turns. But I mean, if you go into it just expecting it's kind of like a modern day slasher, I guess. But it's, if you go into it, you know, expecting the unexpected. It's pretty enjoyable.

Jonathan Correia:

Did it leave you shook?

James Jay Edwards:

They do do the Peter Griffin thing where they say the name of the movie. It's it's pretty early on and she goes, this whole thing's just got me kind of shook. It's like ah, she said it ah!

Jonathan Correia:

Got the title line. Was it Upright Citizens Brigade that had the skit where this guy's like, Oh, yeah, I had the title line in that movie. What? Yeah, I had the title line in Star Wars. What do you mean? And he like brings in this clip and it's like

Jacob Davidson:

Yeah, yeah. Upright Citizens Brigade

Jonathan Correia:

And he's like, oh, man, I'm just so tired of all these Star Wars.

Jacob Davidson:

Yeah, I remember that bit.

James Jay Edwards:

I read an article a guy who who live stream or live tweeted his screening of I, Frankenstein. And, and when it gets to the end where he says "I, Frankenstein" you know, he says all movies should end with by saying the name of the movie and this was I think 2014 so he's like Sandra Bullock It sure is great to feel that Gravity. Amy Adams, this ha been an American Hustle. Yo know, he's like going throu h all these differen

Jonathan Correia:

Man. It really was a Cannibal Holocaust wasn't it

James Jay Edwards:

And all this happened on Halloween.

Jacob Davidson:

As speaking of title drop, or movies, I'd use the time to drop um, I also recently watched the new Nicolas Cage movie Willy's Wonderland.

Jonathan Correia:

Ooh, how is that?

Jacob Davidson:

Well, look, you know, it was a movie that promised Nicolas Cage fighting evil animatronic animals. And it gave me a movie where Nicolas Cage fights evil animatronic animals, so I liked it.

Jonathan Correia: Just anytime:

How was the movie? "Well, you know..." anytime you start off with that, it's just like, oh, man,

James Jay Edwards:

but it sounds like it delivered exactly what it promised.

Jacob Davidson:

Yeah, exactly. That's what that's the point I'm trying to make it delivered on the promise. So you know, I got to see Nicolas Cage beat the Ever-loving fuck out of evil animatronic weasels

Jonathan Correia:

Listen, I wasn't I wasn't looking for a Citizen Kane with that premise. You know? So as long as it delivers on what it what it promises. I'll be happy to watch it. Yeah.

Jacob Davidson:

And I was happy to watch it. It was fun as fuck yeah. But no, yeah, it was a lot of fun. And it also had a lot of great creature effects work. So yeah, I'd recommend it. And one other screening I wanted to bring up. It was the fifth anniversary of one of my favorite screening series in Los Angeles and now online, Cinematic Void, and I was actually at the first so it was it was very fitting that they decided to replay the first movie they ever screened. Cannon Film's Hospital Massacre, aka X-Ray, which is also inexplicably a Valentine's Day horror movie. It's just like a pure cannon slasher. You know, it's like it's Valentine's Day. It's a hospital you got a bunch of Valentine's themed slash medical themed kills and stuff like there's a doctor slasher, so it's just a lot of fun and it just really encapsulates the spirit of Cinematic Void.

James Jay Edwards:

What I remember most about that movie is Barbi Benton in a hospital smoking the whole time.

Jacob Davidson:

Oh, yeah. She smokes all the time

James Jay Edwards:

At the hospital, there are sick people around,

Jacob Davidson:

But it was an 80s hospital, you know, anything goes. Also in a Cannon's film, you know that, you know, it's like there's a vat of acid just hanging on a shelf without a lid. You know, it's like great, you know, it said, there's no rules.

Jonathan Correia:

I love Cannon Film.

Jacob Davidson:

Yeah, yeah. Cannon Film slashers are pretty special in their own way.

Jonathan Correia:

I have a few that I just want to throw out real quick. I finally watched Mansfield 66/67 going with my satanic week, you know, and it was really good. It was a the interviews were really good. They got some really interesting people, a lot of critical feminist scholars thrown in with John Waters and Peaches Christ...Hedren's interviewed with it a bit. It's very informative and it's very interesting just the dynamic of being a star for because you're a star you know, that type of culture that we're very much so in now with people who are just famous for being famous

James Jay Edwards:

Kardashians

Jonathan Correia:

Yeah

James Jay Edwards:

and Paris Hilton. Yeah.

Jacob Davidson:

Influencers

Jonathan Correia:

Yeah, and Mansfield was one of the original so it was it was very interesting doing that deep dive into her life, which I really enjoy and highly recommend. I also going with Satan finally watched Hammer's The Devil Rides Out and I am so disappointed in myself for not watching this sooner because this has to be my favorite Hammer film now. It is so good. The movie just jumps right into it you got Christopher Lee being the good guy and just taking on this satanic cult and it is absolutely phenomenal. It is nice and tight and the practicals are a lot of fun. There's a lot of really fun aesthetic looks with it. The cinematography is just absolutely gorgeous. I highly recommend any any and everybody like buy that Scream Factory blu ray, or at the very least watch it on Shudder because The Devil Rides Out is just so much fun.

Jacob Davidson:

Going to put that on my watch list.

Jonathan Correia:

Definitely. And another one I regret not watching sooner was Abel Ferrara's Body Snatchers.

Jacob Davidson:

Oh yeah, I love that movie.

Jonathan Correia:

I for some reason, just never gave it a shot. I never was like, ugh fuck that movie. But like the idea of a 90s Body Snatchers movie did not fully appeal to me. So I finally watched it and I had...Not only did that movie have so much good practical effects and body horror in it. But like it It took this like very global idea and really made it intimate and keeping it in a small town, there were some not so subtle things about conformity and the

Jacob Davidson:

Yeah, the military base.

Jonathan Correia:

The military industrial complex and all that, but it was very effective and it got me to read Roger Ebert's original review of it. And it was so interesting just to read one of his books because he he famously was not a horror fan at all and but he loved that movie and really praised the ending saying it did what most horror movies can't and that's stick the landing and have a very effective ending and it what, dude, that helicopter scene was intense. Yeah, that's another one where it's like, hey, if that's been on your list for a while, please pop it in because it is phenomenal.

Jacob Davidson:

Oh, and speaking of stuff on the list for a while I finally saw Life last week.

James Jay Edwards:

Oh, as in Alien meets Venom?

Jacob Davidson:

Yeah. Jake Gyllenhaal in space with Ryan Reynolds.

Jonathan Correia:

I thought you were talking about like David Attenborough documentary.

Jacob Davidson:

Different life

James Jay Edwards:

When people say Life I think of the Eddie Murphy jail movie, so yeah it took me a second too

Jacob Davidson:

there's a bunch of them. No, I saw the Extra Terrestrial Life movie and Yeah, actually was barely better than I would have expected.

Jonathan Correia:

It's really solid.

James Jay Edwards:

Yeah, I enjoyed it.

Jacob Davidson:

Yeah. Cuz like I remember you guys talking about it and saying how good it was. And just like I you know, get around to eventually and then you know, some four years later, I finally watched it. And yeah, it was solid. I'm surprised it didn't get more praise.

Jonathan Correia:

Yeah, it was definitely one of those ones where it wears its influence on its sleeve. You know, you could definitely see the influence of Alien and Venom and all that. But it does. It does enough of a like original take on it that you know, and it's and it's effective. Like there's some scenes in that that are truly like, ugh

Jacob Davidson:

Oh, yeah, there was some brutal kills in there. All right, let's move on to our topic because our topic is a guest. We have a special guest this week. This is cinematographer Nick Junkersfeld, how you doing, Nick?

Unknown:

I'm really well, how are you guys doing?

Jacob Davidson:

Good doing good.

James Jay Edwards:

Nick, is the Director of Photography on the new Wrong Turn reboot. Is it, is it a reboot or a sequel? It's a it's a little of both, isn't it?

Nick Junkersfeld:

I've heard reboot and reimagining.

James Jay Edwards:

Okay

Nick Junkersfeld:

So I wouldn't call it a sequel. But you know, I've heard of it written as the seventh in the series. And it feels so different to me than what came before that I disagree with that. But reboot or reimagining is what I would go with.

James Jay Edwards:

I've only seen the first two of the original series. And then I've seen obviously this new reimagining. So I'm not sure how far it veered from it. But I can tell you that the the antagonists are worlds different than they are in the first two. They're not like the inbred hillbillies. They're it's something else. It's a different kind of hillbilly. So I can I can it's it is kind of weird to call it a sequel, but I have, like you, I've heard seventh installment which I think that's a little misleading because it is kind of a reboot, which is weird, because the original is what 2003?

Jacob Davidson:

Yep.

James Jay Edwards:

So the fact that you're getting a reboot already, but hey, whatever.

Jacob Davidson:

18 years later

Jonathan Correia:

Yeah

Jacob Davidson:

that's a that's a difference.

James Jay Edwards:

That's true. 2003 doesn't feel like 18 years ago, but here we are. Yeah.

Jonathan Correia:

And I mean, they all have the same core concept of people making a wrong turn. So I mean, it's not veering too far off the path, unlike its main characters.

Nick Junkersfeld:

So true. So true

Jacob Davidson:

Pretty much

James Jay Edwards:

Do I need to put a laugh track there, so people know it was a joke.

Jonathan Correia:

Yeah, we need to start having those like little radio, zing noises and whatnot.

James Jay Edwards:

Nick, let's start with the with the typical question, how did you get started in the film industry?

Nick Junkersfeld:

I started pretty late in life. I went to film school here in Minneapolis when I was 30 years old. And I'd had an interest in in I wouldn't even call it filmmaking. But production a little bit prior to that, I'd gotten some opportunities to basically make some really boring industrial videos, which I won't bore you with. But essentially, it involves shooting, recording, audio editing, kind of doing the whole picture and to some degree directing. So I sort of got this this 360 degree view of the basic process of making something. And that gave me a little bit of confidence to go further and eventually go to film school to be an editor at first, however, I started to enjoy working with my fellow classmates on set, so to speak. And I was really stimulated by that collaboration process, and found that I was pretty capable at operating the camera. And it quickly steered me towards being a cinematographer and trying to be on set with other people.

James Jay Edwards:

I mean, if you don't mind me asking you say you went to film school late in life when you were 30. What did you do before that? I mean, what what kept because I am the same way I went to film school late in life, and it's because I wasted 15 years of my life trying to be a rock star. What were you following something else?

Nick Junkersfeld:

You know, there's a similarity for me too I was in quite a few bands prior to doing that it was it was more for just the passion of it in my case. Also, I'm a lifelong motorcyclist. So I worked in that industry for a while. And I was trying to figure out how to make a living with what I love to do and and never really found that I found that like, going into a corporate environment was the the antithesis of what worked for me as an individual. So So basically, I sort of lived through my passions into my 20s. And always loved film always loved, to a degree dissecting it and noticing what worked and what didn't. But being a Minnesotan, which has almost no film or TV industry, always felt like to work in an in film or TV or make a movie or something like that just felt like another universe, another, another galaxy, honestly. So I never really thought Oh, I could go make movies or I could make TV or, or tell stories. But once I started doing the process, again, even at this rudimentary level of an industrial video or something, I still found that Oh, I like this process. I like shaping something into a cohesive message, for example.

James Jay Edwards:

What were your favorite movies growing up what what movies made you fall in love with movies.

Nick Junkersfeld:

I'm of that era that that grew up on ET and Raiders of the Lost Ark and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. For Star Wars and everything else, I would say I would say Close Encounters of the Third Kind was probably the first film I saw as a young person that like, that I really was hyper aware of how effective the lighting was, how effective the, the editing was the the application of lens flares, that kind of thing. It was stuff that I was noticing. And I was really impressed with it. So I would say that was probably the first film that that kind of woke me up to being a more conscious viewer.

Jonathan Correia:

And so with Wrong Turn. Uh, you know, first of all, I think we we all liked it quite a bit. Yeah, there was a lot of tonal shifts with that movie. I think we're gonna try to avoid spoilers Of course. Yeah. Especially with like, you know, the cinematography and the lighting and everything. There was some really big differences, and especially the later half, we use torches a lot. What were some of the inspirations behind some of those choices?

Nick Junkersfeld:

For the fire lit scenes and such? Um, the first inspiration was the script, it was like, What is the script telling me it needs to make these scenes effective? Look wise, I wasn't honestly trying to adhere to something I had seen previously, I was really just trying to let the scenes and the script and ultimately the director Tell me what it needed to be. There was definitely some experimentation with how big are the torches? What are the torches being ignited by meaning what type of gas and since we shot two different lens formats in the film, it had to be a little bit different on how they applied to those two different lens formats because of the stop difference, the aperture difference, in those lenses. So yeah, it there wasn't a film that I really looked at and said, this is how I want these scenes to look, there was some inspiration for a portion of that film that was in those fire lit environments. That came from the director, which was the Temple of Doom. there's a there's a scene where a certain characters wielding a red hot poker, and it's it's it's filmed a little bit similar to the that scene in Temple of Doom. And certainly, Mike, the director, and I looked at that scene, and we're inspired by it for just the the aesthetic quality of it as well. But I would say it was for myself as an individual anyway, it was sort of what is the script tell me it needs to to be or what is the scene need to look like? And how does it need to be shot? What is the location offering me? And what capabilities Do we have as a crew to create, like, torches that are built from scratch, for example. And then with a practical effects supervisor who can make those ignite safely and keep them lit. Basically, they have to take us too far off track. But there's a big scene in the middle of the film that takes place in a subterranean torch lit environment. And it was quite a long scene that took several days to shoot. It's really a series of scenes, but they're sort of in this similar environment and learning how to work with torches that are that are sort of not constant and they're ambient output, they're sort of they're lit, they're bright for a while, then they start to go down. And you don't necessarily notice that immediately until you sort of take a look at monitors take a look at scopes on monitors and realize, oh, our ambient light is has been going down for the last two minutes, for example. So it was it was really fun and challenging to figure out how to work with that type of a lighting instrument. In a scene where you're shooting for really long periods of time. It wasn't just like, hey, a couple of shots and then we're moving on it was like we're here for days. This scene as is an ensemble scene with a bunch of characters so how do we keep this look consistent? And make our day there's one other scene that is lit exclusively with a torch and I was really excited to to do that test and then to see that work and see shots that that I thought looked exactly the way we wanted them to and was kind of amazed that light one torch did all the work. It was a weird place for me as a cinematographer to to work in that way and not be putting any more artificial light into a scene to make it look the way it did it's like this torch puts out the light we need the actor should hold it here and let's go and to see it succeed was really really fun for me

James Jay Edwards:

Were there any any of those like Barry Lyndon super high speed lenses that you had to use to shoot in that low light you know the Stanley Kubrick invented lenses

Nick Junkersfeld:

Sure totally, we shot the the torch light scenes almost exclusively on some vintage anamorphic lenses. And I should say the entire every every foundation scene meaning every scene where the characters are sort of under the influence under the law of the foundation were shot on anamorphic lenses. Those lenses because of how old they were needed to be stopped down more their aperture needed to be stopped on mortar to achieve the sharpness that I thought was acceptable. So we sort of had that working against us when we were working with torchlight in that you didn't necessarily have the hottest fastest lens available like a like a former NASA lens like Kubrick had but what I was surprised by that surprised me throughout the entire movie that was shot when we shot at night or in torch lay was the the area Alexa mini that we shot that film on just did a such a great job of retaining shadow detail that I could shoot at a T4 aperture with primarily torch lit space and still achieve the exposure that I wanted. So I was really surprised by that, that that camera package that it was able to give us that despite despite a lens that had compromises basically unlike the Barry Lyndon lens where they're shooting at like a T.95 or something like that,

Jonathan Correia:

gotta love the Alexa minis.

Nick Junkersfeld:

It's great.

Jacob Davidson:

Back on the screenplay, which was written by Alan B. McElroy, who actually wrote the first movie. Did you get the chance to talk with him about about the script or about the way the scenes were set?

Nick Junkersfeld:

I did not, I have not met Alan I would love to meet Alan. Mike, the director communicated with Alan many times for many weeks leading up to sort of the final draft of the script and production and everything. But obviously he wasn't there during production. I think if it would have been in his his region, he probably would have come or something. But I didn't get a chance to meet him I hope to someday. I mean, he's a really interesting guy. And I like the the daring transformation that he did to the franchise that he had a hand in starting

Jacob Davidson:

and speaking of have you seen any of the prior Wrong Turn movies? Because Yeah, they were up to six by the time they made this one.

Nick Junkersfeld:

Yep. I've only seen the first film and I saw that back around the time that it was released. I have not seen the sequels. I educated myself to some degree on what they portrayed. But once I read the script, and understood that basically Constantin Films and Allen's script were just like wiping the slate clean, so deliberately, didn't want to have any, you know, throwbacks to the previous films, although there's a couple characters in there that have the similar names, but beyond that, it's just it's kind of forget about what was before this is totally different this is the subject is quite different. The getting lost in the woods is the similarity. But as you've you've said, the the villains, the challenges that the characters deal with is so different that I didn't really feel like I needed to be completely caught up on what happened in every sequel after the first film.

James Jay Edwards:

Now that you've completed your film, and it's not going to influence you, I can tell you the second one is actually pretty awesome. The second was Joe Lynch directed.

Nick Junkersfeld:

Yeah, I've heard that.

James Jay Edwards:

It's a lot of fun. I haven't seen any beyond that.

Jacob Davidson:

It's got Henry Rollins in a lead roll.

Nick Junkersfeld:

Yeah, I'm aware of that too. I should watch that one. I really need to actually because I love Henry Rollins.

James Jay Edwards:

It's a lot of fun.

Jacob Davidson:

Yeah, Henry Rollins gets to be a badass.

James Jay Edwards:

And it's got some great kills. I mean, just the opening scene opening, like 10 minutes is worth the price of admission.

Nick Junkersfeld:

Yeah. I mean, Henry Rollins should be a badass on screen a lot more often than he is I think.

Jacob Davidson:

No, yeah, no, totally agreed

Jonathan Correia:

Now, you worked with the director before I believe, right? On a couple of shorts or so?

Nick Junkersfeld:

Yep. Mike and I live in the same metro area. And we've been close collaborators for a long time. He and I have wanted to make a feature film together for quite a long time. We got to know each other through a mutual friend on a commercial job. And then I quickly got to know him and really enjoy his personality and what his passions were. And he's he's completely committed to narrative as far as what he wants to do as an artist. And I hadn't really met anybody that was that serious at that point. And I was able to come onto a short film that he was making when we just started to get to know each other. And I was the first AC on that. And halfway through the film, the DP got some commercial work and had to step out. And things had been going well, and Mike felt comfortable with me moving into the cinematographers position. And we completed that short film, it's called The Retirement of Joe Corduroy. It's sort of a homage to Death Wish, which is a huge inspiration to Mike, a film he absolutely loves. And from that point on, things had clicked so well, that it was just it was clearly the beginning of like, what's next? What are we gonna do next let's let's keep collaborating. Let's keep finding ways to, to build and get better at this, our skill sets. And then we had worked together on commercials at that point throughout, we work together on what initially was a web series. That was the intention of it called The Domestics. And we shot the first episode of that on a shoestring budget, but we were really happy with how it was going. And because of the attention that Joe Corduroy had gotten prior to did one like a local film fest, and somebody originally from here, who's now a producer in LA had showed it to some people out there. So it got Mike some attention and some meetings and The Domestics web series got transformed into a proof of concept. And Mike started to pitch that in LA and got it and sold it to MGM as an idea for a feature and went off to make that film. And then I unfortunately wasn't able to join that movie. It was it was mainly I think, because Mike was a complete newcomer, kind of an unknown quantity at that point. And he was surrounded with veteran filmmakers by MGM, which I totally understand. But it was still the momentum was still there. And it was like, we we have something here. I think in both of our minds, we were thinking, I think we have what it takes to to go into a large narrative project and succeed. So it was just all these little steps along the way that that sort of felt odd in the sense that being where we are from it felt like you're just sort of on an island. But nonetheless, the perseverance obviously paid off and Mike was able to make his first feature and then when he got the job to make Wrong Turn, he had a little bit more influence to say, Here's why I want to shoot the film. And he was taken seriously at that point. And then and then I was given a legitimate opportunity to pitch to shoot the film. And off we went at that point.

James Jay Edwards:

Now back to the to the to the camera work and the camera. Look what I the thing that struck me about about it is it reminded me a lot of you see you've seen Bryan Bertino's The Strangers right?

Nick Junkersfeld:

I don't believe I have.

James Jay Edwards:

It's Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman. Okay. It's it's basically a home invasion movie and it's great. You should see it if you haven't.

Nick Junkersfeld:

I know exactly what you're talking about. Mike is, Mike Nelson has mentioned that to me a couple times as well, a film that he's a big fan of.

James Jay Edwards:

What struck me of the camera work is very similar in that how much of it was handheld or steady cam like there's subtle motion in just about every shot I noticed it's the same thing with The Strangers and it just gives you this unsettling like, like the audience can't ever completely relax and they probably don't know why. But it's because there's just this subtle camera motion. I mean, how much of it was steady cam or handheld?

Nick Junkersfeld:

I would say about 90% was handheld and then we would bring it...Well, we had B Camera, a B Camera team for about 10 of the 26 days we shot the film. And the operator of that B Cam, was often a steady cam-op. And we really only use the steady cam when we when we needed it when it tonally had to be that way. Or for a reason, like you're out in the woods and laying down Dolly track is just completely...

Jonathan Correia:

Not fun

Nick Junkersfeld:

Yeah, not fun and really just not conducive to the schedule, for example. So yeah, it was almost all handheld. And we did that because tonally it made sense. And logistically, it made a ton of sense too in all these forested locations. And contextually the handheld can do a lot of different things. For example, early in the film, the friends are just sort of venturing into this environment, they're together, they're they're enjoying each other, everything is great and handheld sort of has this serene quality at that point. Part of that has to do with shooting a little bit higher framerate at times for a slow motion quality. But then contextually and with a little bit of subtlety and how the camera is being operated that handheld can completely shift your your perspective a different way. So it was it was a it was a creative decision and a logistic decision.

James Jay Edwards:

It's very effective

Nick Junkersfeld:

Actually, one other thing in on that point on the lens side. And not to get too technical. But we shot the film again on the area Alexa Mini, which is a super 35 sensor. You may have heard of large format cameras, that's kind of a new, it's not a new format. But it's it's it's a new wave in the digital side of cinematic cameras that have a bigger sensor, which means a different relationship to lenses and everything. But we decided to make a 50 millimeter lens, kind of our normal lens in the film. Whereas on a super 35 camera, typically a 35 millimeter lens would be your normal lens meaning sort of a normal field of view, sort of a human perspective, we decided to make that tighter and longer to not only make the spaces feel a little bit more claustrophobic and closed off. But also to ramp up the intensity with the actors a little bit and be in their world more we we kind of have a we had a conscious decision through the film to not have the camera, or the or the perspective sort of step back and see all this happening. It was always intended to be from their perspective and have them have had the the audience's experience mirror the the friends experience the main characters experience without jumping back. And maybe putting the viewer at ease by showing too much, letting the film breathe too much. So it was a there was an intention to just stay in there. And a lot of times the violence would be played out, for example, by the character's reaction to it, rather than focusing on just the violence and not really putting a human context to it. So yeah,

Jacob Davidson:

And speaking of the violence, some of my favorite, because like, it kind of keeps the tradition alive. Like I love that all the death traps in the Wrong Turn series. And there was some really good ones in this one. So I wanted to ask kind of how you shot some of those.

Nick Junkersfeld:

Sure, um, it was kind of a mixed bag, depending on what it was. There's one particular trap in the film that's that's just a kind of a horrifying, heavy, I don't want to spoil too much, but it's a it's a large heavy weighted trap that you would not want to fall on. And that was a that was a case where we we brought a large Jib Arm into the woods, because we had to do this, this shot around that trap, which is sitting 15-20 feet above our actors. So that was a case where we were we deviated from the handheld for example, and did that. There was another trap that is a big deep spike trap that's, you know, something you'd fall maybe six to eight feet before you even hit the spikes kind of a thing if you were unlucky enough to stumble across it. And that was a combination of setting up some dolly track and again, deviating from the handheld to get the angles we needed to get and then obviously there's stunt performers involved that are intercutting with the the actors too. Yeah. Other traps. Let's see here. Do you have Did you have any other specific questions on anything you saw in there that you wanted to know how we shot it? Or?

Jacob Davidson:

Oh, yeah, like the well there's a rolling log trap.

Nick Junkersfeld:

Yes. Okay.

Jacob Davidson:

I'm interested in hearing about that one.

Jonathan Correia:

Yeah.

Nick Junkersfeld:

Yeah. Because that was sort of the...

Jonathan Correia:

That came out of nowhere.

Jacob Davidson:

Oh, yeah.

Nick Junkersfeld:

That was the first of all that scene was sort of the looming elephant in the room throughout preproduction because it was like, this is the big VFX part of the film, there's a lot of money being spent here, there's not going to be a tremendous amount of time to shoot it. How do we, how do we shoot this effectively again, adhering to this sort of character centric perspective, and not necessarily pulling back to some large aerial shot where you're seeing people scattering and a log coming and everything. The log, the rolling log was completely CGI. We had a technical supervisor on set that helped us understand what he needed to do the scene correctly. It was a big stunt scene as well with stunt doubles for all the main characters, hurling themselves down these hillsides. It was it was a tricky scene because it involves so many different types of shooting. Because of the schedule of the film, some of the more elaborate plans I had for it, I had to sort of shuffle around and, and eliminate in some cases, there's a shot that was I thought, pretty critical. That probably looks like a steady cam shot. Leading Charlotte Vega, who plays Jen down this hill, she looks back, we racked focus to this log that's not actually there. But to have a very again, intimate shot that's really going to show her terror in relation to it. And that was a gimbal. In this case, it was a Ronin 2 gimbal which is basically it looks like a large sort of square piece of tube with a camera floating in the middle of it that is designed to eliminate shaking and shocks going through the camera body. And then a second person can be operating that camera within that gimbal on a joystick so they can pan and tilt and look around and the other person or people can just focus on moving that gimbal and we had like a long piece of speed rail it's called with with two big strong grip technicians on either end, running down this hillside with this thing hanging in the middle and Charlotte Vega running towards it. That was a pretty tricky shot. I initially intended that to be a cable cam shot, where you literally run steel cables through the woods, tree to tree, and you can have a camera that's suspended on a motorized machine essentially, that can zip down that cable as you want. Due to the schedule of the film, it just it didn't make sense. I knew once we started to get into the nitty gritty of it and started to understand how much stunt work we needed to shoot too that it became much more wise to focus on the quantity of shots we needed rather than slow down the whole production for, for example, a cable cam shot that's going to be on screen for 1.3 seconds, you know

Jonathan Correia:

And you were saying earlier that this was all shot in the woods on location. You got jibs out there, you got Ronin's out there, you got all these rails, how much of a hassle was it getting all this equipment out there? And were you guys like really actually deep in the woods? Or were you just like off a trail a little bit like what was some of that?

Nick Junkersfeld:

It depended on where we were shooting I would say most of the forest shooting was fairly accessible by like, you know, a fire road that could get pretty close to where we needed to be where you could get like stake bed trucks in there kind of a thing you couldn't bring like full grip trucks up to a lot of those locations.

Jonathan Correia:

Ugh, poor grips

Nick Junkersfeld:

Yeah. And they did such an awesome job. But I really tried to scale the camera and grip electric part of it to fit that the best that I could, meaning I would try to choose locations that didn't require me to bring a bunch of lighting equipment into the woods. And I would often just choose locations that had a heavier tree canopy overhead, for example. So that as we're shooting from, you know, 9am to 5pm, obviously a huge change in light and there's going to be partly cloudy and, and all sorts of stuff that I would be able to sort of maintain a consistent ambient look. And I could always just move actors a little bit if there was like a hard piece of sunlight coming right down at them. And that wouldn't force me as well to always shoot a certain direction to work with the sun. We could shoot sort of 360 as we needed to because it just was clearly the flexible choice we needed to have for the film. But we did we did shoot several days where literally the entire production moved to a different part of Ohio. And it was in this wasn't...was right next to a state park. It was a it was a privately owned camping park where we then did have to hike in, it was like probably a 20 minute hike to get to set every day and back out. And that's where shooting handheld completely came in handy. We did bring in some some LED lights that were battery powered if we needed them. But I was I was really open to within reason letting the look be what it was. Because the spaces were beautiful the, the conditions would let us shoot flexibly and still have a nice looking image. And I just was I was conscious throughout to not hamstring what we were trying to do to get a bunch of gear up there that wasn't really going to add a whole lot to it. Yeah, I tried to save that for the scenes that really, really needed to be lit.

Jonathan Correia:

Yeah, cuz I've done a lot of grip work. And it's always that whenever I see outdoor thing, I'm like, ooh, hey, production, what is this looking like, bud, because I don't want to be tracking that much by my back.

James Jay Edwards:

What about the cave scenes were those actually shot in caves or was out on a soundstage somewhere.

Nick Junkersfeld:

Those were real tunnels underneath this 100 plus year old brewery in Cincinnati. So that was like, right, right in Cincinnati proper, not quite, I wouldn't say downtown, but it was in right in the urban center. Really cool space that had had a handful of movies come through and shoot there before. It was just a very, I guess I'll say charismatic space in the in the grit and the grime that it had in it. But it was just filthy and the air was terrible. So it needed to be cleaned to a degree, we had to have like a ventilation system put into that place. Because we were going to get again being there for days. Unfortunately, that location that that entire building burned down like three or four months after we shot this, I think we might have been the last feature to shoot in that place. It was it was like kind of a national news story. Because it was such an inferno, it was just, it was just wild. But it was a really cool space you had to go. It was it you were at least 20 to 30 feet below street level when you were down there. And there were there were places in that area that that you just be walking. And of course we had these cordoned off eventually, but you'd be walking and you just realized there's like a 30 foot just hole to nowhere. In that place, it was a really interesting location. We shot a bunch of stuff there too. We shot obviously the the obvious tunnel scenes. But there's there's a scene where one character is sort of stuck in a pit. And there's another character at the top of the pit. And it takes place at a couple different periods of time. But that was shot right there we and that was actually shot at night two, which was a cool challenge, we shot a scene that felt like midday, and it was shot at like two in the morning, you know, so it was fun to shoot a scene where you're supposed to be looking up at the sky. But really, you just have a light blue fabric over the top of the actor and you're lighting her appropriately and it's two in the morning. So actually one other story about that location. As far as lighting, the awesome art department of that film had built these really cool chandeliers that I could send you photos of if you wanted to see them because my initial lighting plan for those tunnels was to build these chandeliers, they were really cool just covered in antlers, just there was probably like 20 sets of antlers on one of them. And within that would be this was their this wooden box that was just the right size to hold an ARRI SkyPanel, an S30 SkyPanel which is a basically a one by one really cool LED light but really heavy light. And we were gonna hang those in one of the main chambers that you guys obviously saw. And that would help me basically create and maintain ambient light in that space. And modern LEDs can do a fire flicker effect and everything so it would have been fairly natural. We had a structural engineer come in tell us where we could mount them how we could mount them and everything and they mounted one, fell right away, tore a piece of the ceiling out. So we had to rethink a little bit how we were going to shoot or light that scene because I no longer had this this light up in the sky that I would never trip over would never be in the way or anything like that. So that was a that was a cool challenge in it. I think it still turned out well it did slow things down a little bit more but it kind of went from that plan to suddenly you're you're working with a bunch of lights on the floor. And one of the scenes is I don't want to spoil it's it's a it's an ensemble scene with a lot going on. In your, in the cameras looking all directions and turning around. And there's, there's so many people to cover that that was a challenge to sort of have to scrap that idea and go in a different direction. Visually, I'm really happy with it. But logistically it was a bit of a challenge for sure.

James Jay Edwards:

We're running low on time here, but there's one shot that I really want, I really want you to talk about. And it's fitting that this might be the last thing we talk about because it's the last shot of the movie and without spoiling anything. The last shot is the one that sticks with you and it almost it looks like it might be one of the easiest to get, but that's probably deceptive. That last shot, how do you how did you approach that knowing that the credits are going to be coming up over this shot?

Nick Junkersfeld:

Yeah. That shot was an alternate ending to the film that was that was conceived of only maybe a week to 10 days before we shot that. So it was during the film that this was conceived of. Mike Nelson, the director and Robert Calder of Constantin, had both been thinking about what about a different ending that sort of takes the film in another direction with the intention of trying to figure out what an audience would like the most essentially. So we got the green light to do this shot, which was kind of shocking, because there was no intention of that kind of carnage or anything at that point. And essentially, it was two shots. As you might imagine, if you broke it down, it looks like one shot but because of the the dangerous visceral nature of the first part of the shot, you obviously couldn't have actors and everybody involved in that moment. And so it's essentially two shots stitched together. And it was just this this weird experience because it lasts minutes. And there's a there's a stunt performer, for example, that is facedown on on hot tar for minutes. Dead, who's just sort of laying there knew it was just it was an interesting experience to shoot. If you have any other questions specifically about it, I'm happy to answer them, but I just don't want to spoil it.

James Jay Edwards:

So is there another ending? Did you shoot another ending?

Nick Junkersfeld:

There is, that was originally the The ending. So what you guys have seen is the alt ending that became the ending

Jonathan Correia:

Which one, there's about five... Which is which is cool. I really enjoyed it because you guys didn't do like Happy Death Day was super guilty of like doing a complete wrap up and then going, Oh, no, we're not done yet. But what I like what you guys did, it was like, Oh, this could have ended here. But I'm glad it did it like it just kept going

Nick Junkersfeld:

And I will say the original ending is essentially what you saw if that last piece didn't happen.

James Jay Edwards:

Ah, okay

Nick Junkersfeld:

If it just kept going, let's say, yeah, it was it was a fun scene to shoot. I think it was a really interesting, cool way to end the film that that also makes a lot of sense to keep that door open for a sequel.

James Jay Edwards:

Yeah, that it does. Okay, great. Well, Nick, thank you very much for joining us today.

Jacob Davidson:

Yep.

James Jay Edwards:

You're the first cinematographer we've had on we've had composers and producers and you know, but this is a great talk.

Nick Junkersfeld:

I'm so excited to be here. Thank you. I really appreciate it.

Jonathan Correia:

Yeah, I always love talking tech.

James Jay Edwards:

Where can people keep up with you? Do you have a Twitter or some kind of social media if they want to know what's next for Nick Junkersfield?

Nick Junkersfeld:

I pretty much just hang out on Instagram right now. And @NJunkersfeld is my Instagram handle. I'm pretty active on there. I'm thinking about going back to Twitter, but right now it's Instagram. And yeah, you can you can keep up with my exploits there.

James Jay Edwards:

Cool. Well, thanks again for joining us. Our theme music is by Restless Spirits. So go give them some love. Our artwork is by Chris Fisher. So go give him some love. You can find us at any of our socials, at @EyeOnHorror. We're on Facebook, we're on Twitter, we're on Instagram. There's a Letterboxd page now that Correia made.

Jonathan Correia:

I just make lists.

James Jay Edwards:

You can also find at iHorror.com and the iHorror Facebook page. We're not hard to get ahold of. So. Yeah. Thanks for joining us, Nick. Thanks for joining us to the audience for listening to us and we'll see you in a couple weeks. So for me James Jay Edwards.

Jacob Davidson:

I'm Jacob Davison.

Jonathan Correia:

I'm Jonathan Correia.

Nick Junkersfeld:

I'm Nick Junkersfeld,

James Jay Edwards:

Keep your Eye On Horror.

Opening intros
Muppet Mania
What Have We Been Watching?
Willy's Wonderland review
Jacob finally watches Life, no not the Eddie Murphy movie or David Attenborough documentaries
Nick Junkersfeld Interview
Lighting with torches
Working with Mike P. Nelson
The Camera Work/Tech Talk
How to film an out of control log
Filming logistics in the woods
Filming in tunnels
Wrap it up