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Exorcism
Automaton Films © 2012

Director: Joseph Mangat
Screenplay: Joseph Mangat & Christina Wood Martinez

Costume Designer: Sonia Elizabeth Lerner
Production Designer: Christopher Lawrence Ward
Director of Photography: Norbert Shieh
Producers: Pat Clark & Elizabeth Spitsbergen

Ned Malloy - Joey Sinko
Jimmy - Luis Deveze
Edward Malloy - Josef Rubinstein

 

This production is part of San Diego State University's Jury Project, produced each Spring as part of a school wide program, with the students' work judged by professionals in the theatre and film industry.

Directorís Statement
Exorcism is about Ned Malloy a tortured young man at the end of his ropes. Ned attempts to commit suicide by overdosing on sleeping pills. However, his roommate Jimmy, finds him before itís too late. Now Ned must come to terms with his action.

The play is based on OíNeillís own experience during his early 20Ďs. It was written in 1919 and O'Neill destroyed every copy of Exorcism after its initial performance ó or at least he thought he did. For more than 90 years, Exorcism was believed to be lost forever.

Adapting any play let alone a Eugene OíNeill play was quite a difficult task. Going in I knew that not everything written for the stage will translate cinematically but given the fact that OíNeillís text is so rich, I still found myself laboring over which lines I could and couldnít include.

Rather than trying to include every piece of the dialogue written in the play, I decided instead, to focus on making the film as true and honest in depicting the situation and the characters. I also wanted to portray both without sentiment much like OíNeill dealt with his characters in his plays.

The fact that the play was about OíNeillís own suicide attempt made it that much more interesting to make and also helped me tremendously in my approach -- Making the film more about OíNeill as much as the actual play.

I canít say enough how much of a privilege it was to rework a Eugene OíNeill play. Throughout this process I kept trying to imagine myself as OíNeill not as a writer but instead I tried to imagine how OíNeill would be as a director and how he would approach his own work and more importantly the medium of film.

Hopefully, if anything he would not want to destroy all copies of this too.

Awards and Screenings
2012 Recipient of Fotokem's Student Film Grant
2012 Recipient of The Kathleen Kennedy and Hayes Anderson Grant
Awarded 2012 The Focal Press Excellence in Filmmaking Award
Awarded 2013 Best Student Production by National Academy Television Arts and Sciences - PSW chapter
Official Selection 2013 Ohio Independent Film Festival


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