Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Saturday 16 January |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Giuseppe Antonio Tovini
home iconNews
line break icon

"Shock Value": A New Sci-Fi Fantasy With Catholic Roots

owner

Eugene Gan - published on 10/23/14

Directors Curi and Ambrosio chat up their new film with their former Steubenville professor

Recently, I got to do something very thrilling. I got the chance to reconnect with two former students who are not only using their skills and talents in big ways, but are also living out their faith joyfully in the real world of media: Julian Curi (writer/co-director) and Rocco Ambrosio (co-director) are set to make the film “Shock Value.” 

It’s good to be in touch with you again Rocco and Julian, and I’m really happy to see your passion for what you do! I already like the title: "Shock Value" – sometimes I think we need to shock audiences to live their lives fully! Our Lord himself did that – people listening to Jesus speak were shocked, but I’m getting ahead of myself. For the benefit of our audiences, let’s cut to the chase and tell us about your new project. What is it all about?

"Shock Value" is our first feature film as Alabaster Films. It tells the story of a young actress struggling with purpose in her life. She is employed by a company that helps its clients find the meaning and purpose of their lives by taking them dangerously close to the moment of death.

What can audiences expect to see in the first few crucial minutes?

Shock Value begins with the "beginning of the end." It hits the ground running with a high energy foot chase, and sets the stage for the dark and eccentric world our main character will someday inhabit. It lets the audience be omniscient through the story because they know the dread that awaits as a consequence of the lead character’s moral choices.

What inspired you to make this?

Julian: As a senior at Franciscan University, I took a leap with electives and signed up for a Sci-Fi/Fantasy writing class. I enjoy grounded fantasy, so the more I grounded this concept, the closer to reality it became. After moving to LA, I had found the perfect backdrop for "the quest for purpose" in a young person. Big cities tend to attract people with high hopes for themselves. But high hopes can sometimes eclipse purpose – leaving successful, popular, attractive shells struggling to connect.

What kind of response have you been getting?

We’re so grateful. Responses often go something like: "When is it coming out? I need to see this! People need to see this!" After which we respond, "I know, but it only gets made when enough people contribute." And that’s where the struggle has been greatest. Hundreds of people have said they support it and want it to be made, but few contribute even the smallest amount. If every person who has verbally supported us contributed as generously as is in their power to do so, this film could be funded very quickly.

How is this film different from other films out there? What makes it unique?

It asks Life’s Big questions without compromising entertainment value, complexity, and detail. It’s too easy to let the concept of a story do the heavy lifting. Even Truth should be packaged well. So in so many words, it portrays the contemplated life as edgy, intelligent, and frankly… badass.

What’s the difference between a film that’s engaging and a film that’s inspiring?

They’re both very different actions. A world that’s unoriginal, repetitive, or common doesn’t engage, but a detailed, personal perspective on the world does. Though you may be telling a familiar story, you’re sharing your point of view. If you craft that well, it gives audiences brand new context for the lives. That’s when inspiration comes in. If they believe the world you’ve created, they’ll be far more likely to accept the ideas within it.

What’s important to you when making films?

Truth and beauty. Truth in the story and characters…people can tell if something is inauthentic. By beauty we mean the craftsmanship of the film. The overall uniting vision of all the pieces coming together to form the whole…it must be well crafted.

  • 1
  • 2
Tags:
Christian MoviesMovies
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in eight languages: English, French, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
DAD, HOW DO I?
Cerith Gardiner
Meet the dad who's teaching basic skills on Y...
FORGIVING COUPLE
Bret Thoman, OFS
An exorcist teaches 4 steps to forgive
Philip Kosloski
What is the Holy Cloak of St. Joseph?
LUXOR FILM FESTIVAL
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful...
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Why God loves ordinary stuff: Pope Francis' r...
POPE FRANCIS; Ash Wednesday
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Vatican: Imposition of ashes on Ash Wednesday...
D'CRUZ FAMILY
Cerith Gardiner
Meet the family of 12 siblings with a very sp...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.