Death Goes Viral in The Lotus, a Post Apocalyptic Thrill Ride from the Mind of Jorge Nunez
Hitting Video On Demand March 6th, The Lotus brings the dangers of biochemical technology center stage, as a man made virus ravages the world, leaving few survivors in its wake. Writer and director, Jorge Nunez infuses his film with flourishes of tech savvy sci-fi mixed with bursts of blood splattering horror. More than enough to please any fan of the genre.
Acquired by Sharry Flaherty of Samera Entertainment, and distributed by Black Wolf Media, The Lotus is a fresh addition to the rich cinematic legacy of "end of the world" sagas. The film begins on the brink of anarchy, on a seemingly peaceful day, where our main character, Cee (Samantha Reynolds), attends her little sister's wedding, all the while facing the imminent end of her own
marriage due to her infertility. This threat to her personal life is undercut by a biological threat to the world after a virus breaks out at the wedding, leaving Cee the lone survivor. After a while, she runs into a handful of other survivors who have banned together to take down the infected by any means necessary.
When asked what inspired the epic and apocalyptic backdrop of The Lotus, and its main character's journey, Nunez remarked that he was always drawn to films that feature strong female leads. Characters like Ellen Ripley in Aliens, or Sarah Connor in Terminator 2, or Clarice Starling in Silence of the Lambs.
"They remind me of my mother who is a strong kick-ass feisty woman, these were the movies that I was attracted to. It's much better storytelling than a man going up against another man. The odds and challenges are much more riskier when it comes to storytelling. So this was a story that I wanted to tell. A young woman, who is unable to carry life, may actually be the reason she is able to save lives in The Lotus. Throw some Sci-fi Horror elements into it and you got yourself and edge of your seat popcorn flick with a story layered with emotions. Those are the movies I grew up with, those are the stories I want to tell."
Nunez also provided insight into what goes into the filmmaking process based off of what he learned behind the scenes on The Lotus.
"For any indie filmmakers out there on the fence about filmmaking, or wanting to direct your first feature. I advise that you just DON'T go out there and start shooting it, I advise that you learn the craft first, if you want to direct, write, edit, and DP, thats all fine, but take the time to learn each one. One of the worst things you can do, is take on such a big task without any practice or experience. Go out and shoot a short film, test each field out by creating little 2-3 minute short films, watch tutorials, take the time to learn, you don't have to be perfect at it, but at least know what you are doing. Then go out and shoot your film. If its your first feature film, you're still gonna screw up, but not as bad as you would have if you had just gone out to shoot it without any experience. Its always a learning process, I don't care how many years experience you have. Theres always something new."
But making movies isn't just about navigating your way around a set and avoiding mistakes. There is also a financial side to the industry that is even more elusive. And it is within that arena where knowledge is truly power.
"Learn the business side of filmmaking. Thats a whole other world right there. Get everyone on contracts or at minimum, deal memos. Whether its a short film or feature film, because believe me, there's going to be someone, or a few who are willing to strip you down the moment your film has an opportunity to make money. These are people who are supposed to be your friends, who endured the film with you. People get greedy, even before there's any money involved. It can be a real sh**ty, heartbreaking situation. But you have to protect your film at all costs."
These are hard lessons to be sure. However, once you get the hang of what goes into filmmaking, there is a magic that comes into play, the magic that unfolds on screen, like it does in The Lotus, which has endured a wild ride to make its way to VOD platforms. Upon noting this accomplishment, Nunez had this to say:
"Be humble man. Be humble. Don't act like you know it all. I certainly don't. But be honest too. Collaborate, listen to other peoples ideas, but be honest. If you like something, if you don't like something, provide an answer as to why you don't think that idea will work. If you start listening to too many ideas and making too many changes, they begin to take over you film and all of sudden your message, your story is lost, people get lost, it can create a mess. Listen, consider, and make a decision-- even if they're bad ideas, or don't coincide with your story. Everyone wants to help, everyone wants to inspire. Be firm with your vision, but be open to listening."
The Lotus drops on iTunes, Vudu, Google Play, Xbox Live, Dish Network VOD, and other platforms March 6th.
The Lotus Trailer