Andrea Prochaska • Director
Dead in 3 Days
After four editing experiences and a first feature as a director, the children detective story Die 3 Posträuber (1998), Andreas Prochaska dedicated several years to directing TV fictions. Despite its budget of less than €2m, his second feature, the horror film Dead in 3 Days [+see also:
film profile], about a group of late teenagers who receive a text message promising their imminent death from an implacable murderer, was not only one of the most successful Austrian films of 2006, but it was also sold to some 30 territories.
Cineuropa: What made you want to make films?
Andrea Prochaska: I come from a small town where no movies were ever made and Hollywood seemed a distant reality, but when I moved to Vienna, I realised making films was possible – not that Austrian cinema is an industry, but there are many possibilities for filmmakers. So I started as the guy who turned the red light on in a studio and gradually made my way to film-directing.
How about your experience as the editor of three of Haneke's films?
The way he uses close-ups and sounds to emphasise what he shows and does not show, as well as the fact that he manages to create situations with no solution, which make you think long after the movie is finished is impressive, but my work has different orientations.
Why the eight-year gap between your first features, Die 3 Posträuber and Dead in 3 Days?
I did television work in between, but in the meantime, I was also looking for a good horror film story. The first idea I had appeared to be taken – I saw a Spanish movie with a similar plot – and it took time to find a new story I really liked. I'd rather spend a long time waiting for a script than to make a film I know I would not enjoy myself as a spectator.
You seem fond of crime stories, and Dead in 3 Days is a full-on horror-film. Are you a genre filmmaker?
Actually, albeit a true cinephile, I am not even a big fan or expert of horror movies, but in my opinion, the best challenge for a director is to be very successful in different genres, which is why I much admire Robert Wise, who directed The Haunting and one year after, won several Oscars for The Sound of Music.
I find the horror genre interesting for a director because it is very visual and it allows him to make full use of images and sounds to get an instant reaction from the audience – something that comedy can also achieve.
So far, you have directed mostly TV productions. How would you compare working for the small and the silver screen?
It is not the same at all – different screens, different stories. A feature film allows to create more complex characters and plots and the spectator who buys a ticket is entitled to an elaborate story. Dead in Three Days is not extremely complex but it did require a big screen.
Did the huge success of Dead in 3 Days trigger new ambitions and opportunities?
It made it easier to have access to other countries, but it is difficult to draw conclusions yet. This being said, for an Austrian movie, it has already been a big journey, and the response to the film abroad has been good, even in the USA!
Are you working on a new project?
I wanted to move to something completely different but Dead... had such a big success that we decided to make a sequel with different characters. I would like to do something that mixes horror and western elements, something very Austrian with snow and empty landscapes and a single person in the middle.
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