Director Tricia Lee and writer Corey Brown have already found success in the world of horror. Their last feature together, Silent Retreat, walked away with the award for Best Canadian Film at the 2013 Toronto After Dark Film Festival. An obvious highlight for the duo, as the festival is widely recognized as one of the best genre festivals in Canada. Lee and Brown may be preparing to take that award again soon as they near the end of shooting for their latest film, One Drop. The mysterious film follows Ellie Barnes (Lara Gilchrist), a single mother who overdoses and wakes up in a medical facility to find herself nine months pregnant, and everybody in the facility dead. While Ellie tries to escape, she finds a small group of people who have survived, and an even larger group of people who have returned from the dead. Toronto Film Scene was able to spend an afternoon on the very secretive set of One Drop, where we were able to speak with many members of the cast and crew, as well as attempting to lift the veil of secrecy a little bit.
Getting to look behind the curtain of a film is fascinating. We spend so much time watching and enjoying films that we very rarely think about the kind of work that goes into making them. Even for a smaller budgeted indie film like One Drop, the set was packed with crew members. An empty warehouse had basically been split in two, with one half consisting of a series of hallways, doors, and one solid looking gate, while the other half serves as offices, a make-up area, and a space for cast and crew to sit down for meals. With so much secrecy regarding not only what exactly is happening within the film, but also the creatures that will be showing up, any open door was a place for this writer to stick his head in. Not everything can be hidden away, and while we can’t tell you some of the strange things we witnessed, we can assure you that fans won’t be disappointed with what will eventually wind up on the screen.
Cast members Julian Richings, Torri Higginson, Benjamin Arthur, and Lara Gilchrist were on hand for a scene that day, and even standing behind the crew to watch didn’t reveal many details. Without the benefit of knowing what came before this scene, it was difficult to think of who could be good or bad, although Richings seems like the obvious choice for the ‘person who knows something that they aren’t sharing.’
Richings was the cleanest on set, dressed in his outfit as Father Stewart. With every other cast member having blood on their clothing somewhere, it would seem that Father Stewart either missed out on a bloody situation, or knew that he should avoid it. Higginson, Arthur, and Gilchrist weren’t as lucky, and each of them had a different amount of blood on them. As genre fans know, the level of gore in a film can make or break a horror movie, and each actor assured TFS that they had previously shot scenes that found them all covered in blood. While nobody would really explain why they were, it’s reassuring to know that the blood will be flowing in One Drop. Obviously director Tricia Lee was making sure that press wasn’t hanging around when some of the more important scenes were being shot.
Something else that became apparent during our time on set was how strong the role of women are in the film and behind the scenes. Half the cast on set that day were women, and speaking with them revealed that their roles were rather physical. On the flip side, Benjamin Arthur (who is a powerfully huge individual) said that his character is a problem solver, and not a fighter. You begin to realize that it will be Lara Gilchrist and Torri Higginson (as Marion Dobbs) who will ultimately come out on top. Unless nobody manages to survive. That’s something that we won’t be sure of until we see the film.
The crew was also made up of an almost perfect split of men and women, and it’s this aspect that many film watchers may not think about. While it’s true that women are under-represented in major roles like director, the One Drop set proved that they’re still a strong force behind the scenes. A film can’t be created by a writer, director, and actors alone. It’s the crew that helps make that all happen, and One Drop is a film that is represented by both genders.
Be sure to keep checking back with TFS as we explore One Drop further in the future, including a more in-depth look at the people behind the scenes who help to make things happen. You can also check in with our Crowdfunding Project of the Week to learn more about One Drop and how you can offer support to the film.