Interview: Indie Filmmaking Auteur Christopher Soren Kelly Invites Fans To Be A Part Of ‘The Tangle’

There are a myriad of notable elements that can make an indie outing standout. It could be stark stylistic visuals, a witty script or even pitch perfect performances that make the difference.  Or there’s Christopher Soren Kelly.  A wondrous mix of all of the above and then some, anyone who has been lucky enough to witness the short film work of the budding director/writer/acting auteur which includes the hard boiled Chasseur and kinetic Monkeys has come away with one word etched into the brain – master craftsman.  (Not to mention his fantastic performance-only turns in flicks like Ink and The Frame!)  The talented Kelly is finally putting the finishing touches on a new full-length feature film titled The Tangle and for any fan of original cinema it’s cause for cinematic celebration.

But the good news doesn’t stop there, as Kelly and friends are offering film fans a rare and amazing chance to be a part of the excitement via a new Indiegogo Campaign (check out the page by CLICKING THE PICTURE ABOVE!) and it’s one well worth checking out.  Not just to get some of the fabulous perks (all three Kelly shorts…with exclusive intros!) and cool collectables (Ink poster – signed!), but to contribute to a fantastic filmmaker who, in my opinion, carries the early David Fincher visual seal of approval.  (No mere smoke blowing here – I proudly contributed big and early myself for full ‘money where my movie mouth is’ effect!)  So let’s kick off this already well underway cool campaign with a little Kelly Q&A all about the film, the challenges so far and what still needs to be done to make The Tangle a finished five-star flick.  Ladies and gentlemen one of my favorite filmmakers…




Having made so many shorts and of course played great roles as an actor, what made The Tangle ultimately the project you wanted to make your feature film debut?

Christopher Soren Kelly: There was actually another film called Crossing The Flood which I wrote and it was my intention to make that first.  But cost was a huge issue for what we were going to make first, so we were trying to make a script that we could do for a very minimal budget.  And I didn’t think we could pull it off without more money, so I turned to The Tangle and it really relies on the dialogue to create a whole sci-fi world.

It’s fascinating to me that you would choose a sci-fi story on a small budget…

CSK: Well, you still gotta make what you love and you still have to make something you’re really excited about.  And something with a fantastical element is always gonna be involved in my writing.

The film looks wonderfully complex, but can you give us the gist of The Tangle if you can?

CSK: Sure.  In the near future the internet’s gone into the air and it’s in our blood, it’s in the soil, it’s in our bones and it’s in little nanobots that are floating everywhere.  So we have a hard drive in our brain, we have access to all information immediately and this is called The Tangle.  The Tangle also prevents violence and prevents us from hurting our selves – it’s protective and informative. And there’s a government agency called the A.S.P. that lives off Tangle and regulates it, so when a murder happens – which hasn’t happened for over 3 years – it’s up to them to try and solve the crime.

We’ve talked before about your general influences as a filmmaker before, but what were more specific ones when it came to the look and style of The Tangle?

CSK: Number one – Blade Runner.  On a much smaller budget, but we were definitely influenced by Blade Runner.  It’s a noir sci-fi film, so that was our number one visual influence.

Since most of the film has already been shot can you talk a bit about what was most challenging in terms of being an indie film with big ideas?

CSK: Just a constant challenge, but time crunch is the biggest issue.  Just having to pull off creating a whole world in the minimal amount of time you have when you’re making a film.  So the first ten days of shooting were a whirlwind and you mention the shorts we’ve done, we couldn’t have done it if we hadn’t done that.  We wouldn’t have been able to pull this off if we hadn’t had a lot of practice.

Can you talk a bit about your lead cast, including the stunning Jessica Graham, whose classic look screams noir…

CSK: With Jessica she has an amazing look on-camera – the camera just loves her face.  And when we could add the shadows of noir to bring out the angles of her face the look is amazing.  But I’ve worked with her on Monkeys and since we were producing this thing together we were able to work for a long time on making sure that role came across in the way we wanted.  Joshua Bitton – it’s an ensemble piece but he’s probably the lead – I worked with on Chasseur and we’ve been friends for years and I wrote that role with him in mind.  He gets tortured a little bit, but he’s amazing.  And there was a forth main character and it was originally written for a male and Jessica said, ‘It might be cool if that was a female.’  She was right, but it also made it much more difficult to cast because it’s a very specific kind of character.  And just by good luck Josh is best friends with Nicole da Silva who is the lead actress in Wentworth and she was perfect for the role and just killed it.  And there’s myself as well – but mainly because I’m free!

Also what was it like acting while directing yourself now in a feature?

CSK: I’d done it so much in shorts, but it’s definitely a challenge.  If I go into the edit there are times when I wish someone else was directing, looking at my performance.  But I wrote a role I could do in my sleep – it’s something that was right in my wheelhouse and I know what that is.

How close is the film to being done and what still needs to be finished?

CSK: The film is very close to being done.  We have one more day of shooting and it will be with a skeleton crew.  We then have all the little post finishing touches, which are essential in making a movie look professional – mainly the visual effects.  It’s a sci-fi movie and while there are not a ton of effects, there are a few and they need to look really good because the rest of the movie really looks top notch despite our budget.  Robert (Muratore, Director of Photography) did an amazing job and we need those special effects, those visual effects to match the quality of the rest of the film. And then to finish up the soundtrack, get good sound design and sound mix and then we just hope to have a little bit of money left over to help us go to festivals and end up getting distribution so we can show it to the wide world.

So I’m encouraging all fans of original indie film who yearn for stellar stories and grand visuals on a small budget to spread the word, dig deep and contribute to a project that – mark my words – you will be proud to have been a part of.  (I already am!)  Simply go to their Indiegogo Page by clicking the title image above and check it out for yourself – viva la The Tangle!


I'm a passionate and opinionated film critic/movie journalist with over 20 years of experience in writing about film - now exclusively for WhySoBlu.com. Previous sites include nine years at Starpulse.com where I created Forgotten Friday Flick back in 2011, before that as Senior Entertainment Editor for The213.net and 213 Magazine, as well as a staff writer for JoBlo.com. My other love is doing cool events for the regular guy with my company Flicks For Fans alongside my friend, partner and Joblo.com writer James "Jimmy O" Oster. Check us out at www.Facebook.com/FlicksForFans.

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