Spending Time With…Patrick Bell

An isolated cult prepare for the prophesied apocalypse in Patrick O’Bell’s frightening The Blessed Ones, now available on Amazon Prime from Wild Eye Releasing.

An isolated cult hiding in a desert enclave prepare for an prophesied apocalypse, led by a charismatic Jim Jones-like leader. As the end of the world allegedly approaches, he binds them all to a suicide pact, in hopes of transcending earth for a new life in paradise. Two dissenters flee through the vast desert wasteland on the eve of the ceremony, hunted by the cult’s enforcer – who will stop at nothing to insure that they keep their part of the bargain.

 

Do you remember where you were when you came upon the project?

I was watching a documentary on the Heaven’s Gate cult and found it terrifying.  That’s when I decided I had to make a film on the subject of cults.

What was the initial appeal for you? 

 I  loved the idea on how these followers can completely isolate themselves from society and follow such a crazed leader.  From a visual point of view  I was interested in filming the desert and mountainous landscapes.

How long of a shoot was it?

Approximately 2 years.

Was it local? Or were parts of it filmed all over?

It was filmed locally in Los Angeles County.  From Brentwood to Lancaster.

How much was Waco an inspiration?

I used the isolated compound  idea from Waco, and the cult leader, Elyon, share some similarities with Koresh.

The film came out earlier this year but since you’re still talking about I’m assuming it’s even still gaining an audience?

Yes it was initially released in July 2017, but I always felt it would slowy build an audience, because it’s very trippy and unlike any horror film out there.

How important is a social media presence for a film?

I think it would be great to reach an audience that can appreciate it. It does have sort of an underground indie feel to it.

What’s one thing people probably don’t realize about making indie films? It’s not easy, right!?

No, it’s a big challenge.  You have to find the right locations , crew, actors on limited funds.  And then there’s a lot to do in post production, which sometimes leads to shooting inserts or additional footage.

And when does the job end for you?

Well, it actually never does.  I’m currently promoting it and hopefully  I can do a Director’s Cut in the future.

What’s the goal here? Make some money? Get another job? Give the world the next cult classic?

I would love to get new offers to direct or write other projects.  But, I’m not wasting any time as I am working on a new horror film called “Departer”.

 

 

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