Justin Price brings us an epically gory supernatural heist film with Wrong Place, Wrong Time.
Synopsis: An elite team of vigilantes plot to steal 14 billion dollars of laundered money from a notorious mob boss. After being double-crossed, they find refuge in the middle of nowhere with a mysterious family carrying an unsettling secret. They discover that the man of the house is a creature of the dark and they must fight to survive the night.
Wrong Place, Wrong Time stars Franziska Schissler, Justin Price, Bianca Stein, Alex Ryan Brown, Chase Garland, Olivia Rivera, Mike Markoff, Timothy McKinney, Marcia Vargas, Karen Carreno, and Natalia Rangel.
Check out my Q & A with Justin!
How did this idea come about with Wrong Place, Wrong Time?
Justin: What happened was, we had just finished a show called Paragon: The Shadow Wars and it was in the height of COVID and I think it was just so eye opening to see how the industry was changing really rapidly. We had to stop production and we had to kind of figure out what we wanted to do because, at that time, the entire way that we were doing films and television had shifted, like right underneath our feet. So, I kind of sat back with my producing partner Franziska Schissler and we just said, ‘you know, we need to make something that can allow us to have, you know, the technicals that we were dealing with, like the space between people social distancing and being safe, and also be able to tell the story.’ We just kind of started brainstorming, like, ‘Okay, what could we do?’ And so, if you notice most of the scenes, because we shot this last year, around September, right around the height, you know, there were no vaccines, nothing along that line. We didn’t know what to expect. So, we just spaced people out. That opening scene, you know, you have shots where people are legitimately 25 feet away from each other, so we’re filming in ways to keep the action but not really have people close to each other. It made it very challenging. And I think as we were writing we kind of kept that in mind and I think we developed a really great story. Whenever I write, I try not to just have something in mind. I just kind of start writing and it starts free flowing because it’s easy to kind of do a story about a heist, but I wanted to make sure it was something that was not just ‘let’s just go steal something.’ And we had a lot of interesting wrinkles and that was what drew me into how we got our characters from point A to point C.
What inspired the vampire aspect of this story?
Justin: Once we got past the action part, we were like, ‘Okay, let’s have fun with the story.’ I thought about what would be the scariest thing that could happen to people and we came up with a few ideas- obviously just being missing, people not knowing you’re somewhere or you being on another planet, and all these kind of things started coming around, you know, to go supernatural where it could be aliens or, you know, where it could be something else. I think what made vampires so interesting, for this particular story, was how humanized the characters were. You can almost find yourself in that situation. And it makes sense, because I think vampires have that folklore where you can almost sort of see drinking blood, you know, it’s not so far fetched as in things like flying and whatnot. It’s still grounded to where it’s become sort of like sexy, if you will. It’s like you can see a vampire living among us and that’s actually okay. Like I kind of already know what that would be like so I think just taking that idea, including the family, played by marcia Varga and Natalia Rangel, in a situation where they were essentially being trafficked and just kind of flipping that genre on its head. It was very tantalizing to see how that would play out. And Timothy just does a phenomenal job as our main villain.
Timothy plays the main villain, but you play the Vampire version of him, can you explain that choice?
Justin: I just couldn’t see putting a suit on someone else. And then, I don’t know, needing pickups or just, you know what I mean? I thought the safest way to do this was if I were to actually wear the suit. It worked out but it was very taxing, it was odd to be in the suit. And then the times when I couldn’t hold the camera, I’ll say, ‘hey, this is the, these are the shots I want.’ I had to kind of get up from the ground and come look at the frame then go back. This very odd directing from the suit, and trying to get the vision across while being very uncomfortable, so just shout out to everyone that does that sort of work, it’s the physicality required, it’s very taxing. It doesn’t seem like it, but when you get into the motions, you have to really breathe life into it. You have to give it breath and you have to give it life, it has to be a character… I just loved the way it turned out. I loved the way that he had the moment there at the end where we have our final battle scene. Just the humanization of it. Again, I use that word a lot because it was a story of, you know, him finding his lost love, if you will, and someone he thinks he can spend the rest of his life with. And so it just calls for her to make him seem real. And I think that’s what happens when we have great actors. The cast was just phenomenal with that.
What was it like working with all of them, especially with the COVID safety procedures?
Justin: They were phenomenal. I mean, the entire cast, when we first got there, I think we all were feeling each other out, because it really is a thing where no matter how you do the casting process, I have never met these people in person. So when they show up, they have no clue what my personality is like, what am I on set, am I going to keep their safety in mind or am I just this person that wants to throw them in the middle of something? We started off with the first scene, so we had loud weapons on set. There were some dangerous things going on, it was almost to the point to where filming the movie, you had to ask yourself, was it worth it, like is it worth it to come down to 25 days. Again it was the height [of COVID] so it was almost like where is this movie going? I’m not coming here to do this and potentially, you know, because again, at that time, people were getting on ventilators and it was just soaked the news every five seconds, it was like a ticker of deaths. So, that was the sort of sense around that first day. Then they just kind of leaned into it and wanted to focus on telling a good story and I think this is a testament to the material and to everyone’s dedication to the craft because I think we just kind of forget about it… So it was really great and that experience just taught me so much about, again, just making sure you have the right team around you, the right group of people ready to execute and to put in the work.
What was your favorite scene to shoot?
Justin: The first one is the body cam scene. We had an actress who actually had a COVID situation and couldn’t be in film. So, we had to replace her that day, so I called Karen (Carreno) and I said, ‘Listen, I don’t know what you’re doing right now, literally right now, what are you doing? Let’s do this, send you the script, I need you to just go with lines and let’s just see what we can do.’ And she just came and we just, you know, worked through it and then the cast helped out. And luckily, she just fit into the same outfit and it worked out. And it came out really well and the setup of it was nice to see because there’s so much to go into that to make that work, you know, to go from live to the first person shot, and make it work. Bianca does such a great job coming out and again breathing life to the scene… There’s a lot of things about this that shouldn’t work. The setup of the whole thing, nothing about it was logistical. Just the idea of it being executed the way it was written was phenomenal. So I think that would be one of my favorite scenes. And the second one is in the old house, when Marcia goes to her room that she grew up in, and confronts the guy that’s changed her into a vampire. And this is a really cool house and the way the house came about was through this guy named Isaac. He’s a really cool guy with a really cool house that we went to see. And he’s like ‘yeah you use any room you want.’ It was almost like this house was made for that scene.
Sounds like a lot of what happened is exact opposite of the title of the film, you were in the right place at the right time. So, how did you settle on Wrong Place, Wrong Time for the title?
Justin: We’ll usually have a brainstorming session. I had nothing to do with the title, they just asked me what I thought. And, you know what, I think works.
Is there anything else that you’d like to add?
Justin: It’s out now. It’s on Vudu, iTunes, Amazon and DirecTV so if you haven’t seen it, check it out.
Wrong Place, Wrong Time is out now!