Gabriel Press Interview

“Death of a President” director, Gabriel Range recently came through New York to chat with the press about the film. JoyHog was there and took down some notes about all the chit-chat that has come to surround the new documentary…

Press:
What was the toughest decision you had to make?

Gabriel Range:
Obviously the way the film had to be structured was very deliberate and choosing the identity of thegabrielr.jpg suspects and the identity of the assassin was obviously central to the political messages of the film so they were tough decisions, I guess.

Press:
When you’re making a film like this, that is obviously going to rely on footage that somebody has taken, how hard is it to get the footage of Bush speaking, or the stuff from the protest?

Gabriel Range:
Well, a lot of the footage in the film I shot myself, so myself and Graham Smith (the Director of Photography) traveled to Chicago on the 6th of January this year. We got White House press accreditation on short notice and filmed President Bush arriving there and the protest that was there to coincide with his visit. I also filmed a big protest in Chicago on the 18th of March, which was timed to coincide with the 3 rd anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. In fact, by that stage I had cast my actors, so we had [them] work their way in and out of that protest. I also filmed President Bush when he came to Chicago on other such occasions, so there is a mixture of different things really…so either one of our characters has been added using special effects to the back of the shot or someone’s voice has been changed or a whole branch of different things that have been molded to fit the story.

Press:
When you’re getting your White House press pass, I assume that you are not telling them that [your film concerns the assassination of the president]?

Gabriel Range: Well the only thing the White House asked is “what media affiliation your are with?” so we were able to tell them honestly that we were affiliated with Channel 4 and that was the only question they asked and, you know, and at no point was I asked if I was making a film about killing the president and I guess they did not think of asking that question.

Press:
What do you think their response will be?

Gabriel Range:
I don’t know. I hope they recognize the film as thoughtful and that the initial reaction, which was a very strong reaction, came at a time when people thought the film was something else. They thought that it would offer some kind of cathartic experience in representing the assassination of President Bush and they thought it would be some kind of liberal fantasy and it is none of those things. I think the film portrays the assassination as a horrific event with terrible consequences and I hope when people see it they recognize it at least as a thought-provoking film.