Filmmaker Interview with Director/ Writer Rich Devaney
by Amy Gillman
What filmmakers or specific films (if any) inspired you in the making of your film?
The approach was ‘Heneke and Scorcese put into a blender’ I wanted an authentic NYC feel ala Martin Scorces but wanted the action of each scene to play out in single wide shots ala Michael Heneke.
What made you want to tell this particular story?
While it seems to be a story about Cops, it’s a story about men. And the imminent danger a woman places herself in when she allows herself to be so vulnerable. It’s an unfortunate reality that we know is true because this is based on the true story of 2 NYPD Patrolmen. The trial received a great deal of press in 2011. However, the fact is that no one, other than the two Officers, know exactly what happened that night. This fact highly influenced the style and structure of the film.
The visual imagery of nighttime in New York City served as an eerie and strong backdrop for the film. Where and when in the city did you film and what about the city’s essence were you hoping to capture?
The backdrop of NYC was essential, not only because the true story occurred here but because the viewer should be concerned for the well fare of our Female character. And ‘no one is safe is the message. It had to feel like a quiet, late night, dangerous version of New York City. Which is MUCH harder to find now than it was 10 or even 5 years ago. The East Village was the right feel and again where the true story happened. However with the amount of hi-rise condo’s and the invention of Citibikes it was harder and harder to find several streets that felt ‘quietly dangerous’. We ended up shooting almost the entire film on 3rd street mostly at Avenue C.
The use of silence throughout the film, particularly in the film’s final scene is very powerful. What lead you to the decision to film those final moments without dialogue and what were you hoping audiences to take away from that final moment?
I felt absolutely disgusted when I heard of the true story. And while I have no confirmation of the true story, I imagine that this woman was raped. Being that rape has been portrayed in many other films I felt it would not work to show this yet again. Also, I had a responsibility to the story because there is no confirmation of rape in the true story. However, this is what most people imagine happened. I wanted to see if I could make a viewer feel as if they had been raped without showing it or speaking of it. Any dialogue used in that final scene would have been too specific.
How does where you live influence how and what you make?
In every way. I absolutely love NYC and have been walking the city streets since I was a boy. I take my relationship with NYC very personally. It is my place to be alone and my place to see the world. All of my films have taken place in NYC, without trying to, I think NY has become a character in all of my films.
How did you discover members of your team for “Patrol” and what made for a successful collaboration?
I am exceptionally fortunate to have worked closely with my closest friends and family members on this project. The collaboration was successful because we all knew each other so well and were all passionate about the story and the approach to telling the story. In short order here is a few of the whose who…
My Producing partner = My Fiance (Valerie Corrales)
My Co-star = My oldest friend in film who I made a feature with in 2004 (Tommy Guiffre)
My sound man = My father (Dan Devaney) He is a production sound mixer who has done sound on all of my films.
My DP = Very dear friend who I have collaborated with since 2007 (Marius Matzow Gulbrandsen)
My Associate Producer & Acting Coach = dear friend and collaborator since 09 (Mike Mergo)
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