Interview With Director Wojtowicz-Vosloo For After.Life

We've been digging deep for some interesting press and promotional material for Christina Ricci and Liam Neeson's After.Life. We found a pretty cool interview with the movies writer and director, Agnieszka Wojtowicz-Vosloo, for you to check out. Here's the first part and there's more after the jump.

BLOODY DISGUSTING: First off, congratulations on the release... this was shot in 2008, correct?

Agnieszka Wojtowicz-Vosloo: Yes, we shot in 25 days in November/December of 2008, we finished two days before Christmas. And then we were editing at the beginning of 2009, but my editor had to take a hiatus for a couple of months. So he came back and finished it and then we premiered at the AFI in Los Angeles in November of 2009.

BD: How did the project come together? Was it something you had an idea for or was there already a script that you reworked?

AWV: No it was always something that I was fascinated with, death. I’ve been terrified by death, actually since I was a kid. My father died when I was ten years old, so death has been kind of with me and on my mind since then. And I was always fascinated by what really happens when you die, to your body and more importantly to your soul. Like, is there maybe some transitional period when your soul or consciousness stays with you and you’re able to reflect on your life? What does it really mean to BE alive, you know? If you’re physically alive, but mentally kind of sleepwalking through life, are you REALLY alive? That’s the questions I wanted to pose in this film. And in terms of the story, it all started with this image of a young woman lying on a slab in a prep room of a funeral home, and this mortician preparing her body for the funeral. And then suddenly she opens her eyes and says “Where am I?” and he says “You’re in a funeral home, you’re dead.” So I collaborated with two other writers Paul Vosloo and my friend Jakub Korolczuk, who lives in Poland, so it was a really interesting collaboration, I love to collaborate, it’s a great process.

BD: Did you write intending to direct?

AWV: Yes. While writing it, I was directing it in my head; kind of shaping the whole narrative of it and what I wanted to express, and visualizing things and scenes and setups, and just kind of creating this whole world of the funeral home and the prep room. I did so much research, not only research for directing, but also for writing. I kind of know every morgue in New York city at this point (laughs). I went to so many funeral homes and made friends with so many funeral directors, which kind of terrified everyone! All of my friends were freaking out, at one point I was basically just hanging out with funeral home dudes, you know? (laughs). And I’ll never forget going to the LA county morgue; it’s been really kind of an experience you don’t forget. The day I went, they were so overcrowded... they had like 800 bodies and the capacity is I think 400, so you can imagine how crowded it was. And it’s so different than what you usually see on films or even other morgues. It’s huge, like the size of a basketball court or something, and it’s all these rows of bunk beds, basically. There are no drawers, you just see them all lying in these bunk beds in plastic with rope around the neck and feet, and they’re all in various states of decomposition. It’s definitely something I won’t forget.

To check out the rest of the interview go here.

After a horrific car accident, Anna wakes up to find the local funeral director Eliot Deacon preparing her body for her funeral. Confused, terrified and feeling still very much alive, Anna doesn't believe she's dead, despite the funeral director's reassurances that she is merely in transition to the afterlife. Eliot convinces her he has the ability to communicate with the dead and is the only one who can help her. Trapped inside the funeral home, with nobody to turn to except Eliot, Anna is forced to face her deepest fears and accept her own death. But Anna's grief-stricken boyfriend Paul still can't shake the nagging suspicion that Eliot isn't what he appears to be. As the funeral nears, Paul gets closer to unlocking the disturbing truth, but it could be too late; Anna may have already begun to cross over the other side.

After.Life was directed by Agnieszka Wojtowicz-Vosloo and stars Christina Ricci, Liam Neeson, Justin Long, Josh Charles, and Chandler Canterbury.

The movie is in select theaters now.