(On VOD Now!)
“Seeds” is a psychological horror-suspense film from first time director, Owen Long. It stars his brother, Trevor Long (Ozark) and Andrea Chen. The film explores inner demons, dark desires and the ways that they can haunt us. Possibly even change us... if we let them. Spoilers ahead!
Director: Owen Long
Cinematographer: Eun-ah Lee
After a night of serious partying, Marcus (Trevor Long) retreats to his family home in New England to recover. In a sudden and unexpected turn of events, Marcus ends up having to care for his niece, Lily (Andrea Chan).
The house also seems to be hiding some kind of… creature. It creeps from the shadows when Marcus is by himself.
As time goes on, it becomes evident that this creature represents Marcus’ inappropriate desire for Lily, and his struggle to overcome it. To not become a monster, if you will. Marcus is protecting his niece from some horrible side of himself. That was my takeaway. The monster lurking in the shadows of the home is a manifestation of the darkest thoughts lurking in the shadows of his mind. Ones that he fights to keep at bay. Of course, this is open to interpretation.
This film is strange, to say the least. It will make you uncomfortable and intrigue you, at the same time. It never crossed any boundaries for me, but the subject matter is rather… awkward. Still, there is a very artistic side to this film. Go in with an open mind. It’s not what you are expecting… or used to.
Trevor Long does a fantastic job, portraying both Marcus and his inner struggle brilliantly. I recently had a chance to speak with Trevor! You can check out our conversation below!
Trevor Long – TL
Joshua Scafidi – JS
JS: Hey Trevor, how ya’ doing?
TL: Good, how are you?
JS: I’m doing great, thank you so much for the phone call.
TL: Thank you!
JS: I wanted to talk to you about “Seeds!” It was written by your brother, Owen Long?
TL: Well, it was his story that he originated. We ended up hiring a a writer to come in
and write with my brother on the story. So, we did hire a professional writer, Steven Weisman to write the script.
JS: He did the screenplay, right. I enjoyed it, I thought it was great.
TL: Thanks, man!
JS: It was very… unique.
TL: Yea!! (JS + TL laughing)
JS: I sat down to watch it, and it wasn’t what I expected. I liked that!
TL: Good, Good! I mean yeah, it’s definitely not going to be what you expect, and it is different. It’s a different film. It’ll be interesting to see how people resonate and don’t resonate with it. It’s not for everyone for sure. So, we’ll see.
JS: I think your acting in it was superb.
TL: Aw man, thank you so much.
JS: You do an excellent job with your portrayal of Marcus. The film is beautifully filmed. It deals with some uncomfortable issues and dark material in a very imaginative and artistic way. I wanted to ask what initially attracted you to do the project?
TL: Well, you know it was my brother’s story and we spent quite a bit of time discussing it, even before we wrote it, or hired the writer. I think the biggest thing that attracted me and also repelled me or scared me, was the challenge of the role. Obviously, the material is a difficult subject matter and it’s also a role that kind of scared me, so in a way, I wanted to do it. It was a role that I’ve never done before so that excited me enough to take on the role that carried the weight of the film. Which I had never done. So, I was again, on the one hand, scared about that, but that also excited me.
JS: Your character Marcus, he suffers from we’ll say… personal demons.
TL: That’s right.
JS: Your portrayal was fantastic. How did you approach that internally?
TL: That’s a great question. You know luckily, I had a lot of time before shooting. I had a lot of, in discussing it and once I knew we were shooting, the script was done I had about two to three months to prep for it. I really tried to come into it with a blank slate without too many preconceptions, too much judgment. I just really allowed the script, as sparse as it is with dialogue, I allowed the images of the script to play on my imagination and so I just kept pouring over the script and letting my imagination go and personalizing it in a way that became very personal, dark. I just had to keep going to those places in my imagination and eventually he just sort of came out. I didn’t want to force it. I didn’t want to come in and say “I’m going to do it like this, do it like that.” I kind of let it arise on its own, and show me how to play it.
JS: I’m glad you mentioned preconceived notions because I felt like it was a fresh take.
TL: Aw, thanks!
JS: It didn’t seem preconceived or forced. I felt like it was an honest portrayal of a man dealing with his inner thoughts. Great job. Not a lot of dialogue. It must’ve been a little tough to get some of that out.
TL: I knew it was going to be tough. Like you said, not much dialogue, and so I needed to find a really still silent place to… he’s very internal so I had to sort of approach it that way.
JS: Was it hard to shrug it off? Cause it’s a dark film. It must take you to a dark place. When you went home, was it hard to just shake it off?
TL: You know, I can say as an actor I can usually joke around. This one, not that it was hard necessarily to shrug off, I seemed to stay in that energy of Marcus off-set more. I didn’t socialize as much. I had an apartment next to where we shot and I just lived there by myself and didn’t socialize on set and just kind of sat in the corner and put my music on and tried to… you know, it’s just that kind of role. Sometimes I’m talking a lot and I joke around and go shoot something heavy. But this, I needed that energy to come through, this internal silent film to kind of resonate. But it wasn’t hard at the end of the day to put him down. I was glad to.
JS: Now I understand you have a background in theatre, do you think that helped at all?
TL: Well I always do. Theatre just gives you the chops. Theatre mainly teaches you how to really develop a character. I approach a script with language and how it affects my imagination. I really rely on all these words. I think theater yeah, it definitely affects everything I do. To me, acting is acting. There are respectable differences, but you really learn, I hate the word craft, but you really learn the craft of acting on stage. I think it definitely makes a difference.
JS: Your costar Andrea Chan, she plays Lily. You guys were great together.
TL: Aw thanks, man! We got lucky with her!
JS: You seemed really comfortable with her. Have you met her before, or was this the first time?
TL: You know ironically, she came in at the last hour. Our lead actress, her visa fell through, the government wouldn’t let her come. We had been looking for a year, year and a half because it’s a tough role to fill. We found her at the last, literally five weeks before shooting.
TL: She’s great on-screen and we met with her and worked with her for like four days to see if this was really going to work, and it did. And she didn’t have much time to prep so she did a great job. She really trusted me, and I trusted her and we had a lot of dialogue we rehearsed outside of shooting, the two of us. She was very gung-ho to jump in and do it, so that was great.
JS: I didn’t realize she had such little time to prepare, so kudos to her.
TL: She did a great job. I think she’s great in it and she’s a great person. She didn’t have a lot of baggage as an actress. She didn’t have a ton of experience and she was open. She was open to hey let’s see what we can do, rather than resistance. So, I think that was great. We got lucky.
JS: I think she was an awesome addition to the film for sure and especially with the uncomfortable material. You handled it very comfortably, and that made the film. Now, are you a fan of indie films?
TL: Yes, and lots of indie films for research. That’s where I tend to go to. Documentaries, indie films to get ideas for characters. Like “Winters Bone.” I picked that for Ozark. So yeah, I’m a big fan.
JS: Speaking of Ozark, which I watched, I love Ozark. So, I watched that, I watched Seeds. Two very, very different roles. Both wonderfully executed, by the way.
TL: Thanks, man! Thank you.
JS: How did your preparation differ for the characters?
TL: Well, I mean there are major differences, you know, the obvious external ones. For "Seeds" I lost a lot of weight and for "Ozark" I put on a bit of weight. I obviously did research, documentaries for dialects for Appalachian kind of people. Read a lot of literature, southern – Mary Brown, a great southern writer, wrote about seedy people, people who had messed up lives. So, I did anything I could to absorb. Marcus wasn’t a lot of research, more of a blank slate. With Cade (Ozark), I did external research. I watched that film (“Winter’s Bone”) to get a feel for that environment. One’s outward and violent (Cade) and the other, Marcus is much more gentle, but there’s darkness in both of them. I made sure with both of them that they both loved, as messed up as their love was, they both had a real love. For his niece and nephew with Marcus and I think Cade really loved his daughter, even if he couldn’t channel it right. That was the similarity if there is one. This protective love that they have.
JS: What’s next for you Trevor?
TL: I got a couple of shows coming out, these are network shows. One is called “The Resident” on Fox. That is on Thursdays and actually coming out in October. And I just did a new show called “FBI Most Wanted” on CBS, (played a) leader of a biker gang, that was fun.
JS: Yeah, that sounds cool!
TL: Yeah, so I’m just hitting the TV circuit right now and just trying to hustle and work.
JS: Awesome! I do have one final question; I know you worked with your brother on this film was there any sibling rivalry going on?
TL: No, I was very worried about that. You know, these things can go south when you take on a project like this. As brothers, we’ve never worked together. We both have our opinions. We both are very different people so I was very concerned. Really, it was great. He did a great job of giving the right amount of direction. He really kept his cool in a very delicate way which was needed for this. So, no we got along great! Did we have our differences? Of course, but it was never bad experiences.
JS: I had to ask, two brothers working closely together. (JS + TL Laughing)
TL: Of course, of course! (Laughing) It’s an unusual thing, in fact I think we’re going to do another project! He won’t tell me what it quite is, but we have something that we want to try and do together again in the future, so we’ll see!
JS: Well, you guys did a great job with Seeds!
TL: Thank you so much! Thanks, Josh and good questions it was good talking to you.
JS: Yeah man, anytime! I appreciate your time, Trevor.
TL: I appreciate yours! Thanks, Josh!
“Seeds” hits VOD today! I found it on Amazon! Check out the full credits here! Give it a watch and let me know what you think! I’m curious to hear some thoughts! Be warned though, it’s a mind fu*k!
That’s it for now folks! Comment below and until next time, keep on geekin’ on, my friends!
Joshua “Prometheus” Scafidi