LSJTD.net: How confident were you at the time of filming Jessica that this would be a success to you personally
as a director and at the box office?
John: Not especially, just proceeded on dumb go-ahead. I'd had a certain amount of success in the theatre,
and the short I made right before Jessica was nominated for an Academy Award, so I had a certain confidence,
but you never know. In no way did I anticipate the success Jessica had.
LSJTD.net: How was your working relationship with Lee after the script alteration?
John: We had none, before, during, or after. In fact I don't remember ever meeting him.
LSJTD.net: How did you choose the house used for the exterior scenes and was anyone
living there at the time of filming?
John: Believe it was suggested by the line producer Bill Badalato, who has become my best friend.
We did Bang the Drum Slowly together, and Weeds. He had a weekend house nearby in
East Haddam, Connecticut. You know how it is, you drive around together and look for locations.
I don't know if anyone was living there. I was certainly happy to find it.
LSJTD.net: Your concept of allowing the audience hear Jessica speak to herself in her head and hear Emily harass
her subconceincly was brilliant. It really allowed the viewer to relate personally with Jessica
and experience first hand the psychological war between them both. How did you come up with this idea?
John: I think I came to that in post. Felt it needed it in the editing room.
LSJTD.net: The score for the film was brilliantly simplistic. Orville said himself
and you sat watching the film and you told him what to do at each scene.
Did you really know how well your ideas and his skill worked with the film?
John: Music is so important to me, and I've worked often with Orville.
He added a tremendous amount to the score for Bang the Drum Slowly,
should've really got the credit.
LSJTD.net: What was the most difficult scene to shoot from what you can remember?
John: The water scenes were hard because it was so cold. We shot them in October.
LSJTD.net: Who wrote the line "Dreams or Nightmare...Madness or Sanity..."
that Jessica says at the beginning and ending of the film?
John: I did.
LSJTD.net: What was the significance of the mute girl in the film?
John: I don't know, she was left over from Lee Kalcheim's version, and the producers asked
me to keep her, so I did. I just worked last summer with the actress's daughter!
Shows you how time has passed. Gretchen Corbett's daughter Winslow Corbett.
We did Noises Off together at the Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre.
LSJTD.net: Was it difficult for Mariclare to complete the scene where she rises out of the lake at Jessica?
John: Not that I remember.
LSJTD.net: Where there any other actor/actress's considered for the film?
John: Yes, we read a lot of people.
LSJTD.net: Did the cast get along?
John: Yes, very well.
LSJTD.net: You used very little gore in this film. Was your goal to create an atmosphere
of terror and confusion rather than easy shock tactics?
LSJTD.net: Anything you would change with the film today?
John: Oh many things. You always see things you would do differently. But would it make it better?
I don't know.
LSJTD.net: Was Jessica hallucinating or did it really happen?
John: I was influenced by Turn of the Screw - the fun is that there's no answer to that question.
LSJTD.net: How would you personally rate Scare Jessica with all your other films you done?
John: I'm prouder of Bang the Drum Slowly, Weeds, and A Piece of Eden.
LSJTD.net: At the ending of the film when Jessica is in the boat and Emily and the townies are
at the shore watching her, if you were to continue the film, What would of happened next?
John: Don't know.
LSJTD.net: Any chance of a Blu-Ray version on DVD of this film?
John: Up to Paramount.
LSJT.net: Was a soundtrack ever considered for this film?
John: I don't know.
LSJTD.net: There were no other females in the town except the mute girl. Why?
John: I'm not sure.
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