For more than 3 decades, producer Marianne Maddalena has galvanized a legendary career in the film industry.
It all goes back to 1986, on the set of a creepy and funny scary movie. Her first Hollywood job was none other than to be the assistant of a rising star director, Wes Craven. The movie was DEADLY FRIEND, a project that spawned a beautiful friendship and a collaboration for life.
Their filmography speaks for itself, with iconic classics like THE SERPENT AND THE RAINBOW (1988), SHOCKER (1989), THE PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS (1991) – just to name a few – ascending to the SCREAM franchise and going beyond.
“[It] was wonderful to work with Wes”, she recalls in a fan-driven interview for HelloSidney.com.
“There’s so many memories! We had a ball on every movie”.
SCREAM was released during the Christmas season of 1996, but they couldn’t predict instantly that their project would become a global cult classic.
“We liked the movie, but in the night it came out we thought it was going to be a bomb, because BEAVIS AND BUTTHEAD [DO AMERICA] was playing in the next theater and people were laughing so hard… And our theater, at Universal, the crowd was very quiet, so we thought we failed!”
Thankfully, this was not what really happened afterwards.
“It was especially nice when we realized SCREAM was going to be a success!”
The movie grew exponentially due to the word-of-mouth, because it was so clever and filled with familiar references of a fallen genre (at the time).
“I think it was just the right movie, at the right time, with the right cast, the right director and of course the right script – it was kismet.”
The most difficult stage of producing is “always the writing“, she reveals. It also involves scheduling, casting and details like the wardrobe. For instance, she chose the sweater where Casey met her maker, helped on the wig fitting. “I lost sleep over that decision“.
But we all know that it paid off. Like the picking of the mask we all know and love…
Ghost Face Wars
“We were trying to figure out a mask with KNB and nothing was working. A couple weeks before shooting, we scouted at a house in Santa Rosa. I was upstairs in a bedroom, found the mask and brought it down to the team, including Wes“.
And if you think it was instant love for Ghost Face, you are wrong.
“Nobody liked it. They really wanted to create their own, so we let go“.
Luckily, after a few weeks, with no decision over the subject, “I just suggested we go back to that house and see if we could get that mask from the lady“.
“Bob Weinstein hated the mask. Which was a nightmare for me, because I found it. Later, he realized it was very effective.”
Then, many fans asked about the influence of the fallen Miramax/Dimension executives over the first two movies:
“[The] Weinsteins didn’t really become increasingly involved. They were always fairly involved in all the shoots. I mean, it was always Wes’ movie, but they were vocal. In Scream 3, they were very involved”
Most of the rumors about how things were conducted by the brothers, raised during the filming of CURSED, in 2005. The troubled production still brings questions. Recently, some articles on internet sparkled the hope that the original version could see the light of day. After all, it is an unreleased Wes Craven movie.
“The original CURSED was quite different. I don’t know if they will ever show us the first one, because we actually didn’t complete it. We shot the movie three times“.
In closing, I couldn’t end this chat without the questions:
What’s your favorite SCREAM movie?
“Number one is always my favorite. Probably the opening sequence is the most exciting. It was the most fun to shoot“.
What’s your favorite scary movie?
“A QUIET PLACE”.