Hitting iTunes and Amazon on Feb 12, Lilin's Brood is a tense and crafty horror jaunt, the collaboration of tyro filmmakers Artii Smith and Phil Simon or the Mansa Mojo Brothas. Hoping to refuel the found footage sub-genre with new energy, the movie tells of a new media news crew that uncovers some shocking secrets at a beleaguered brothel. To give us the 411 on the film, the Mansa Mojo Brothas themselves...
How did you come up with your directing name? It’s a hard one to forget!
Artii: It partly derives from ancestral roots. The word Mansa is a title from Malian Empires that ruled in West Africa.
Phil: What we do on an organic level is alchemy; nothing less then the purity of gold is what we strive for in all the worlds we create. We are both Moors & alchemist and once we surveyed our environment, mastered our situations our name, Mansa Mojo Bros made since…lol.
Is this the first time you’ve worked together as a writer-director unit?
Phil: Yes and no, we worked on several smaller projects before hand. Ain’t That A Trip, I’m Sorry Samantha, and Lilin’s Brood Concept Short. However, this was the first feature working together in that capacity.
Artii: Yea it is. We didn’t initially set out to do it that way. We tried to just be producers on this project but we realized as a team we could really pioneer this movie forward and get it done the way we wanted it to be done.
What was the reason in working together – and sharing duties on this particular film? Just a way to combine skills and strengths?
Artii: Honestly, in my opinion that is exactly the answer. We realized that we are stronger as a production team together than we are individually and since this was our first project we wanted to make sure we put our best foot forward. As a team we were able to get double the amount of things done in half of the time it would usually take, while still holding the creative quality of the high.
For those who haven’t seen the film yet, what does the title Lilin’s Brood refer to?
Phil: According to legend (set forth by the rules in our world), Lilith was Adam's first wife who later became a succubus. She left Adam and refused to return to the Garden of Eden afterwards she mated with the messenger named Samuel. The children produced from this union were all female creatures that tend to take form of beautiful young women, but closer inspection may reveal deformities upon their bodies, such as bird-like claws or serpentine tails, etc. These succubae, the children of Lilith are called LILIN. In later folklore, these women were sometimes captured and sold into prostitution. These stories were told to keep wayward married men from visiting brothels and such. Legend also has it that succubae only mate with human males that has been identified with a certain kind of mark and once marked there is no escaping. The history becomes a bit sketchy after that, but we do know only succubae are produced from this union.
What kind of cameras do you use? Was it all hand-held – being that it’s a found footage film?
Artii: We used the Sony A7S because of its exceptional low-light capabilities. Almost everything was handheld style. Most of the handheld shots you see are actually the camera physically strapped to the actor who is in the scene. We felt with the cameras strapped to the actor, and not Camera Op in the middle, could make for better performances and realer reactions out of everyone around them. And contingent with the great lighting, the Sony A7S strapped the to the actor’s heads and chests achieved the best visuals.
Would you say it’s similar in theme and construction to The Blair Witch Project?
Phil: I would say it’s similar to The Blair Witch Project in the since it is within the same sub-genre and the common idea (or construction) connecting this and every film like it is the idea someone is filming or holding a camera (whether it makes since to or not). However, the theme is slightly different.
Artii: It is and it isn’t. The story and the themes are different in nature although we create similar feelings of helplessness. The construction is similar being that it is found footage and we use multiple cameras but it’s also different because of the way we implanted our cameras into the scenes. I feel the construction and style closer align to the V/H/S series and the Paranormal Activities’, especially Paramormal Activity: The Marked Ones because of our characters playfulness and cultural diversity.
The movie has had a lot of press. How important has the internet been as a marketing tool for Lilin’s Brood?
Artii: The internet has been a huge marketing tool for us. We’ve reached thousands and thousands of people through our online initiatives alone. The internet is the only place where we could reach people on the other side of country who would like our story. All of us with computers or cellphones have access to devises with the potential to connect us to millions of people, so in that case for our indie film it is the most important marketing tool for us.
Phil: Very important. It allows us other channels for exposure rather then traditional means. It also allows a chance for us to reach our market without someone else dictating to us what our market should be and how we should reach them.
With so many horror films on release each and every week, how have you made sure that this one gets on people’s radars? (which it clearly has)
Artii: First, it started with us working real hard on creating this new and interesting world around the old Jewish mysticism mythology of Lilith and her daughters. Which lead into the video visuals we shot; and with the few we’ve released I believe that people are really enjoying what they see. From there we were able to come up with our simple but eye snatching poster art. We wanted to do something different rather than the usual poster with a bloodied character on the cover, but we wanted to make sure people would at least remember it.
Phil: Develop a comprehensive marketing plan and strategy. Then attack it with the same tenacity as hordes of brain starved zombie –ravenous in spirit...
At this stage the film is going to be available on VOD in February. Do you envision a DVD or Blu-ray release later on down the road?
Artii: We would love to eventually release on DVD and Blu-ray later down the road. We will see how people react to this initial release and we will figure out the next steps from there.
Lilin's Brood will be released on ITUNES and AMAZON
Pre Sales will start on 28 JAN 2016 and will be officially AVAILABLE for viewing on 12 FEB 2016