Grégory Levasseur is a writer and producer, known for The Hills Have Eyes (2006), P2(2007) and Mirrors (2008). His latest film The Pyramid. Where a team of archaeologists discover a vast pyramid buried under the Egyptian desert. As they investigate, they get lost within a complex labyrinth inside the pyramid. As they venture further and further in order to escape, the group soon realizes that they are being hunted.
How did you have the set created to give the feel of narrow spaces and the larger rooms with in the tomb?
I worked with Michael, who is the amazing production designer, and Marco, who is an amazing production designer. I did some research to see what kind of corridor shaft and chamber we could have, the kind of different architecture the characters would discover, and working with Marco, who was really into the idea of building this old pyramid, he jumped in it and built everything from scratch. Everything was made from scratch, and that was one of the most important elements in this campaign, if you don’t believe in the pyramid, then you just can’t watch the movie.
The lighting was very important, I didn’t want this to be one of those kind of movies that had the lights around the next corner, or at the end of the corridor. I wanted to have my characters carrying the light, and we all thought it was important to have the light just where the character moves, instead of lighting the whole of the set.
How did you find directing a cast in a setting with various obstacles and settings?
It’s pretty intense, but I loved filming in an impossible place, and it was a guilty pleasure to see, while sitting in my chair, watching the actors in the scenes, I probably shouldn’t say this, but I loved it! Ashley was showing me some bruises she had got, and to start I thought she was joking, and it was make up, but then she said that she didn’t need make up anymore because she had the real thing.
How much prep went into creating each scene before shooting?
We had the chance to have a long look at the script knowing when we were going to shoot, and direct it; so we had time to really prepare and produce it. It’s a complicated movie with many different layers, the actors had to deal with the practicality, and stunts, and CGI, and it took great preparation. I got the chance previously with Alex to be really involved in the production process, and we needed to prep, so the people around us knew what to do to do the job.
Is this the first time you have used special effects in your film?
We did Piranha 3D so had a previous experience, as there were complicated shots, and practical effects under and above water, so it wasn’t new this time. I just liked being on dry land!
The set is quite minimalistic despite the grandeur of the contents in discovered pyramids. Did you do this to allow focus on the horror factor of the film?
I always saw the movie as an adventure survivor movie, rather than just become a typical horror. I know horror can be a lot of different genres, but I think it’s more than a horror, with a lot of added different layers.