Burnett’s Fox to bring trauma to set of second film

Bad Alex channels
the story of
Michael Crowe,
a fifteen-year-old
who was accused
and later acquitted of
of murdering his sister

In his next feature film, Bad Alex, writer / director Brian Fox intends to subject his lead actress to 72 straight hours of extreme interrogation and then cut the footage into a feature length tale that leaves audiences wondering “whether to believe her or not.”

Throughout the course of the ordeal, she will be accused of murdering her brother.

“The script is based upon real life transcripts of people who get locked in a room and they are harrowing to read,” he says.

In particular, Bad Alex channels the story of Michael Crowe, a fifteen year-old boy who endured a similar trauma after his own sister was murdered and ultimately “got twisted into admitting something that there was no way he could of done.”

Fox read about Crowe’s experience in “True Stories of False Confessions,” by Robert Waldon, the founder of Northwestern University’s Innocence Project, while mining ideas for a follow-up to his first feature, 2008’s The Disappearance of Daniel Dodger. He was drawn to the theme because it made a great vehicle for a “reality bending” cinematic genre that has appealed to him for years.

“I like the notion of Fight Club questioning existence,” he explains. “Peoples’ brains get twisted into something that is not real and they wonder if they somehow got amnesia.”

At the same time, the story set the perfect stage for a production technique that he has admired for just as long.

“Twenty years ago, I saw Hearts of Darkness and Francis Ford Coppola immersing people in reality,” he continues. “I want to get as real as possible on film.”

Since the project could be filmed almost entirely within a single location, it also allowed Fox, a senior producer at Leo Burnett, to “write something that was attainable and accomplishable while I sustained a full time job.”

He hopes to shoot at Resolution or Cinespace, where he can build a customized set of an interrogation room.

“Camera movements and lighting techniques will all happen in the first 24 hours,” he says. “The final 24 hours is when I’m expecting nonsensical things to come out.”

Additionally, Fox is prepared to do whatever it takes to ensure the safety of his lead actress, who has yet to be cast.

“I’ve read a lot about it,” he says. “If there are times when a rest is needed, you can take fifteen minute naps.”

Fox and coproducer Nicole Poull launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for “Bad Alex” at the beginning of April.

With more than half of the $15,000 already pledged and a backer committed to the final three grand, production should begin as scheduled in June.