Kelly Murtagh interview for Shapeless

We at infamous Horrors got the chance to talk with Kelly Murtagh(USA’s The Purge, Bingo Hell), who is the lead actress from the upcoming horror movie called Shapeless which will be on Tubi 2/10/2022 and VOD the very next day. Hope you enjoy the interview below.

AJ: How did you get involved with Shapeless? Cause it’s an interesting film.

Kelly: Thank you. Shapeless began from my own experience. 12 years ago, I was in treatment for bulimia and I had this idea for this film, a film that would speak to the reality of what it feels like to live with this complex mental illness told in some sort of surreal way in a film. And at that time, I didn’t really know how to do any of that. I was a professional actor, but I hadn’t written anything or produced anything. And I just felt this call. I felt this urge that like I needed a movie kind of like this because when I looked around me, I couldn’t find a movie that really talk, talked about the authenticity of what it really feels like. Um, so that that’s where it all began right at
The very beginning.

AJ: And you said, this is you your first time writing a film. So was there any kind of difficulties getting that first jump into kind of writing the screenplay? Like, were you stumped on how you wanted to start the film or anything like that

Kelly: Hundred percent stumped! So confused. Didn’t know where to begin, what to do I had it throughout those, those 12 years I started I had started like producing and writing some short films. So I had like gotten some experience there and then I talked to myself out of it a lot. I think we can do that. Right. You know, we say we don’t know anything. I don’t know what I’m doing know. So here, this is too much. And so I did that a lot, you know, and then finally I became a mother almost five years ago. My daughter’s gonna be five in August. And when she was a baby, she was about four months old. I really felt so called to just get something on paper. I knew it wasn’t gonna be good or perfect or what it was gonna be one day, but I just was like, just get it out. And you’re probably gonna have to share it with people. And that’s really scary, but you gotta put something down on paper. And so back then, um, I just from reading a gazillion strip scripts from being an actor, it was like, I just kind of tried to do my best. And since that very original script to Samantha Aldana, the director, I had known her from the New Orleans film community and I just knew I loved her work. I thought she would bring something. And thankfully she saw something in there that she wanted to, to explore. And then we really started collaborating and I found, through Samantha, the co-writer Bryce and it was almost like one little step at a time. It was like, okay, you don’t have to have all the pieces figured out because if you try to do that, you’re never gonna start. And it was just more of this like one little step at a time, figuring it out.

AJ: Right. And we’re in an age where streaming and videos on demand had become more accessible. And in the past it was almost like a slight against their film if it landed on VOD or streaming in the early stages. So how does it feel knowing that, you know, of course when you make a movie, you want it to be seen on the biggest screen possible in a big theater with a lot of people in the audience, but now with VOD becoming more accessible and almost like a new trend in Hollywood to do this, how do you feel as a content creator of the new evolution in film that we’re seeing right now?

Kelly: That’s a great question. I love film and I also think accessibility is huge. Being able to access to see these films that are important is something that was always important to me from day one. I wanted as many people as possible to see shapeless, however that looks, and I think that there is something so cool about the age we live in that that can look a lot of different ways. Now there’s a point of access now that we’ve never had before. And then I’ll also add, I’m a filmmaker. I love films. I love theater. I love the sound in the theater. And I think that that can’t, or is maybe a little more hard to replicate at home. So I think that the fact that hopefully there’s act there’s different ways to see films. I think that’s really cool for the person who says this one. I just wanna watch my couch or this one I wanna see in a theater. I think that that variety is really important. So for me, I really want you to see my film. If you can see that in a theater awesome. You’re gonna love the way it looks and sounds. Natalie Kingston is incredible with her visuals and if you see at home, awesome, thank you. If however you want it. Thank you.

AJ: Right? Cause that was another thing I wanted to bring up the visuals on this film is it’s almost like poetry, right? When you watch it. So how did that film when you watched the final product of your film and just seeing the visuals that it had?

Kelly: Well, I think AJ, I’m gonna have to quote you on that, our visuals. So it’s like poetry. Thank you so much. Um, that mean so much. Oh my gosh. It’s a dream come true. I didn’t see it on a big screen until it world premiered at Tribeca film festival.

AJ: How was that like? Having it premiere at Tribeca had to be huge.

Kelly: It was an out of body experience, I was like, are we here? Is this a Mirage? I was sure that kept looking around like, is everybody else here? Is this in my dream? But gosh, to see it like the way it was supposed to be seen and hear it, like it was the way it was supposed to be heard was incomparable. And the visuals, Natalie Kingston is so talented and they, Samantha and Natalie worked really hard to find a visual language for this film, which we wanted to create a sense of other worldliness. Is there this monster presence with us, by the way, we’re seeing Ivy and the other characters and as well, the music as well, we wanted to create that sense of fantasy, other worlds monster, um, and to see it so beautifully done is incredible. And another piece of the music in the visuals was New Orleans. m from near here, new Orleans’s home. I think I might have already mentioned that if I cool. No, I love new Orleans. And we wanted to create, you know, these sort of, there’s almost like a fantastical element to new Orleans that I live this feeling of, like, you might just stumble down a street and all of a sudden you feel like you’re, you fell back in time. You don’t know what quite will happen here. And there’s a haunt to this city. There’s a, there’s a, there’s a presence. So I think that that was also something that we really wanted to bring to shapeless as well.

AJ: Yeah, and the other thing I wanted to talk about was the composition of the film as well acted like its own character. So when you hired the film composer, was there any ideas that you had in your head to kind of bounce back and forth out of each other too, from the idea and the composition?

Kelly: Oh gosh, I love our music so much. Mandy Hoffman is an incredible human, incredible composer. We found her through, we did IFP, the independent film project that is now called the Gotham Institute. And she was one of our mentors. And we had we were getting to the point where we really needed someone, a composer to sign on and she just said, you know, send it over. I might wanna do it. And thankfully she wanted to do it. And, and through our, it was almost like, I feel like Sam and I were constantly online, like looking up weird instruments to see what they sounded like the ones that make you feel really creeped out like the Fairman and like all these different cool sounds. And, and we wanted like those components that a really creative and unique approach to be incorporated, as well as creating a humanness. Like what are some instrument that almost sound like a human voice or like you, and using the human voice, like on creating this sort of human while also feeling monster alien all together. And I think Mandy just killed it.

AJ: Well, Kelly, thank you so much for joining me today. It’s been really fun talking Shapeless, stay safe, and congratulations.

Kelly: Thanks AJ. So fun talking with you as well. Hope you have a great day. Stay safe too. Thanks.

Written By: AJ Friar

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