Would you like to react to this message? Create an account in a few clicks or log in to continue.

Hartnell interviews

Go down

Hartnell interviews Empty Hartnell interviews

Post by MandaSkunk March 7th 2016, 11:00 pm

There are quite a few of them around the net. Here are a couple.
There's nothing quite like Hollywood to bring attention to historical events. Big stars and multi-million dollar marketing promotions make us pay attention. Case in point: Zodiac, a film opening this weekend starring Jake Gyllenhaall and Robert Downey Jr.

Zodiac is the nickname of a serial killer who terrorized the San Francisco area beginning in late-1968. There are scores of books and Web sites devoted to the case, and it seems natural that a movie would eventually focus on it as well. Tonight, we profile one of the Zodiac's victims, Bryan Hartnell.

Hartnell was just a college kid at the time, attending Pacific Union College, just north of San Francisco. For the past four decades, he's tried to stay out of the spotlight and has succeeded in doing so, until he decided to discuss his tragic ordeal with us.

Hartnell says the sky on the day he was attacked was beautiful, the kind you might see in a postcard of San Francisco with the glistening bay and Golden Gate Bridge. So when he ran into his old girlfriend at the school cafeteria, he thought it would be a nice if they could take a drive together and get caught up on their lives.

They wound up at the edge of a scenic lake in a remote private area. They were laying down on a picnic blanket and gazing at the clear blue sky when a man suddenly approached and pointed a gun at them. He was wearing an eerie costume: a black hood and black shirt with a white symbol on the front that looked like crosshairs on a gun sight. (It would later become the Zodiac's trademark symbol.)

What happened next is one of the most horrific crimes you can possibly imagine. Hartnell was stabbed 8 times; his companion, Cecilia Shephard, between 10 and 20. She died a day later at the hospital, but was able to give a description of the attacker before she died. Hartnell, however, never saw his face. Investigators say it was one of the most brutal attacks they've ever seen. They believe the Zodiac used a knife, so passersby wouldn't hear the sound of gunshots.

Following the attack, the Zodiac killer calmly walked away leaving intentional clues as to his identity. He wanted to make it clear there was a serial killer on the loose. His next victim would be a cab driver in the heart of San Francisco.

These days, Hartnell, 57, works as a probate attorney in Southern California and is married with children. With the film's release, he thought now seemed like the appropriate time to come forward and tell his story. (He says he served as an unpaid consultant on the film.)

Those familiar with the Zodiac already know how Hollywood's version of the killer's story ends: the Zodiac has never been caught. What makes the story so interesting is the hunt for the killer and the Zodiac's headline-grabbing antics: he wrote several letters to newspapers taking credit for his crimes and also included cryptograms or ciphers that he claimed would shed light on his identity. The Zodiac craved attention. He's certainly getting his wish now.

Posts : 39
Join date : 2015-08-23

Back to top Go down

Hartnell interviews Empty Re: Hartnell interviews

Post by MandaSkunk March 7th 2016, 11:29 pm

For nearly 30 years, Bryan Hartnell refused to cooperate with reporters and movie producers who wanted to tell his story of surviving an attack by the Zodiac killer.

Then he met director David Fincher.

"It became pretty clear he didn't want to do something sensational or inaccurate," Hartnell says. "He was going to re-create things just the way they happened."

Whether that's good news for Zodiac, which opens today, remains to be seen. The story of the killer who terrorized Northern California in the late 1960s and early 1970s returns Fincher to the serial-killer genre, which made his reputation in Hollywood with 1995's Se7en.

Unlike that Brad Pitt thriller, however, Zodiac is relatively free of the action, quick cuts and high-tech camera work that made Fincher a favorite of crime film fans. If anything, Zodiac is nearly three hours of people talking and chasing dead ends and bad leads.

"It's still scary," Fincher says. "But I've done movies where my process of making the movie hindered it. I enjoyed this more than Panic Room because we don't get away from the story."

Perhaps that's because Fincher, who was raised near San Francisco, remembers being 7 and riding in a police-escorted school bus after the Zodiac suggested in a letter to the press that "school children make nice targets."

The experience, he says, molded him as a filmmaker.

"I know what it's like to be afraid you'll be preyed on by your neighbors," Fincher, 44, says.

But Zodiac is hardly a Fincher autobiography. He and his crew painstakingly researched the still-unsolved case that left five people dead and two wounded, though the killer claimed more victims.

Although not as graphically violent as Se7en, Zodiac re-creates the grisly murders and chronicles the obsession the slayings created among detectives (played by Mark Ruffalo and Anthony Edwards) and journalists (Jake Gyllenhaal and Robert Downey Jr.)

"We dug into this case like reporters would," says Fincher, the son of a former Life magazine bureau chief. "That means doing a lot of work."

The work created some controversy on set. The five-month shoot sometimes required scenes that took more than 50 takes, prompting Gyllenhaal to tell The New York Times that "there's a point at which you go, 'That's what we have to work with.' But we would reshoot things." Gyllenhaal could not be reached for this story.

Says Fincher, "I don't dislike Jake because he doesn't like to do a lot of takes." He says doing multiple takes was crucial: "You'd better work hard to get it right when you're talking about real people who got shot in the face."

People such as Michael Mageau, 57, who survived the shooting July 4, 1969, that killed his friend Darlene Ferrin, 22. Mageau has reservations about the film.

"Why would I want to see that?" he asks by telephone from New York. "I don't want to remember that time any more."

Hartnell, too, says he would have preferred that the film not be made. But he knows the lurid nature of the crimes keeps the story alive in the media.

And he was impressed with the lengths Fincher took to re-create the 1969 attack. "He went to the same spot on the lake, on the same day it happened," he says.

The Zodiac, Hartnell says, pulled a gun on him and Cecelia Shepard, 22, as they sat by a lake in Napa County. The attacker, who wore a hood with a zodiac sign around his neck, hogtied both of them.

When Hartnell felt the first knife wound to his back, "I was positive I was going to die." He was stabbed seven times.

But the attacker fled and Hartnell and Shepard untied each other. Shepard died a day later.

Hartnell, now 57, of Redlands, Wash., says he had difficulty advising on and watching the film.

"But I knew that, sooner or later, someone was going to tell this story again," he says. "So you want to put it in the hands of someone you trust. David wants to get it right. That's all you can ask a person."

Posts : 39
Join date : 2015-08-23

Back to top Go down

Back to top

- Similar topics

Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum