Laying the Tracks for D-Railed with Producer Suzanne DeLaurentiis

D-Railed, a fantasy thriller, starring sci-fi icon Lance Henriksen, is the brainchild of veteran producer Suzanne DeLaurentiis. She had much success with the genre in the past. 

“This time I was trying to think of something that was different in the horror/thriller genre,” DeLaurentiis recalls. "I thought of a train that crashed underwater, and I wanted to think about one more element that would make it more creepy, scary and different… I thought that maybe there could be something in the water when the train crashes.”

She joined forces with frequent collaborators director Dale Fabrigar and writer Everett Wallin and began drafting the script. The extra “something” DeLaurentiis was looking for turned out to be a creature-of-the-lagoon-type character that lies in waiting when the train is submerged. DeLaurentiis’ instincts honed by thirty-plus years of filmmaking were right on the money - “D-Railed” has been nominated for Best Practical Effects at the PDXtreme Film Festival and audiences consistently rave about the water monster after screenings.

The monster, now called the “Soul Shredder,” is not the only star of the film. DeLaurentiis was able to attach sci-fi icon Lance Henriksen to the project based on the strength of the story and script. Henriksen has stated, “I like stories of karmic payback.” He also was also very happy to support Operation Hollywood, a  program founded by DeLaurentiis which trains wounded veterans to work on film sets. 

The shoot, however, was a challenge in itself. DeLaurentiis and her team managed to film a period piece, including costumes, intricate set construction and design, with a very large cast in two locations (Los Angeles and Philadelphia) in only twelve days. They also had to procure the paperwork to have international award-winning talent, Frank Lammers, join the cast and had a minor, Shae Smolik, on-set which restricted their filming hours on an already demanding night shoot. 

“I was just amazed at the stamina of the actors,” DeLaurentiis says. “We were shooting all nights, long hours, with a very, very vigorous shooting schedule. Their performances were stellar, take after take... no one got tired and everybody seemed to manage the really challenging shooting conditions.”

“D-Railed” is currently on the film festival circuit and has won many awards including five Platinum awards from the International Independent Film Awards in the following categories: Concept, Costumes, Sound Design/Editing, Cinematography and Directing.

“I’m happy to see that people still support independent filmmaking. At times, I feel like we are dying breed. But I’m confident that we will continue to make a good product in between our big movies,” DeLaurentiis concludes. “It’s always nice to do small independent films once in a while because it helps us give opportunities to up-and-coming talent as well as crew members allowing us to continue with Operation Hollywood and give wounded veterans training and experience in the film industry.”

by Giovannie Espiritu

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