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30 DAYS OF NIGHT

About The Film
30 Days of Night began its journey to theaters with the publication of the graphic novel by Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith. The miniseries – just three books – became a career-defining moment for both. As they brought both a new look and a new story to the vampire legend, Niles' and Templesmith's work has been lauded as a revival of the horror comic. 

"We fell in love with the idea of vampires coming to Barrow, Alaska, once the sun has set for a month,” says producer Rob Tapert, who – with producer Sam Raimi – founded Ghost House Productions to bring this kind of story to the screen. "It was a project that got us excited because it delivers a level of intensity and stylized horror that, as a young guy, I loved in these kinds of movies and to this day I still enjoy. For Sam and me, 30 Days of Night is a return to our Evil Dead roots.”

To direct, Raimi and Tapert tapped David Slade, whose first film, the independent Hard Candy, impressed them. "David has a style and way of working unique unto him,” Tapert says. "He has a very specific idea of what he wants and how he wants everything to be and then he finds a way to work this out with the actors. He is a believer in lots of tight shots, close-ups with attention to details, which frenetically ramp up his movie.”

The director says that long before getting involved with 30 Days of Night, he had bought the first edition of the graphic novel. "I love Ben Templesmith's artwork – especially the image of Eben looking out and seeing the vampires for the first time,” he says. "After I directed my first film, I had a meeting in which an executive at Columbia Pictures mentioned that they owned the property. I said, ‘Hang on a minute. I would chew off my arm to do that!'”

The graphic novel is credited with reinvigorating the vampire genre. Though the creature dates back to Lord Byron in Western literature – and is many centuries older in other cultures – the vampire had, in Niles' and Templesmith's opinions, lost its horror. The authors saw 30 Days of Night as an opportunity to steer the genre back to its roots and away from the gothic, affected vampires that had taken over their favorite monsters. "One of the things Ben and I really wanted to do was make vampires scary again,” says Niles. "We've seen vampires made into Count Chocula. Teenage girls are dating them. These should be feral vampires that see humans as nothing more than something to feed on. And Ben took that ten steps further with the look of the book.”

"I was going for pure savagery, with just a hint of alien,” says Templesmith. "The classic image of the vampire is the goth, romantic ponce. I wanted eating machines.”

One of the filmmakers' top goals was to bring the source material's striking imagery to life. "I wanted the look of the film to be very close to Ben Templesmith's artwork, which I very much liked,” Slade says. 

Templesmith says that the filmmakers achieved that vision. "Within reason, they've taken the look of the movie from the page. The color's stripped back, the vampires look like the vampires in the book – the integrity is there.”

"David and his team have really captured the stylized texture and feel of the graphic novel,” Tapert adds. "Combining Ben's artwork with a live action style has given this movie a look all its own.”

Part of that integrity is presenting vampires that look almost – almost – human. Though the makeup effects team does rely on some prosthetics, it's kept to a minimum. "I just wanted to tweak our vampires' faces so that they look a little less human but still completely real,” says Slade. "They're human enough to recognize them, but they're not like you and me.”

To bring that vision to life, the filmmakers turned to artists from New Zealand's Weta Workshop, who had previously brought The Lord of the Rings and The Chr

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