The windswept winter landscape of the Canadian prairie might seem an odd location to film a vampire film, but Rufus is a different coming of age story. And the title character played by British newcomer Rory Saper would also be an odd choice given the filming location.
Director David Schultz, who is currently filming the teenage vampire drama, chose the landscape to fit the tone of the story, which he says was born out of a decision to write “a vampire picture that wasn’t really a vampire picture.”
Principal photography has been completed and expected for release later this year, Rufus follows the film's title character, a troubled teenage vampire who discovers what it means to be human. Rufus is the fusion a vampire movie, an emotional humanity drama and a teenage romance. Plus there’s an element of rebellion against on the state of conformity.
Along side Saper, there are some Canadian actors on the project, including Richard Harmon (who’s been in Smallville, Tower Prep, The Secret Circle and appeared once before as a vampire in Trick ‘r Treat), David James Elliott, Merritt Patterson and Kelly Rowan from the tv show The O.C., along side Sons of Anarchy star Kim Coates.
Schultz and several of the producers had plenty to say about the film. “Rufus is a haunting examination of the secrets we all keep and the accumulative toll they take on our daily lives.”
“Our story is an intimate study of the desires and demons that haunt our souls.” Producer Anand Ramayya calls Rufus “a fresh spin on the vampire film that deals with real teen and human issues.”
Rufus isn’t sure what he is. Hunted, poked and prodded for the last two hundred years, he knows people are always pegging him as this or that. It’s all about what box you fit into. If there really are vampires, Rufus has never met one. Sure he has some quirks. Who doesn’t?
Rufus doesn’t sleep, eat or drink. He doesn’t age or feel the passage of time. He’s a boy and will always remain so. So what if he likes the taste of blood? It’s not like he’s addicted. Rufus can take it or leave it – most of the time.
But in a past interview Schultz said that he isn’t interested in imitating films like Twilight.
“I’ve never seen those movies,” he said. “You could take the vampire out of this story, and it would still play.”
He then added that the title character is “not really a vampire”—although he has many vampiric traits—and the film’s focus is not on the paranormal, but on the secrets we all hold and hide.
“We all have our own demons,” said Schultz, adding that the film’s setting in a small town makes this angle even more complex.
“In small towns, you’re not allowed to be different,” he said. “Most people know each other’s secrets.”
Rufus sounds like an excellent vehicle for exploring teen angst in a small rural town using the other or alienness of vampires. Hopefully the film will deliver a new take on the vampire genre by not being too focused on the vampire simply as a monster slashing the cast apart.