The Oakland Post

Local young discuss new thriller film ‘Threshold’

By Eric Bartsch

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A new movie is in the works from two local filmmakers.

Jeremy Leitson and Christopher Cole Seger, son of rock star Bob Seger and Oakland University student, are developing a thriller called ‘Threshold,’ which will start out as a short and is based in Metro Detroit.

The movie is different from the Warner Bros. film being filmed on campus, however, and Leitson assures that a feature-length version is on the way.

“We’re currently in development on the feature of this,” he said. “We’re using the short film as a visual pitch to our investors.”

After meeting through a mutual friend in high school, Leitson and Seger soon realized they shared a love for writing.

“We were both writing a trilogy, a magnum opus in a sense,” Leitson said

They noticed they had similar styles and decided to “get into business together.”

Leitson shared some of his influences, not all of which were film related.

“To be honest my biggest influence is music,” he said

He cited Pink Floyd and Trent Reznor, lead singer of Nine Inch Nails, as foremost among influential individuals.

As far as film goes, he named Quentin Tarantino and Roman Polanski, purely artistically, as key inspirations, but the one he tries to emulate the most, he confesses, is Steven Spielberg.

When it came to ‘Threshold,’ he revealed the intent was to fuse two influences: music and film.

He used Pink Floyd’s famous album Dark Side of the Moon as an example.

“Apparently, if you sync it up with The Wizard of Oz, everything syncs up to the film,” he said.

With ‘Threshold,’ Seger and Leitson wanted everything in the score to match up with the film, and the score did not venture far from Leitson’s tastes.

“The person who composed the soundtrack for the film, he took a lot of pages from ‘The Social Network’ (scored by Reznor) and ‘Seven’ to get the feeling we were going for musically,” he said.

He also said the feeling of the plot is equally dark.

“’Threshold’ is about a paranoid schizophrenic who is on the loose from the law,” he said. “And it’s basically him trying to find his path to freedom or the consequences that might lie ahead from the legal system.”

Leitson called it a “psychological action thriller.”

“It’s very different in the sense that we’ve seen a million fugitive films, but what I really wanted to do was lay something down that was very stylistically done with a great companion score, and a good story,” he said. “That’s very hard to do these days and I accomplished that in four minutes and 20 seconds.”

Seger, who started writing the script from a young age, conceptualized the film.

“His influences came from a dream when he was five,” Leitson said.

He continued explored some themes of the film.

“The theme of the film I would say is depersonalization — not being able to tell who is who anymore,” he said. “Because of all these phases and traumatic events, people just kind of blend in together.”

Leitson says he got the idea from Nazi extermination camps — people wearing gas masks.

“The people couldn’t connect with them because they had this mask in front of their face,” he said. “Also when people have a masked face they’re more inclined to do less-than-moral things.”

Masks, Leiston said, allowed real people to dissociate themselves from atrocities they were committing, and in the film you will see that represented in characters.

“That’s where I got the idea for the guards in the film,” he said. “I don’t show their skin. You don’t see what their eyes look like, nothing like that.”

The point is for the viewers to put themselves in the main character’s place.

“We want to make you feel like you’re Connor (the main character), and you have no idea who these guys are,” Leitson said. “And these guys want to kill you.”

For distribution the pair is looking at numerous festivals, including Tribeca, Toronto International, Bluewater and South by Southwest.

Seger was unavailable for comment.


Contact Staff Intern Eric Bartsch via email at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @EricxSyngenor

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Local young discuss new thriller film ‘Threshold’