“The Vatican Tapes,” the latest film from Hollywood director and writer Mark Neveldine ’95, will premiere nationwide and in Geneva at the Geneva Movieplex on Friday, July 24.
A new twist on the classic exorcism film, “The Vatican Tapes” follows the battle between good and evil – God versus Satan. The movie centers on Angela Holmes, a seemingly ordinary 27-year-old who begins to have a devastating effect on anyone close to her. Holmes is examined and possession is suspected, but when the Vatican is called upon to exorcise the demon, the possession proves to be an ancient satanic force more powerful than ever imagined.
“What’s really exciting is that this is an origin story camouflaged underneath a scary little possession film,” Neveldine says. “The story is much bigger than people expect!”
“The Vatican Tapes” trailer is available here.
In 1998, Neveldine bought his first camera and, while interning in New York City, he invented a style of filming that would launch his directing career. Donning a pair of rollerblades, he held on to the sides of busses and cabs, a technique dubbed “roller-dolly,” which leveraged him a commercial with Nike that in turn opened many doors in the industry. Since that commercial, Neveldine has written, produced and directed a number of films, including “Crank,” “Gamer” and “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.”
Neveldine came to HWS intending to study biology or environmental science, eventually majoring in psychology. As a student, he found ways to pursue his interests in film and acting, and played for the Statesmen football and lacrosse teams. After graduating, he moved to New York City to pursue a career in acting. As an Off-Broadway writer, director and actor, his credits include more than 25 plays and movies.
Finally moving behind the camera as director of photography on documentaries, music videos and a television pilot, Neveldine served as cinematographer on film shorts, including “This Beautiful Life” starring Ned Beatty and “The Great Pretenders.” He later joined forces with his now-frequent collaborator, director Brian Taylor, while working on “The Keys,” a surreal action-adventure movie filmed in Morocco. This marked the first time that Neveldine and Taylor collaborated to use to the roller-dolly camera technique.
In 2006, Neveldine made his big-screen debut when Lions Gate Entertainment and Lakeshore Entertainment released his film, “Crank.” Based on an original screenplay co-written by Neveldine and Taylor, the movie tells the story of a hit-man who is injected with a poison that will kill him if his heart rate drops below a certain level. Neveldine even did his own camera-work for the film, which earned nearly $28 million at the box office.
The sequel, “Crank 2: High Voltage,” was released in April 2009. Other films written and directed by Neveldine include “Pathology,” “Gamer” and “Jonah Hex.” In 2010, while pitching a new project to Sony, Neveldine and Taylor were asked to direct “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance,” the sequel to “Ghost Rider” starring Nicolas Cage. The movie was released in February 2012 and grossed $22 million in its opening week.
Neveldine has returned to the Colleges a number of times to share his knowledge and passion with students. Most recently, in fall 2014, he and personal assistant Daniel Webb ’13 met with students during Professor of English Grant Holly’s course, “The Art of the Screenplay.” He has also volunteered for the Colleges’ “Behind the Scenes” L.A. career experience program.