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E.C. McMullen Jr.
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E.C. McMullen Jr.
Head Production Designer
JOSEPH CROSS, BRIANA EVIGAN,
As writers and directors, the Spierig Brothers made DAYBREAKERS as a science fiction film.
So let's consider the modern source.
Bram Stoker never had his vampire getting killed by the sun. Dracula walked in the sunlight as a normal man. But it was as a creature of the night, that Dracula regained his supernatural powers and strength. Vampires and their issues with sunlight were created by Director F. W. Murnau, who came up with that in his vampire flick, NOSFERATU.
No one at the studio could figure out how to end the picture, so Murnau just had the creature fade away in the sunlight. Since then we've had vampires in sunlight decaying to dust (Hammer), boiling away (SCREAM, BLACULA, SCREAM), turning into a demon, catching fire and burning to death (VAMP), exploding (NEAR DARK), and burning to death (BLADE). The Spierig Brothers went for burning to death in the sun and exploding if staked.
Okay, sure, why not? I don't know what could cause that, but I know it has a cousin among the viruses. May I introduce, the Baculovirus.
However, since the movie never makes clear how the vampire epidemic came about in the first place - it just happened - I'll leave it alone.
This is what I can't leave alone in a science fiction movie: Vampires and mirrors.
In DAYBREAKERS, vampires can't see themselves in mirrors, so they have to use video cameras and look at themselves in a monitor.
A mirror, regardless of what it is made of (glass, plastic, polished metal) reflects light. As to its use and function, that's all it does and can do.
Count Dracula didn't reflect in a mirror because, as Bram Stoker wrote him, what we saw of him was not his true form. There are also many moments in the novel, DRACULA, where he becomes a wolf, a bat, and mist. It's never certain that he really was any of these things. These appearances may have been hynosis or spells cast upon the human mind to make the characters think so. Bram alludes to this many times.
Some try to explain that a vampire can't be seen in a mirror because it doesn't reflect light. But if that were the case, the vampire wouldn't be invisible, but pitch black. The absence of light is no light, which is dark.
If light passes through the vampire because it is invisible - and only visible to humans because it is playing tricks on our minds - then a video camera can't see a vampire either. It doesn't matter what kind of future camera technology they may have.
The cameras in DAYBREAKERS pick up all the background light and shadows. What's more, as we see from the vampires on the news, the studio uses lights to brighten the on air TV reporters. So their camera's electronic optics work the same as ours today: sensors electronically excited by light photons and transmitting same. And that's all a mirror does: reflect the same photons transmitted by camera sensors - only without any excitement.