a) The Fever Dream. Brandon Cronenberg started to write the script for Anti Viral back in 2004 during the time he was in film school. He came down with a bout of flu which led to a fever and fever dreams. He began obsessing over sickness, the physical side of it, the fact that he had something infecting the cells in his body that came from the cells of another person's body, and how that was really a hugely intimate thing if you look at it that way.
b) Development from the Dream. Afterwards he started thinking about a character who might be able to see disease in the same way, as something desirable, he would a celebrity obsessed fan who might for instance want Angelina Jolie’s cold as a way of feeling physically connected to her. It then developed into an interesting metaphor and a plot formed the basis of a platform to discuss celebrity obsession and the celebrity culture. The ideas formed his first year project at film school and in his fourth year a scene from that script found its way into his short film Broken Tulip.
- Brandon Cronenberg: I started writing the script in 2004 and I was incredibly sick, and had a bad fever, and I was kind of delirious in bed, and obsessing over sickness and the physical side of sickness, the fact I had something in my body, in my cells that had come from another person's cells and afterwards I started trying to think about a character who might be able to see disease in that way and I thought of a celebrity obsessed fan, and it kind of developed into an interesting metaphor and a sort of a plot formed to discuss celebrity obsession and the celebrity culture (Hollywood Reporter http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96nIdliPeGo)
- Brandon Cronenberg: I was extremely sick and I had this semi-conscious fever dream and when I kind of sobered up afterwards I thought that people might actually enjoy that connection if they looked at it the right way (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=xqlC0nM4Xt0#at=128)
- NYTimes: How did you get the idea for “Antiviral”?
Brandon Cronenberg: It started off with me being pretty sick at film school in 2004. I had the flu and was wrestling with this semiconscious fever dream. I started getting obsessed with the fact that I had something physically in my body that had come from someone else’s body. Afterward I was trying to think of a character who would see disease as something intimate. And so I thought of a celebrity-obsessed fan who might want Angelina Jolie’s cold as a way of feeling physically connected to them. (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/07/movies/brandon-cronenberg-on-his-film-antiviral.html?_r=0)
- OOO: What was your inspiration for this film?
Brandon Cronenberg: I was extremely sick when I started writing it in in 2004, and I had this really bad flu and started having this semi-conscious fever dream where I was obsessing over the physicality of my illness and the fact that I had something in my body and in my cells that had come from someone else’s body, and how that was really a hugely intimate thing if you look at it that way. (http://www.outofordermag.com/2012/11/antiviral-interview-with-brandon-cronenberg/)
- THE GENESIS OF ANTIVIRAL
During his first year as a film student at Ryerson University, the 24 - year - old Brandon Cronenberg developed a serious case of the flu. The illness proved to be the perfect Petridish for the incubation of Antiviral.“During a feverish dream, I became obsessed with the physicality of illness, by the fact that what was infecting my body and my cells
had come from someone else,” the director recalls. “It’s a weirdly intimate connection. I began to understand how someone, like an ardent fan, might see this kind of connection to the object of their fascination as desirable. The intimacy of that link seemed like a good platform to explore celebrity obsession. These ideas were the basis for a script that was my first year school project. In my fourth year, a scene from that script became my short Broken Tulips.” (http://0101.nccdn.net/1_5/23d/004/318/ANTIVIRAL---PRESS-KIT.pdf)