I was in New York this weekend, doing publicity for A PERFECT GETAWAY, and I got asked how I came up with the idea for the movie. Now this is typically the toughest question a film-maker can get hit with, and I usually give some half-glib answer like “Well, it’s what I do – make up stories.”
But maybe it deserves a better response than that. So let me try to fill in the historical record right now.
As a reaction (maybe an over-reaction) to big-scale movie making, I knew my next directing effort should be something that allowed me to work faster, cheaper, something where I could be more nimble and adaptive. It wouldn’t have a lot of visual effects that would keep me in technical purgatory. It should be a movie that allowed me to get closer to the camera and closer to the actors.
Storywise, I wanted to do something that would shit all over the typical three-act structure, because I think the audience is hip to that formula now and it can make a movie feel, well “formulaic.” So I was imagining a story that had its own native rhythms. And something that was as raw as it was unpredictable.
And rated “R.” Definitely “R.”
So with those loose goals stumbling around in my brain, I found myself vacationing in Hawaii. There, I was struck by how often people talk about themselves while on vacation, talk to people they only just met. I was thinking about that impulse – and how dangerous it could be — while hiking the Kalalau Trail on Kauai. And as other trekkers came and went, I began imagining their backstories – “Okay, these two are engaged but not married…he’s a manager in a sports bar, she’s the hostess he hired…this guy here looks ex-military…and these two questionable characters over there? Definitely serial killers.”
Anyway, that sort of speculation led me to wonder if I couldn’t stage a fairly thrilling thriller right there on the Kalalau Trail. And so I actually started writing A PERFECT GETAWAY as soon as I made my way back to the Princeville Hotel.
Why is there that glaring grammatical error in the trailer?
“You guys don’t mind if we tag along? We’re all going to the same place.”
“Yea! Are you kidding?”
The correct affirmative answer should be NO WE DON’T MIND.
Great post, Mr. Twohy. I luckily scored passes to an advance screening of APG tomorrow night here in Austin, and this post just got me even more excited to see the film. At first, I was pretty pumped just to see Milla/Kiele/Marley, but as a fan of your previous movies, I look forward to seeing a film that you really feel connected to (not that you didn’t with your others). I hope this approach has served you well and will lead to future projects that excite and challenge you.
I have to admit I’m really looking forward to APG. I hope it does well =)
I just wanted to let you know that I did make it to the screening of APG last night here in Austin. I did not see Harry Knowles in the house, but it does appear that one of his reviewers did make the show and has already posted his review on the site. I also wanted to tell you that I definitely enjoyed the film. I really like these kinds of films; ones that keep you guessing until the very end. They engage the mind, rather than being passive and mindless entertainment. I thought it was great that Milla Jovovich was allowed to have some fun with her role, as she always seems to play so serious and stonefaced in many of her recent flicks. It was nice to hear her laugh and see her smile, for once. Kiele was great, as well…and what an entrance (thanks for that)! 🙂 The last 30 minutes or so was extremely exciting and really amped up the suspense. The theater that held the screening has a great digital DLP projection system, so the picture was amazingly clear, and the scenery was gorgeous (kudos on all of the aerial photography). So, all in all, I just wanted to say great job on the film, and I really hope that it does well for you. I am seeing promotion for it all over the place (imdb, facebook, television), so the word is definitely out. Enjoy what I’m sure will be a busy/exciting/proud weekend for you!
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