Scott Beck and Bryan Woods Interview: 65
Mills, an astronaut, lands on an alien planet in 65. However, he soon learns that it is the Earth of 65 million years ago. In order to survive, he must work with Koa, the only surviving passenger from the crash, to cross an unknown territory full of dangerous prehistoric animals, including dinosaurs.
65 stars Adam Driver, Ariana Greenblatt, Chloe Coleman, and Nika King. Scott Beck and Bryan Woods wrote and directed 65, but are best known for writing the acclaimed horror film Quiet place. They are also writing the screenplay for The Boogeyman, an adaptation of Stephen King’s short story of the same name.
Screen Rant He spoke to the group’s writers and directors 65 Scott Beck and Bryan Woods. The pair are considering a collaboration with Adam Driver, describing the experience as a master class. Woods and Beck also tease what fans can expect from their upcoming horror film, The Boogeyman.
Scott Beck and Bryan Woods on 65
Screen Rant: Congratulations 65. It is an interesting journey. I was on the edge of my seat the whole way through. I love the pace of this movie. What prompted 65? And what other films influenced you while you were creating 65?
Scott Beck: We love survival stories. I think that living stories is a way to answer that question, “What would I do in this situation, and could I survive?” Movies like Castaway or Gravity were definitely at the forefront of our minds. But then, there’s a character journey through this film, so we’re always trying to find ways to express emotion and basically make the cinema tell the story. conversation space. And so, early silent films like Charlie Chaplin and Jacques Tati, these are films that we love because they are so good at using the camera and all the tools available for filmmaking to capture the ideas to express.
Bryon Woods: And look, there’s no doubt that when Scott and I were kids, we saw Jurassic Park in theaters, and it blew our minds. And since then, both as kids making movies with our action figures but also as grown-up professionals, we’ve been asking ourselves, “How can you make a dinosaur movie? How can we make an idea to donate for a dinosaur movie we’re going to make. that hasn’t been seen before?” And that was a challenge we set ourselves for the past 10 years.
Can you talk about working with Adam Driver and Ariana Greenblatt developing the chemistry on screen, as they are the heart of this film and do an amazing job of not being able to communicate effectively with each other?
Scott Beck: Thanks for saying that. Ariana and Adam were great. And Adam was our first choice. We never expected to be in what is, on the surface, just a dinosaur movie. But I think the script was able to win because he’s kind of a positive character who deals with loss and deals with grief. But he is so good at expressing ideas without opening his mouth.
And so that was the challenge in trying to find Ariana, in the end, to play the role of Koa. We needed to find someone who was 13 years old and who would be able to deliver the physicality to do the various stunts that the film required, but also be able to communicate using only hints or -verbal and uses her eyes to express something. The whole movement between them living and dying is because there is a conflict and this issue of a language barrier. And so we couldn’t be happier to be able to end up with both of them in the film.
You caught me in fear of a couple jumps here and there. And I know you wrote Quiet place. Did you talk to John Krasinski or did you get advice from him about the story in 65?
Bryon Woods: We haven’t, but we’ve been students of how well he executed the A Quiet Place movies. These are films we watch out of duty on some level because we are involved in them, but also out of love and respect. And looking at his career path. Looks like it started with some independent films, like The Hollars and Short interviews, and certainly his career as an actor in The Office. How he was able to move and be a great storyteller and a great horror storyteller of all things. So we always take notes, of course.
Scott Beck: Yeah, it’s always about trying to find weight in the midst of the fear and the fear. Always trying to find that human touchstone so that audiences are invested in a character.
One of the producers of this film is the amazing Sam Raimi; he is a legend, and he is famous for having such an amazing practical effect. I think this movie does a really good job of mixing the practical effects and the CG, so can you talk to me about the use of practical effects in this movie?
Bryon Woods: There was this day that we keep thinking about because it was a scary day for us as leaders. We had a bunch of circus performers dressed up in raptor costumes. And Adam was on his way to the set, and in our heads, we were hoping that he would help the performances. And Adam pulls up for a set, and Scott and I look at each other. And we look at these funny raptor costumes. There are six people in raptor suits standing around drinking coffee, but they look like raptors. And we’re like, “Is this the time when Adam is just like, what’s going on here? What did I call?”
And we set up the scene: he walks over to us and points to the dinosaurs. And he’s like, “This is just so fucking cool. This is so cool that we have some practical elements to deal with.” That gave us a big sigh of relief that we felt, “Okay, this is a good marriage.” We are trying to attend the concerts because, with these big visual effects films, it is so difficult that people have nothing to respond to. So we tried to use practical dinos and special elements to make them respond. And then other times, it’s just the pure imagination of our visual effects team, who did a really good job bringing some of these creatures to life.
Now you guys are using multiple genres with sci-fi, creature feature horror, and action thriller? How do you find the balance while still focusing on the characters and the heart of the story?
Scott Beck: What we all have is, what is the role of a big idea? And it’s always the characters. What is the heart of the story? What is the theme of the story? For us with this film, when we were writing it and thinking about it, we thought that the end of the dinosaur era is very poignant and sad. And this event destroyed almost all life on Earth. And yet there was a rebirth from that. That turned into a civility of us talking to each other on Zoom just this second.
And we thought about that after who is Adam’s character and who is Arianna’s character, and that they suffered their own loss. And the question is, can they move on from tragedy and find a way forward? And so these themes were always in the background of these series which were then translated into suspense and horror, just trying to make sure that this roller coaster ride was for the audience. But there were also layers beneath that for anyone who wants to dig beneath the surface.
Yeah, I like the element of family and I found family in this movie too. Now, as the writers and directors of this film, how did the script evolve over the production?
Bryon Woods: Well, I think one of the biggest pieces of evolution that happened was just a colleague like Adam Driver, who shows up every day, and we talk through the scenes, we give a workshop on the script, early in pre-production, but then also like on the day of filming. He is someone who brings a lot of ideas to the table. And he was also someone who really encouraged us to embrace the spirit with which we made the film.
We really wanted to make a movie like that [did not have] a lot of dialogue and a lot of reliance on real cinema. And it was up to the performances behind the lines to convey the story and the mood. So there would be times where Adam would be like, “I don’t think we need this line, so what if we did this? What if I came over here and came to her in a different way?” Workshop views on a master class level, I feel like we are 100 years old as leaders just working with him. Taking all his knowledge from working with some of the greatest directors of all time. It felt like school every day, in a good way. We felt like we learned a lot.
I know you guys are adapting Stephen King The Boogeyman. Can you talk to me about what fans can expect from that?
Scott Beck: The Boogeyman is a short story we love that’s only 11 pages long about a man named Lester Billings who walks into a psychiatrist’s office and says, ” The Boogeyman killed three of my children.” And so it’s a scary starting point for what the special movie is. We love the idea that the boogeyman is this universal idea used to scare kids into staying in bed.
And so to put that on screen, hopefully it uses those innate fears. And we couldn’t be more excited to be able to bring the movie to theaters after it’s officially been converted from a Hulu movie to a theatrical release, because there’s nothing better than being a sitting among a whole community of theatergoers and having the same experience at the same time. . It is a very beautiful thing that cherishes us.
An astronaut, Mills, lands on a planet I don’t know but realizes it was actually scattered on Earth 65 million years ago. Mills and the only remaining traveler, Koa, must travel across a dangerous and treacherous landscape full of prehistoric animals, including dinosaurs, as they struggle to survive.
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