(L-R: Director Josh Trank, actors Dane DeHaan, Alex Russell and Michael B. Jordan) The following are excerpts from a live chat with the filmmaker and cast of “Chronicle.” They read the questions sent to them via the livestream site and answered them as soon as they got them. My thanks to Mae Vecina of 20th Century Fox for sending them my question, and the cast for answering. I highlighted that part with a different color. The movie will be shown in the
starting tomorrow, Feb. 2. Philippines
How did the concept of the film come to be?
Before we started CHRONICLE, I was shooting a lot of these kind of small, experimental films that took a documentary approach to fantasy style scenarios. I ended up with this very long list of ideas and in it I realized there was my first movie. So I put together this story; I was very excited about it. I ran into an old friend of mine Max Landis and we were catching up on all of the things that we were up to. He was writing all of these really very cool screenplays and I was directing all of these things. I told him about this idea I thought he would really be into and he stopped me in the middle of my story and said that he wanted to write it. And I thought that that was a really amazing idea. And he took it and very passionately wrote this amazing screenplay and then suddenly I realized that I had this great screenplay that I had to live up to. So that was pretty much it.
How does the film differ from other found footage movies?
I think, what makes it different is that the camera is always used to drive the story forward and it’s always used in a cinematic way. So we don’t go to great lengths to show people that this is a real person filming. We just kind of assume the person that’s filming has a steady hand and then Josh had a really unbelievable idea of using the camera with our telekinetic powers. Just like any of the three of us as teenagers that play videogames would be able to do with the left joystick of our controller. It’s second nature to us. So it allows the film to be cinematic and found footage all at the same time and it really allows the viewers to be a fourth character in the movie and to really go along for the ride with us.
In the movie you all have scenes that are great fun but look painful. The most striking are the baseball test and fork game. Could you tell us about how they were done?
Okay so the baseball scene. Yeah, slugger over here. I mean threw a baseball, but not a real baseball, but something that still had some solidarity to it, had some weight to it.
MICHAEL B. JORDAN:
Had some weight to it.
And it did hit me in the face. Multiple times in the teens.
And it was really funny.
And it was very funny for everyone except me. No, I thought it was funny too.
The most incredible thing is that that first shot, like the very first part of the baseball scene is, it’s all meant to me, you know that’s like practicality where they use a real ball and M.B.J. hopefully he’ll have the right aim and it can hit me in the face and then every gag after that is done like miming it and we have a unanimous agreement about where we are looking at, where the ball is floating in mid-air, etc. And that first part, its like, “Okay well you know this is a little set piece and we may be able to use the practical ball or we may not.” M.B.J. hit me in the face every single time. This guy’s got aim like I can’t believe. It’s ridiculous and I swear he was messing with me to the extent, did it once when we went shooting. And the other part of the question was the fork, and that’s not, that’s Dane stabbing me with a fork that looked very real, but was again one of those great practical rigs.
Which comic book superhero would end up totally messed up if they existed in the real world?
You guys give me the hardest questions possible… you mean messed up if they’re having a…
Like it would be bad if they exist in society.
You know what, all these guys.
But we’re not superheroes.
Like the Hulk. He’s having a hard time.
I think the answer to that is any superhero that existed in the real world would be messed up.
And our movie, which is about real people that get superpowers, [they really end messed up]. Having superpowers in the real world…
…doesn’t really work out.