Writer/Director EDWARD ANDERSON burst on the scene via his screenplay FLAWLESS, a crime/drama that starred DEMI MOORE and the great MICHAEL CAINE. And now the lad will finally run us over with his directorial debut SHUTTLE; which hits DVD come APRIL 7TH, 2009 (yes today). EDWARD recently took a pit stop at the AITH GAS STATION to fill her up and here's what we found in his trunk while he hit the MEN'S ROOM for a pee break.
EDWARD ANDERSON INTERVIEW
I love the initial premise of SHUTTLE. A novel idea. How did the initial creative spark come to you on this one?
I’d been looking for something contained to direct my first time out. And I had recently seen “COLLATERAL” and have long been a fan of “DEAD CALM” -- both confined films that take place in few locations over brief periods of time. Very psychological thrillers. A lot of cat and mouse. So a short ride on an airport shuttle van got me thinking, but it wasn’t until I found a much larger context to set the story against that I really got excited about “SHUTTLE.” I don’t think shuttle vans are all that interesting or terrifying, but given the ultimate destination of the story, it fit perfectly -- the “why” of it all. If you’ve seen the film, you know what I’m talking about.
How long did it take you to write the screenplay and where did you write it?
Not long, relative to other scripts. I had recently written “FLAWLESS”, which is a period heist film starring Michael Caine and Demi Moore. That was an involved process of research and writing, and “SHUTTLE” was very much the opposite. Few characters, few locations, very linear story. The idea came at LAX. First draft was written in Colorado. Subsequent drafts in Europe in between production on “FLAWLESS”. Polishes in LA during casting, and in Boston during pre-production. So the script has some air-miles on it.
Was getting the film off the ground a challenge or did it happen quickly?
After the script stage, it happened quickly. In part because the film was made independently, and for very little money (there are reports that our budget was something like $5 million, which I wish had been the case), but mainly because I’d been on the fundraising trail for a long time even before the script was finished.
This was your feature length directorial debut. Why did you choose horror for you first round behind the camera?
That’s the funny thing, I don’t really see it as a horror film. Not in the classic sense anyway. I can see where some people do, depending on their sensibilities, and it is definitely intended to be frightening on a number of levels. But it doesn’t fit squarely into a genre. And I think that may be a challenge for people who go in expecting a certain type of thing. I saw a review where one critic said it was either the most profound horror film he had ever seen or the most baffling. I mainly chose to direct “SHUTTLE” first because it felt different, and doable on a contained schedule/budget. I’m always looking for a different angle on things. The unexpected.
What would you say was the biggest obstacle you encountered while shooting the picture?
The overall ambition of it. We shot almost entirely on a moving vehicle, at night, in the freezing cold, on a tight schedule. All of which is a challenge from the start. So any hiccup in that situation and you start losing shots. And there are always hiccups.
I haven’t seen the film yet; what can people expect? Suspense driven? Gory? A bit of both?
More suspense and action than blood and gore. There’s a central question at the heart of the film that needs to be answered in the end, so it has a mystery/thriller construct built in. But make no mistake, it’s a dark ride. No punches get pulled. It’s raw, and I think what makes it so scary, is that there aren’t fantastical villains. The terror comes from a real place, and real people. What’s portrayed happens somewhere, on some level, all the time.
Any talks of a SHUTTLE sequel? Either way, would you be interested in doing one?
Not yet. But given the price of gas we might have to change the shuttle to an electric-powered golf cart, which would be thorny creatively.
Are you happy with the distribution the film has gotten thus far?
It’s a tough environment right now for all businesses everywhere. We had a limited theatrical run. Magnolia is handling all other markets in the U.S., so I’m confident that will be successful. I think all filmmakers want as many people as possible to experience their film.
What’s next for you? Any other projects in the pipe line we should know about?
There are a few irons in the fire, so I’ll to keep you posted.
What was the first drink you drank at the SHUTTLE wrap party?
There was a big crash scene for the last shot on the night principle photography wrapped. The sun was coming up, and we were racing to do the crash before first light. As soon as I yelled “CUT” our stunt coordinated uncorked a bottle of Champaign.
I respect that! Thanks for talking shop with us Edward!
My pleasure guys.