Director Justin Benson on the aerial drone photography: "We had a very meticulous shot list and had a well thought out approach to the photography of the movie and after all that was done, our first AC/steadycam operator, William Tanner Sampson, came to us and said 'Hey, I've got this new drone I just bought. Should I bring it for the production? Maybe we could use it.' We knew immediately how that would fit into our general approach to the photography of the movie. The photography should feel like an omniscient presence in the movie. It should feel very subjective, almost like a third, all-powerful character. So Will came out with the drone and, after almost getting arrested with it in a Moscow airport because they were thinking it was a piece of military equipment he was going to assault Russia with, we got to use it. Any day the crew was off, [co-director/cinematographer] Aaron Moorhead and I would continue to shoot. On Sundays in Italy, we'd continue shooting and that was when we'd do the drone photography with Will. Just grab as many shots as we could, experiment with it, see how it would work. And almost everything we shot with the drone made it into the edit. It's one of the talking points of the movie. It's pretty cool. It's one of those things where one day, because a lot of people have started using them and someday people are going to look at our movie and be like, 'Why did Moorhead and Benson use the fucking toy helicopter thing over and over and over again?'" See more »
A slightly twisted, supernatural companion piece to Before Sunrise? maybe, maybe not.
This turned out to be much sweeter, much more touching than I had first anticipated. Though the film takes a good half an hour to get into its stride it really is worth the slight uneasy feeling you may have when Evan first gets to Italy and you're wondering if it's going to turn into something akin to the Hostel series, but thankfully this is as far away from that kind of horror as possible.
At it's core the film is a dark, fairy-tale like horror romance but it keeps itself grounded in ways that are really satisfying and could only be possible in the world of independent cinema because if someone else, other than Benson & Moorhead, had made the film it could've easily turned into one of those slick, Hollywood style fantasy movies with lots of leather, low-key lighting, vivid colours and fast editing. The film does have very dark moments, horrifying moments, but they're handled with a certain amount of grace and elegance that I wasn't expecting and you will enjoy this film more than you think you might.
The lead actors are great. Lou Taylor Pucci's portrayal of Evan is wholly convincing, his character could've run the risk of being entirely forgettable but he's sweet and charming and highly likable. Nadia Hilker has been working in German television for about 5 years, this is her first feature film, and I have to say I'm a little bit in love with her. The personality she gives to a character that could easily have fallen into the realms of utter cliché is really, really refreshing.
A slightly twisted, supernatural companion piece to Before Sunrise? maybe, maybe not. But definitely something different, at least.
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