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Question: Rob, you brought a co-writer on board this time, why?
Rob Hall: We started about a year ago developing an idea, if someone wanted to do a sequel. We fleshed them out and had pretty healthy outlines.
Kevin Bocarde: We had (ideas for) two and a three. The original idea for a three was to do a prequel.
Rob Hall: Kevin and I have been friends since 1998. He was working on other films when I was doing Laid to Rest, and when this sequel came up, we had a small window to do it. I only had an outline and a little bit of time so it was a natural choice to bring him in.
Question: What are the different perspectives he’s brought in, that you may not have thought of?
Rob Hall: Kevin has written a lot of stuff that’s a bit different, but his forte and love for the genre is there, which is why we bonded. Guy in mask, guy chasing a girl, the stuff we love. I’ve never written with anyone before so it’s good to have that perspective, have a sounding board.
Kevin Bocarde: And I had written with someone on something else, and that didn’t go well. Rob asked, and I was like, ‘Let’s do it’.
Rob Hall: Kevin would come in and lay something down like logic and I’d come in and sprinkle … what do you call it?
Kevin Bocarde: Bloody Tabasco. There was a point where we were doing this and I’d lay out the structure, we’d have this outline and do this, this, and this. And if I didn’t love it, Rob would stay up all night and come in the next morning, and I’d tell him then to give it the ‘Tabasco’, the spice that really makes it…
Rob Hall: Laid to Rest-y.
Kevin Bocarde: Some of the bizarre stuff. The first movie is very straightforward and simple, (and) there are things in this that will make you go, ‘Where did that come from?’ And you’ll make the assumption – oh, because there’s a new writer on this and he probably brought that to the table. That’s not necessarily the truth. A lot of the weirder stuff from the movie is from this guy. Thomas (Dekker) told me some of his favorite stuff is what occurred in the bathroom over there (he gestures to a portion of the set), and I’ve never seen it in a ‘guy in a mask’ slasher movie before.
Rob Hall: Thomas likes weird stuff. Anyways, it’s good to have a sounding board whom I trust and who likes the same stuff as me, and who knows me and my writing.
Kevin Bocarde: Except when I just write ‘stabbed in the face.’
Rob Hall: That’s the bullet point. Kevin will just get to this cool scene, they do this, they go here and then ChromeSkull comes up and Kevin just draws a blank (and says), ‘He stabs him in the face.’
Kevin Bocarde: Can we come up with anything more than ‘stabbed in the face?’
Question: You said you were expanding the universe but keeping ChromeSkull’s motivations still under wraps?
Rob Hall: I don’t know if they’re unknown. I think it’s one of those things where you don’t ask the audience to take too many intelligent leaps of faith in these kinds of movies. The only leap of faith I ask is, ‘Do I really have to explain why ChromeSkull does what he does?’ I mean, Jesus. I don’t know why a guy in Canada cut off another guy’s head on a bus. You’ll never know. If I could talk to Jeffrey Dahmer and ask him why he had all of those people in his freezer, he probably wouldn’t be able to give me an answer so why do I need to explain why ChromeSkull’s kills? You won’t get that from this movie.
Kevin Bocarde: One of my favorite movies of all time is Halloween, and I love in the original that you have no clue why [Michael Myers] did what he did. The sister thing gets added later. You didn’t have that in the first film. When Rob wrote Laid to Rest while in Thailand, he sent over the script and I loved it. I don’t want to know ChromeSkull’s the bastard son of 1,000 maniacs. I don’t want to know he’s a hillbilly inbred.
Rob Hall: Frank Darabont could come in and write a back story, anyone could, and it would never be good enough. You don’t need to know a bunch of bullies pushed him around on the playground because he had a plate in his head and they called him ‘Chrome Dome’ and now he’s mad. Nothing I could come up with would be better than people drawing their own conclusions. It’s creepier that way.
Kevin Bocarde: You can relate to a man behind a mask a bit differently than a person. There’s something about him where he doesn’t become a monster, but there’s a bit of a distancing factor so you can do things with him, make him stronger or whatever. When you give someone the rational of the bullying, you start relating to him more and more like a person. So if I see a giant new Michael Myers, I go, ‘Shoot him in the head, he’s a person, you’ve shown me that.’ Yes, you watch the first Laid to Rest, there’s something a bit creepier there, something unknown.
Robert Hall: You don’t have to over-explain it.
Kevin Bocarde: There were two different outlines for this sequel (which) we did. There was a 20-page one and a one-pager, and this story is a merger of both.
Question: Is it a lot more fun to expand the world?
Rob Hall: It is more fun. It’s a complete 180 in terms of the first movie, except for the kills and ChromeSkull. We tie up loose ends from the first movie. There’s a lot of deaths this time. People who complained about the first one for not having cell phones or cops, this movie is chock full of cops and cell phones – and they all work. It’s awesome to have new people every day. Every couple of days we get someone new to come in and their performances are fucking out of this world. I’m so happy. We were adamant about using people who would give it credibility. When people see Brian Austin Green in this, they’re going to shit themselves because it’s by far the coolest thing we’ve given to Laid to Rest viewers. I like the fact that people have expectations of him and think ‘90210’. I want them to go in with that because he’s going to surprise you.
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