Sundance 2011: Hobo With a Shotgun Q&A

Our man on the scene in Sundance, Kalebson, just sent on over the transcript of the post screening Q&A from Jason Eisener’s Hobo With a Shotgun (review here)! Dig it!

In Attendance: Jason Eisner (Director), John Davies (Co-Writer), Karim Hussain (Director of Photography), Nick Bateman (Ivan) and Molly Dunsworth (Abby)

Eisner: We will just open up for questions if you guys have any.

Q: How did this movie come about, and why did you credit David Brunt as the dirty cop?

Hobo With a ShotgunEisner: It’s a long story, but I will try to keep it short. A couple of years ago I was working at a video game/comic book shop; that’s how I met Dave Brunt. He would come into the store and read comics and play video games. He was such an amazing character that when he found out I was interested in making movies, he said “’J’ you gotta put me in one of your movies someday”. So when we came up with the Hobo With a Shotgun original fake trailer that we made, Dave Brunt was just perfect, but he never acted a day before in his life. So when you watch that trailer, you are actually watching his real frustration and rage.

Then when it came time to make the feature film, we realized that making a feature film with Dave would be real hard; he is on disability and the role is very physical. It had always been his dream to play a cop in a movie. I can remember him coming into the store when people weren’t around he would pretend to interrogate me (Eisner) as if he was a cop. He wanted to be a police officer, but at 19 years old he was hit by an 18-wheeler and he had to have a hip replacement, preventing him from being a cop. So we were able to make one of his dreams come true with the dirty cop role. When it was time to cast the main role (in the feature film, as he was Hobo in the trailer), we thought who could do him justice in the film, and when he found out that Rutger Hauer was down, he was just soooooo happy and filled with joy.

Q: Which composer was the massive John Carpenter fan?

Eisner: He’s a good friend of ours, and he has been working with us all along as well. His name is Adam Burke. Carpenter is a huge inspiration on our soundtrack.

Q: What was the hardest scene to shoot?

Eisner: Probably the (ice) skate fight. They were all tough.

Molly: I don’t know, I loved every blood-soaked minute of it!

Nick: As you know, I played Ivan, but I also played RIP, the Plague guy with the sword. The hardest for me was um… I do martial arts and I do bow staff, but in this movie I had to do a sword. They made prop swords especially for me. On the day of that scene going into the hospital, I go to the prop guy, “Can I grab the sword off you?” They replied, “Oh, we broke every single sword; you will have to use the real metal sword”. This sword weighs 7 pounds, and I had to throw this sword under my arm. As the sword is spinning in the air, I had to do a spinning hook kick and catch the sword under my leg. I’m like, “Oh SHIT!” The suit weighs 30 pounds cuz its metal, I am wearing all black, I am sweating balls, and I have to do this scene, at the end of 11 hours I try to look thru these lenses cuz you can’t see my eyes. So I have to do this, not hit the girl, land it. I did this scene 40 times…I landed it 8 times. As you can see, though, it worked out for the scene.

Q: All of the pictures on the walls that they (The Plague) killed; Jesus, Arab and Lincoln. Who were some of the others hanging on the wall?

Eisner: The Easter Bunny is on there. Joan of Arc is there. There was a tyrannosaurus rex around the corner as well (Laughter). Those were there to establish The Plague and how they existed through time.

Q: What was the significance of the blue, yellow and red scenes?

Hussain: Basically the idea was to push this film into an emotional color palette that most films would never go to. The kind of movie where color was made of razor blades, and your eyes are being cut with every wonderfully beautiful, I have fallen in a can of paint scene. So it goes along with pushing the movie into a surreal environment, and obviously blue give off a certain kind of emotion. Red also gives off a certain kind of emotion. So we decided to push to an even further extreme with things like pink and cyan.

One of our principal colors in this movie was cyan. It’s kinda that greeny bit that we actually pushed to a point that it is technically illegal in the film where the colors start to solarize. We thought, you know what, fuck ya’ll. All the Germans are gonna try to pass this movie to make it legal to go on German TV. We want them to FREAK! We want the color to push beyond what any other film has. We decided to solarize something which is actually a technical error. Basically we are so incompetent that we end up liking our incompetence.

Q: Was it easy to get Rutger Hauer?

Eisner: It was easier than I ever would have thought. They asked us to come up with our dream list, me and John (Davies) growing up together, he was the first actor that really caught our eye, so he ended up on top of our dream list. We figured there was no way that was going to happen. We sent him the script, and a couple days later I was on a Skype call with him. My first ever Skype call was with Rutger Hauer. You can imagine how nervous I was being a fan. We hit it off from the start and he came down and we worked it out.

Thank you so much guys for sticking around. Good night.


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