Last week Dread Central attended a press conference for the upcoming indie thriller Black Rock, and we’ve brought back some highlights from the event with co-writer/director Katie Aselton and co-star Lake Bell.
Black Rock follows three lifelong friends (Aselton who also co-stars, Bell and Kate Bosworth) who look to rekindle their friendship by returning to an empty island off the coast of Maine they used to visit together throughout their childhoods. Once there, they realize they are not alone when they encounter three servicemen who have come to the island to hunt; as things quickly get out of hand between the two groups, the women are left fighting for their lives and looking to escape what used to be their refuge.
Check out the highlights from the Black Rock (review) press conference below, and look for the film in limited theaters and on VOD everywhere this weekend.
Question: Katie, can you start off by discussing the story genesis for Black Rock?
Katie Aselton: Well, it came to me…it’s a story of three girls who are childhood friends who have grown apart and in an effort to reconnect, they’ve decided to take a trip revisiting the island that they used to frequent as kids. The movie really starts off almost kind of like a chick flick in that regard but takes a severe left turn once they realize they’re not alone on the island. And after a series of unfortunate events, they find themselves in a fight for survival in order to get off the island alive.
My first film, The Freebie, was a very quiet, intimate talkie-talkie movie that was all shot inside a very small Spanish bungalow and I felt the need after that to get outside, move my body and maybe kill someone (laughs). It’s just something I had to do, I don’t know why.
Lake Bell: No, no- express yourself. It’s okay.
Katie Aselton: Honestly, I’m really new at this whole filmmaking thing and I’m trying some new things out and experimenting with different genres to see what I like. This type of thriller – or rather this type of an approach to a thriller – is very reality-based and truthful and simple in both story and concept. That’s something that really excited me because that’s the type of movie I like to watch. I also loved the idea of working with women on this because the TV show that I’m on, I’m the only woman with five guys so it was really cool to work with these women and get to kick some guys’ asses. It’s a movie about strong women, made by strong women, which is cool.
Question: How hard was it for you to create some of the more tense and effective moments in the movie?
Katie Aselton: You know, as a filmmaker you really sort of have an idea of what it’s going to look like and you hope you can pull it off. That one moment with Kate (SPOILER REMOVED) always gets a great response in the theater which is just thrilling as a filmmaker. When you can surprise the audience, I think you’ve done your job as a storyteller and it’s a great moment for her and for the movie.
Question: Can you both talk about how challenging it was to make Black Rock and how you tackled the nudity as well?
Katie Aselton: This was a challenging movie, unlike The Freebie where we just went in and lit the apartment by flipping a switch that would turn on a lamp and then we would just start shooting; Black Rock was very different. And honestly, the logline for the movie – “Fight for Survival” – became somewhat of a metaphor for our experiences making the movie. We just needed to make it through the month of June alive (laughs). The fact that we have a movie that I love and am excited to show people is pretty incredible. I’m very proud of this movie and what we accomplished.
Lake Bell: I think because we shot it chronologically we were already sort of preparing ourselves for certain moments to attack, literally and emotionally, so I think that sort of cold, raw vulnerability and those emotionally raw scenes really just became something else for us to tackle. At the point we shot the nudity, we had already done all the water scenes which almost killed me- for real- and was really intense so I think I was just already ‘there.’
But I think the idea, the way it was shot and the way we treated it was really great. And we only had like a four person crew so it wasn’t like we could have a closed set or anything- everyone had to be there to do their jobs (laughs). But yeah, we were sitting bare-bottomed on the ground a lot of the time so that was A LOT of fun…
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