San Diego Comic-Con 2012: Director Michael J. Bassett, Co-Star Adelaide Clemens and Producer Samuel Hadida Talk Silent Hill: Revelation 3D
This October the world of Silent Hill returns to the big screen for the first time in over six years with writer/director Michael J. Bassett's sequel Silent Hill: Revelation 3D.
The film features the return of co-stars Sean Bean and Radha Mitchell and also stars Adelaide Clemens, Malcolm McDowell, Carrie-Anne Moss and Kit Harington.
During the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con last week, Dread Central had the opportunity to attend Open Road's Silent Hill: Revelation press conference with Bassett, Clemens and producer Samuel Hadida in attendance.
The trio chatted about what fans can expect from the story in Revelation, the sequel's accessibility to the uninitiated, their thoughts on Bassett's approach to the script and what monsters we can expect to experience in all three-dimensions when Silent Hill: Revelation opens everywhere October 26th.
Check out some of the highlights from the Silent Hill: Revelation press conference below!
Question: How much of the world of Silent Hill does one need to know to understand this movie?
Michael J. Bassett: None at all. None; the whole point of this project was that we were going to create a sequel to the first movie which continues the story of a young Sharon Da Silva, who for reasons explained in the movie becomes Heather Mason.
So this movie is a sequel and it's also an adaptation from game number three; it's an adaptation of that story and mythology and that ride that you go on. The truth of the matter is that I really had to make it a movie that completely stands alone; if you know nothing about Silent Hill, if you're not interested in the mythology and you've never played the games, this story works for you as well. So it works, hopefully, on every level.
Samuel Hadida: And that was the mandate from the very beginning of his (Michael's) writing.
Question: There is a lot of pressure in making video game adaptations because there are many that have been made that have failed; and yet, Silent Hill was a huge success. What's the key then to making a successful film based on a video game?
Michael J. Bassett: You know, I came at it as a piece of storytelling first and foremost. I had the third Silent Hill game, I've got to make a sequel to the first film's story as well and I've got to make something that works all by itself. That's a lot and so I think the notion of a movie that works all by itself is actually the single most important part of all of that because it can't just be about an adaptation of a video game; it's also got to be about a really rocking piece of storytelling which does its job first and foremost.
But I absolutely don't alienate the fans. I'm a fan myself, but to try and make a video game adaptation work, it's got to not be a video game adaptation. It just has to be a good movie that tells a great story, and I think that's possibly the mistake that other people have made. Listen, it's hard to make any movie, let alone a good movie, but I think we're there.
Question: Adelaide, what were the challenges of playing this character?
Adelaide Clemens: Honestly, the physical challenge of being Heather Mason and of what working on Silent Hill: Revelation entailed; it was very physical- you know, all the falling and running. I just remember one of the final shots of me running through the ashes and we'd have one walkie talkie on one end and one on the other and I probably had like a mile or a mile and a half to run. They'd have a technical glitch in the camera but I can't hear anything because I'm running so when I'd get to the other side, they'd tell me we didn't get that one and I had to go back. So then I'd have to run back and do it again and again!
But that was also a part of why it was so exciting; I really enjoyed it. I loved every minute of it. As an actor, the psychological journey of Heather was just... there was so much there to sink my teeth into. I was really satisfied on all levels. It was amazing.
Question: Can you talk about the sets and what we can expect from this film that's different from the first Silent Hill film?
Michael J. Bassett: The difference to this world is that my aesthetic has been applied to the Silent Hill world design. One thing we didn't really do was that we didn't do a lot of green screen stuff at all; we built the world as much as we possibly could or we found an environment that we could retrofit or apply that Silent Hill aesthetic to.
Also, what we do in this movie a bit more than I think was done perhaps in the first one and certainly in the games is that we spend a little bit more time in the real world so that we can ground the audience in the realism of Heather's home life and that environment before we start dismantling it and send her first to the fog world and then to the other world. Then, as the peeling begins, the monsters appear; it's a horror journey but it's definitely a psychological journey as well.
Adelaide Clemens: I do think that's what really attracted me to Michael's script, that he set up Heather's world in the real world and in a reality that we as the audience can relate to. Then eventually she gets sucked into the world that is Silent Hill so I think you really have a lot of empathy for the character because of that; you kind of hop on the ride and then suddenly you're in Silent Hill so hopefully it's a success.
Michael J. Bassett: The thing of it is that the first movie Samuel (Hadida) made is such an artistically creative and successful film; it's beautiful and everybody worked at the top of their game. You can like it as an adaptation of the games or not, but you can't deny the fact that aesthetically and technically it's an incredible film. So we really had a very high benchmark we had to achieve.
One of the things we've done is we've shot this in 3D to try and give you another level of immersion; with 3D either people like it or don't like it, but one thing it can really do is draw you into an environment, and as a game adaptation I think it's quite a successful thing to do and the 3D in this is really, really good.
Samuel Hadida: As we had produced the first one, too, for a couple years we had kept all the iconic figures from the first movie- like the board of Silent Hill, the display from the town- so we went ahead and unloaded a lot of trucks in order to bring back a lot of the elements from Silent Hill that you will recognize.
Question: Can you tell us what creatures in the first Silent Hill will be appearing in the new one?
Michael J. Bassett: You know, I don't want to give too much away; I feel like that would be unfair. But I can say that there are creatures from the first movie and familiar creatures from the games that appear that are fan favorites. We've also created some new stuff, too, though.
On a technical level, I like people in costumes on the set; I like that. I like the real aesthetic, I like to see it and cover it in gel and make it slimier; I really like that, the physical hands-on approach. We did have to do some CG enhancement to rub out joint marks in the skin and whatnot, but the intention was to always create a real world and to put the monsters as far as we could and as real as we could in front of the actors so they can respond to it.
But from a psychological point of view, the monsters in it are trying to do just that- get you in the mind of the character, and the monsters exist because they project some aspect of that character's personality. Now with this in mind, I have my own justification on how they will appear and what they represent to Heather and what they represent to the story so I guess the fans will have a different interpretation. I can only do what I think works for me and what works for that world; so to summarize, you've got some new monsters, some old monsters, some very cool monsters and a lot of very frightening monsters.
Look for it October 26, 2012, from Lionsgate.
In SILENT HILL: REVELATION 3D, Heather Mason (Clemens) and her father (Bean) have been on the run, always one step ahead of dangerous forces that she doesn't fully understand. On the eve of her 18th birthday, plagued by horrific nightmares and the disappearance of her father, Heather discovers she's not who she thinks she is. The revelation leads her deeper into a demonic world that threatens to trap her forever.
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