We at Dread Central recently had the opportunity to have a brief confab with Tom Green, who accepted the baton in a directorial fashion, picking up where Gareth Edwards left off in the Monsters alien-invasion series, with this latest installment titled Monsters: Dark Continent (review).
After spending the majority of his creative efforts in the TV industry, Green now jumps head-first into the world of feature filmmaking, so sit back and get the answers from this newcomer to the large-screen style of things.
DC – With this movie being your first as far as feature film direction is concerned, what did you see as the biggest challenge for you in moving over from TV to film?
TG – In some ways, when you’re doing it, it’s not that different – you’re counting on your actors, you’ve got to make sure that the script is right, you’re setting up the shots to line up with the story – in some respect, some of the principals are not the same, but yet it does feel different. It does feel like it’s got a longer life…a force to it, it’s the pinnacle of what you’re trying to do, and of course we’ve got the most incredible television right now, and ever since I was a kid I’ve always wanted to be a film director, and it’s a different quality of feeling in the atmosphere when it comes to making films for me. It’s a little scary and exciting, and one challenge was trying to fit the story to a cinema screen, because you’re presenting a story in a much different way on TV.
DC – You opted to go for more of a human element in this film, as opposed to an all-out alien slugfest such as in the first (directed by Gareth Edwards) – was this the plan all along, or had you a different idea at the start?
TG – Well, I think the first film sort of used the same principals in that the creatures were in the backdrop, and the most important thing to me was to keep the same premise, and to tell a very human story, we didn’t want to continue Gareth’s narrative – we wanted to leave his film where it was, and continue on with the principals of the filmmaking and the narrative. Also, because the film was low-budget, you get to see the creatures and the spectacle of the film from a character-perspective, and it all falls back into “examining your characters,” so that was the driving force behind the construction of the movie. It is a war movie, but it explores the human condition, and the creatures are there to add a little scare, and it makes it a much more allegorical production.
DC – Now, you’ve also written and produced in addition to your directorial duties – which out of the three would you say that you find the most personally rewarding?
TG – Directing for me is what I love, and it was a real pleasure to work with Jay (Basu) on the script – we were told to write a script, and come up with a film rather quickly, and we did that in a really dynamic way. Jay came out to Jordan in the Middle East to work with the actors on the script right after the shoots – improvising as well, and I think that telling stories with the camera, and being in the environment that we were in is what excited me the most, and it’s definitely my passion.
DC – Lastly, after the release of Monsters: Dark Continent, what can we expect to see from you in the future?
TG – Nothing to announce, officially – I’ve had some really fantastic meetings, and it’s been amazing the way that the U.S. industries have responded to the film, and I’d like to keep the integrity of my films intact, and keep on making bigger and bigger movies – it’s always what I’ve wanted to do, and I hope I can continue it in the future.
Monsters: Dark Continent is available on VOD now.
Ten years on from the events of Monsters, and the Infected Zones have spread worldwide. Two soldiers embark on a life-altering mission through the dark heart of monster territory in the deserts of the Middle East. By the time they reach their goal, they will have been forced to confront the fear that the true monsters on the planet may not be alien after all.