Scott Beck and Bryan Woods previously triumphed as part of the writing team of A Quiet Place, which took audiences by storm in 2018. Now, the tandem writes and directs Columbia Pictures’ new futuristic action-thriller 65, starring Adam Driver.
Watch spot from 65
“Horror, suspense, action, adventure – that’s the sweet spot for us,” says Beck. “And what we love even more is to combine genre with a heartbeat – characters you really love.”
“The stories we love are always cinematic,” adds Woods. “It’s about the experience of what a movie brings – the visuals, the performances, the music, the marriage of all of these different capacities.”
In 65, Adam Driver plays Mills, an interstellar pilot transporting a large group of passengers through space, when an accident kills all of his passengers but one – a young girl named Koa, played by Ariana Greenblatt. What Mills and Koa don’t know is that the planet they have landed on is our own Earth – 65 million years ago. As they begin their epic journey toward their only means of escape, they are hunted by vicious packs of dinosaurs that stalk them across a dangerous landscape.
“The 12-year-olds in us always wanted to write a dinosaur film,” says Beck. “True human emotions are coming through the screen in the most powerful way throughout these set pieces.”
“For us, writing and directing are the same thing – it’s all storytelling,” says Woods.
Paradoxically, Beck says, it’s because they are both writing and directing that they are less bound by their own screenplay. “As a director, you can open up to any good idea on set, whether it’s from your DP or your VFX Supervisor or one of your actors,” says Beck. “You can mix it up, right up in the last moment when you’re ready to call ‘action.’”
“It’s about all the things cinema does best – visuals, sound, music, performance. We’re very inspired by silent filmmaking, and leaning on those basic principles of cinema – using these minimalist tools to tell a story on the most epic scale possible,” says Woods.
The other classic lesson that Beck and Woods take is in building suspense. “We had a mantra: ‘it’s about what you don’t see,’” says Beck. “That was very instrumental on A Quiet Place, as it was instrumental as we grew up on movies like Jaws. The whole movie has been built on that mantra – the idea that there’s something dangerous and mysterious out there in this environment that Mills and Koa will have to engage with. We’re using sound design, we’re using the camera, we’re using production design to suggest what’s out there, and only at the right moment will we startle the audience.”
In cinemas across the Philippines starting March 8, 65 is distributed in the Philippines by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. Connect with the hashtag #65Movie