One man buries another man alive. Oddly, the man being buried alive is calm, whilst the man doing the burying is anxious even though he is in the position of power. It is an exploration of faith versus fear.
6 questions with Nothing About Nothing director, Daniel Levi at the half-way mark.
Sunday, July 16th, 2017
1Hi Daniel! Thanks for being a part of our festival. First, what was the initial seed that inspired you to make this film? I had this dream that I was watching one man bury another man alive and it was taking a really really long time. It was incredibly tense. I couldn't erase the image from my mind, so we built a story around it.
2You co-wrote this film with Justin Cohen. How did you guys work together and what was it about this story that you felt made you feel it a good way to explore the ideas of faith versus fear? Working with Justin, the producer and co-writer, was a fun back and forth discussion of how the story would play out. We questioned each other about backstory and character details and slowly drew out the answers. The faith vs fear theme comes into play in that Stan, who should be confident because he's doing the burying, is actually really anxious. And Ollie, who's being buried, is unexpectedly, confident and calm. The characters where named after Laurel and Hardy and their respective personalities - anxious / confident.
3How in the hell did you get that shot where you buried your actor? Haha. Secret breathing pipes and balls of steel!
4What's the film that made you want to become a filmmaker? 2001: A Space Odyssey.
5I loved the shot of him driving away from the scene of the crime. There's something very interesting about holding on that shot for so long until he realizes to turn back. Why did you choose to hold on that shot instead of making that a faster cut? I wanted to see how long we could stay on him without getting bored. How long the tension could be carried for. It sustains because we're hanging on to the tension of the burial... Did Ollie get out like he said he would?
6What's next? I have just completed the next draft of my feature script called Paperboy. I have just submitted it to my agents and am sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for feedback. In the meantime - while I wait - I am focusing on a music video that shoots at the end of July! As a reference for it I've been watching episodes of Knight Rider.
About the Interviewer: Ben Hicks
Ben Hicks is a writer/director and co-founder of Fandependent Films. Ben is currently working on making Fandependent Films awesome and is finishing up his first feature film entitled Kids Go Free to Fun Fun Time which was selected for the 2017 IFP Narrative Lab.
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