Interview with Andrew Traucki

Andrew Traucki is the director, writer and producer of “The Reef”.  “The Reef” is an Australian shark survival movie.  Movie Mikes had a chance to chat with Andrew about his new movie “The Reef” and his career.

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Mike Gencarelli: So let’s start with the most important questions, Is “Jaws” your favorite movie like me?
Andrew Traucki: “Jaws” is a great film. It was based on a best selling novel and came at a time when the world needed a great shark film. Also I like the fact that Bruce the shark was held back- it works so much better letting your imagination do the work than showing a model which under close scrutiny isn’t that life like. So I am a fan of “Jaws”- who isn’t.

MG: Tell us about the shark footage in the film, how was some of those scenes shot?
AT: The shark in the film is a real sharks. It was hard getting the shark footage- they are wild animals so you know they don’t always hit their mark or indeed turn up on the day. In the end we were very lucky and managed to get some amazing footage.

MG: What’s happening release for “The Reef” in the US and in Australia?
AT: The film is being released on DVD in January 2011 through US Distributors Image , so hassle them to make sure they get it out there! It comes out theatrically in Oz in March 2011, fingers crossed.

MG: Tell us about how how both your films, “Black Water” & “The Reef”, are based on actual events?
AT: I am a big survival story freak. I love true survival stories. I love wondering what would I do in this situation what would I need to do to survive. There’s a great book called Deep Survival which I have read numerous times that always makes me think, what does it take to be a survivor. Both the events in “Black Water” and “The Reef” happened in Australia, we’ve got some dangerous animals down here.

MG: You are no stranger to the nature horror genre, you also directed “Black Water”, tell us about that film?
AT: I prefer to call them survival thrillers, rather than horror films, closer to what I’m trying to achieve. “Black Water” is a thriller about 3 people that were trapped with a large croc in a swamp. As with “The Reef”, the crocodile in “Black Water” is real. Unlike other filmmakers in this area of film making I’m trying to make these films seem as real as possible. To make the viewer think “Shit, this is a heavy situation, what would I do?”.  So I don’t use bad animatronic animals or buckets and buckets of blood. I try to keep it as real as I can. Hopefully this is what sets my work apart from all those bad monster films that star crocs and sharks.

MG: You to have a pattern going with your films, you have directed, wrote and also produced them all. Do you like having full control?
AT: Believe me no one has full control when you’re making a film. Film making is a collaborative process, you need to have a strong vision of what you want but you also need to be able to trust and relax with the people around you. I’m happy to just direct, so far the stories I have written have got up faster than the other projects I’m attached to.

MG: What can you tell us about your upcoming film “Storm”?
AT: It’s a kick arse sci-fi western, you can see a teaser for it at my company website I love action and sci-fi and this has both so I’m in heaven.

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