Book Review “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Chronicles: Cloaks & Daggers”

Author: Weta Workshop designer Daniel Falconer
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Harper Design
Release Date: July 8, 2014

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

It has been seven months since I saw “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” in theaters and I am seriously starting to get mega withdrawal. Along to saw the day is another book in the “Chronicles” series. This is actually the fourth book in this series since each “The Hobbit” film has been getting two each. The latest “Cloaks & Daggers” is another gem if you are a fan of these films. Harper Design doesn’t just release a book, they release a piece of art itself. These books are amazing coffee table books and I am proud to have them on display. I cannot wait to see what they are going to do for the last film “The Battle of the Five Armies”.

“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Chronicles: Cloaks & Daggers” is jam-packed with some amazing behind-the-scenes photographs, digital renders, and film stills. The focus here is obviously on the film’s accessories including the costumes and props, including armour, weapons and jewelry. We get an inside look into the various character types including Dwarves, Wizards, Hobbits, Rivendell Elves, Mirkwood Elves and more. Besides just beautiful pretty things to look at this book also includes commentary from the actors, artists, digital effects specialists, and many other crew members talking about the items displayed.

You would think by the fourth book that you have seen everything there is to be about “The Hobbit” but I can honestly say that I have read them all and yet I am still blown away but how much actually content is included in this book. It was compiled by Weta Workshop designer Daniel Falconer and he did such an amazing job of showcasing the littlest details in this series that will make the hardcore “The Hobbit” fans so happy! PErfectly blended amazing look behind-the-scenes mixed with a narrative content. Next up we have “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Chronicles: Art & Design” set to street on December 17th.

Book Review “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Chronicles – Art & Design”

Author: Weta Workshop, Daniel Falconer
Hardcover: 208 pages
Publisher: Harper Design
Release Date: December 13, 2013

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

Peter Jackson is my hero, period. I love his vision for “The Lord of The Rings”. The films are amazing and I always wanted more. When he stepped back into that world with “The Hobbit”, I was excited for another film but then that one film turned into another trilogy. Last year, I was thrilled to have received “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Chronicles: Art & Design”, which was easily one of my favorite books of the year. Then earlier this year I received “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Chronicles II – Creatures and Characters”, which was a fantastic companion to the film. Both of these really captured the making of  “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” and I was dying to see what they had planned for “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”. Well I was left 100% satisfied, this book is a must own!

“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Chronicles: Art & Design” takes a really deep look into the second film in Peter Jackson’s second trilogy from the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. The film follows Biblo’s and the dwards travels to reclaim the lost realm of Erebor from the Dragon Smaug. Like the first book in this series, it dives into the design and development of the environments in the film, as well as the different cultures, creatures, and artifacts that are found in the film.  Be prepared to be wowed since there are over one thousand stunning images, that’s 1,000 images, consisting of conceptual art, photographs, all wrapped around amazing commentary from the film’s cast and crew.

This book was overseen by Weta Workshop’s senior concept designer Daniel Falconer. You can tell that it is a real labor of love for the team since it is not a cop out of a art book, there is a lot of detail and love that went into this book and if you are a fan of these films you will be eating up every single word and gorgeous image provided. I thought that they couldn’t get any better after “Creatures & Characters” but I was wrong since this one outdoes them all. Also as a super cool bonus, only available with this book, there is a special fold-out replica of the portrait of the Master of Lake-town, played by Stephen Fry in the film. If you want more keep an eye out for “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Chronicles – Cloaks & Dagge​rs” which drops on July 8, 2014.

Wayne Kramer talks about directing “Pawn Shop Chronicles”

Wayne Kramer is the director of the “Pawn Shop Chronicles”, which has an epic cast including Paul Walker, Kevin Rankin, Elijah Wood, Brendan Fraser, Vincent D’Onofrio, Thomas Jane, Matt Dillon and Lukas Haas. Wayne has directed other recent films as well including “The Cooler”, “Running Scared” (also with Paul Walker) and “Crossing Over”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Wayne about this crazy fun film and how he achieve the feeling of watching a graphic novel coming to life.

Mike Gencarelli: How did you become attached to direct “Pawn Shop Chronicles”?
Wayne Kramer: I was originally talking to Paul Walker about directing him in a script that I had written, but it was having some difficulty getting set-up. Paul was already attached to “Pawn Shop” and when the original director fell out, he called me up and asked if I would be interested in coming on board because it was already financed and ready to go. I was initially reluctant because the budget was quite low and I was only looking to direct my own projects, but I read the script (by Adam Minarovich) out of a courtesy to Paul. I was immediately taken with it. I appealed to my sick sense of humor and I also enjoyed the more surreal aspects of the world Adam created. I also felt that the material would allow me to bring a certain fun filmmaking style to the piece, if we could figure out how to get there on such a low budget.

MG: From the moment the movie starts its feels like you are watching a graphic novel come to life, tell us about how you achieved that aspect?
WK: Upon first reading the script, I felt it required a very stylized, almost Tex Avery-ish approach. Despite the lazy critical assessment that we ripped-off Tarantino (I get this on every film – and it pisses me off to no end because I’ve never been influenced by Quentin’s films, but it’s clear that we share many of the same influences: De Palma, Peckinpah, Aldrich, Hill, etc.), my initial feeling was that PAWN SHOP belonged in a universe that felt like a cross between early Coen Brothers (“Raising Arizona”, “Big Lebowski”, “O Brother…”) and 70’s revenge/exploitation themed films like “White Lightning” and “Prime Cut”. The more I played around with it in pre-production, I started to pick up on a “Creepshow” meets “Crumb” kinda vibe as well – in that the actual storylines felt like something from old EERIE COMICS with a Redneck flavor to them. It’s a whole stew of whacky influences hopefully stirred into its own original thing. I just have to say, it’s near impossible for any filmmaker to escape the shadow of “Pulp Fiction” when telling an anthology crime story and it infuriates me in that’s the first thing film illiterate critics glom onto. Aside from one wink at “Pulp Fiction” about Alton’s brother being killed in a pawn shop on the west coast(which was always in Adam’s script and in hindsight, I probably should have cut), PULP was the furthest thing from our minds.

MG: How was it reuniting with Paul Walker and putting him in such a unique role?
WK: It was a blast working with Paul again. He’s the most game actor I’ve ever worked with and gives nothing less than 100 percent each time. We share the same sensibility when it comes to dark, kick-ass material, so it’s never a battle of wills when we get on the set. He’s also the kind of actor that always has the
director’s back and as a filmmaker you couldn’t ask for anything more. Paul is also a producer on PAWN SHOP, so he had a little more invested than just turning up and focusing on his own character.

MG:  Let’s talk about the rest of the cast, how did you gather all this great talent together?
WK: Well, once a film gets greenlit, you just start moving ahead and word gets out that the film is happening and agents start doing their thing, which is to get work for their clients and somehow it all just falls into place. I was super thrilled when Matt Dillon agreed to play Richard because Matt’s an actor I’ve always loved and thankfully he also turned out to be a joy to work with. I honestly think Matt had the most difficult role to pull off in the film because the leap his character makes tonally in just a few hours is insane and I don’t think many actors without Matt’s subtle comedic chops could have pulled it off. It felt to me like he was channeling Bruce Campbell circa EVIL DEAD towards the end there with his manic hysteria. I had met with Vincent D’Onofrio a few months earlier and he had a great take on Alton and thankfully it worked out and he ended up in the film. Vincent was another amazing actor to work with. I’d love to do anything with him in the future. Brendan Fraser really came and invested himself in the character and it was hysterical to watch him disappear into Ricky every day. He had the most difficult schedule on the film, having to fly in and out of Louisiana several times to accommodate his character turning up all over the schedule. We were also lucky to fit Elijah Wood into a very tight window as well and he was a total soldier for his few days on the film since he had to wear a very uncomfortable and complicated make-up rig, which he never ever complained about. Super cool guy and a total fan of the genre. I think one of the most exciting additions to our cast was Kevin Rankin as Randy, Raw Dog’s partner in crime. Kevin is the consummate actor and just disappears inside every character he plays. I didn’t even realize until we were a few days into shooting that he played the character of Devil on “Justified,” a show I’m a huge fan of. I also have to commend Pell James for having the courage to take on the role of Cyndi. She’s virtually unrecognizable in the part and we only see her clothed one time in a quick flashback moment – so she has my undying respect. She also happens to be an incredibly talented actor who should be doing way more movies. I’ve been friends with Thomas Jane for quite some time and he was kind enough to agree to play The Man for me, which I think is a fun little cameo. Another actor that should be working more often – and on bigger films. Same goes for Lukas Haas who was another joy to work with. We got very, very lucky with the cast and I hope to work with all of them again at some point.

MG:  Tell us about your decisions to switch aspect ratios between each segment?
WK:  I was just having some fun with some of the faux Sergio Leone type moments in each chronicle. The arrival of The Man felt like it wanted to be in widescreen, almost like those old Marlboro ads that played in movie theaters (it was probably more an international cinema thing because I saw them in South Africa when I was a kid and we saw a lot of commercials before the main feature started). When Matt Dillon faces off against Michael Cudlitz, it felt like it warranted a similar aspect ratio gag – and when Brendan Fraser’s Elvis impersonator arrives in front of the barber shops, again, I felt like it was almost a classical western motif of the stranger come to town. Having an aspect ratio gag in each chronicle also created a visual commonality between all three stories and for me is a reminder of the tongue in cheek approach to the film.

MG:  What was the biggest challenge of entwining these three segments together?
WK: I think the biggest challenge was taking three tonally very different stories and trying to make them fit within the same narrative. We jump from a Tex Averystyle, madcap Hillbilly episode to a darkly humorous Southern Gothic revenge story, to a more comedic take on the musician meeting the Devil at mythical crossroads in the deep South. But if someone looks a little deeper at the film, they will see a fun subtext about the town of Erwin, Georgia being purgatory and all the (morally dubious) characters coming through the portal of the pawn shop being challenged to make choices that decide their very fates. We buried lots of Satanic imagery throughout the film, some more obvious than others. There are pentagrams carved into the tables of the barbecue joint, which is also called “Lou’s Fire Pit” as in Lucifer, which features a very hellish red color motif. JJ gets his face burned into the seal of the smoker which reads, “Holy Smokes.” The meth lab goes up in hell fire… Satan makes a deal for Ricky’s soul by transforming him into Elvis for four minutes on stage… The liquor store with the blues player out front is called Cross Roads Liquor and the address is 666 Charon Street… The liquor store also has a painted clock sign with no hands suggesting time has stopped in this town. We have creepy, featureless masks on some of the carnival extras – if you look carefully, you’ll see them at times. Some of the girls at the carnival are also holding little devil dolls. Many other references as well…

MG: What do you have planned next?
WK: I’ve got a bunch of irons in the fire. It’s hard to talk about them until they actually get greenlit. I may be doing another film with Alec Baldwin (and Patrick Wilson) next year, so I’m really looking forward to that.


Related Content

Blu-ray Review “Pawn Shop Chronicles”

Actors: Paul Walker, Brendan Fraser, Matt Dillon, Norman Reedus, Vincent D’Onofrio, Elijah Wood, Lukas Haas, Kevin Rankin.
Director: Wayne Kramer
Rated: R (Restricted)
Release Date: August 27, 2013
Run Time: 112 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2 out of 5 stars

What a trip! From the moment this film starts, I couldn’t help but think that this feels like a live-action comic book. It is action packed and very intense. It is graphic, in-your-face and feels like “Pulp Fiction” on drugs. The film also packs one very impressive cast spread out and also intertwined between each of the three stories. Just look at the box, the better question is “Who isn’t in this movie?” Everyone in the cast, no matter how small the role, really adds a lot to the film. It is a real ensemble. My only concern is that the film slows down a bit in its third act but ends up paying off as it all comes together in the end. Very clever, unique and a ton of fun.

Official Synopsis: In this shop, these people may be pawning far more than they bargained for: Brendan Fraser (“The Mummy”), Elijah Wood (“The Lord of the Rings”), Vincent D’Onofrio (“Men in Black”), Academy Award® nominee Matt Dillon (“Crash”), Norman Reedus (“The Walking Dead”), Thomas Jane (“Hung”), Lukas Haas (“Inception”), and Paul Walker (“Fast & Furious”), star in 3 twisted tales all connected by items from a Southern small-town pawn shop. A man searching for his kidnapped wife, a couple of white-supremacist meth heads, and a sad-sack Elvis impersonator, plus more desperate characters come to life in the action-packed and hilarious story written by Adam Minarovich and from the director of “The Cooler” and “Running Scared”, Wayne Kramer.

Anchor Bay is releasing this film as a Blu-ray combo pack with a DVD disc as well. The 1080p transfer relays the film’s comic book feel very well and looks sharp doing it. The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 works well with the film’s fast paced again and music. In terms of special features, I would have expected more from this release. There is only an audio commentary from director Wayne Kramer and writer Adam Minarovich. I would have loved to seen some behind-the-scenes featurettes.

Book Review "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Chronicles II: Creatures and Characters"

Author: Daniel Falconer
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Harper Design
Release Date: April 9, 2013

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

Last year when I reviewed Harper’s “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Chronicles – Art & Design”, I was blown away.  It was easily one of the best film companion book I had the privilege checking out last year. Click here to see our review. “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Chronicles II: Creatures and Characters” is another amazing book from WETA Workshop designer Daniel Falconer. My wife’s response was “Another one?” but from the moment I picked up the book, I was unable to put it down. There is so much amazing content in here that I can spend hours and hours looking it over. If you are a fan of “The Hobbit” or “The Lord of the Rings” series, this book is really a dream come true.

The first “Chronicles” focused broadly on the “Art & Design” from “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” with over 1,000 images of every aspect of the production from concept artwork to photographs and development paintings.  “Chronicles II” hones in a little bit and focuses specifically on the aspects of the “Creatures and Characters”.  Easily there is no stretching of content here there is enough to fill two books on these topics.  Here we get an additional 500+ previously unpublished photographs, behind-the-scenes photographs, digital renders and film stills, which are absolutely breathtaking. We get a chance to go through “The Hobbit” species by species and character by character. If you like the Hobbit’s then you will enjoy the sections on everything from their accents to their feet to their ears were created.  Literally, every aspect is covered in this book. We don’t get stop as the Hobbit’s though, we get chapters on the Wizards, Dwarves, Trolls, Elves, Stone Giants, Goblins, Orcs, Beasts and of course we can’t forget Gollum.  Along with that we have exclusive interviews with the designers, cast and crew to accompany and describe these beautiful photos. 

I should also point out that “Chronicles II”, comes with a great send off from Andy Serkis.  He is so extremely talented and his work on this series, should be awarded. By the time you get to the end of the book and you think you are done…there is still more goodies including a special fold-out Character Size Chart. This chart takes a look at all the major creatures and characters of the film ranging from Radagast’s hedgehog friend to the towering Stone Giants! Like in the first “Chronicles”, Weta Workshop designer Daniel Falconer has access to these wonderful collection of images and really leave you just starring at the pages. You really get an inside look at how much work and hard labor really went into this film. It makes you have a new appreciation for the talented people involved. Harper really delivered these images in the highest possible quality as well as complete book presentation. I hope that they are planning the same thing for “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” and “The Hobbit: There and Back Again”, because I will be first in line.

Book Review “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Chronicles – Art & Design”

Author: Daniel Falconer
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Harper Design
Release Date: December 14, 2012

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

If you are a fan of “The Lord of the Rings” franchise and what Peter Jackson has done to the series, then “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – Chronicles” is definitely for you.  The book focuses the art and design of the first film in the new trilogy “The Hobbit”. With Academy Award-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson behind this film you know that it is going to hold the same charm that he brought over 10 years ago. I have to admit that Harper Design delivered here my favorite making-of film adaptation of the year. This is sure to leave every fan of the series literally drooling for more and counting down the days till next December for “The Desolation Of Smaug”. Perfect gift for the holiday season!

When you hold this book you just feel like you are holding a map of Middle Earth.  The cover is edged with a lot of detail and overall quality. Inside the book is jam-packed with over 1,000 images of every aspect of the production from concept artwork to photographs and development paintings.  Amongst the images is commentary from their artists including the concept art directors, Alan Lee and John Howe and others from the Art Department and Costume Department at Weta Workshop. I also need to point out that the book also has a very cool bonus fold-out map printed in glow-in-the-dark ink and a giant four-page fold-out of Bilbo’s contract. I mean that is worth the purchase alone.

I feel like the this book acts like a visual special features in book form. The detail of these pictures are just amazing.  We get to meet and learn about every aspect of the film’s characters, especially those awesome dwarfs. You see everything from costumes to hair to make-up etc.  Since this book was put together by Weta Workshop senior concept designer Daniel Falconer, you know that that means quality. This is official and guarantees that this book comes back with insider information and the top notch visual imagery. If you are a fan of this movie, then this book is a perfect companion and will hold you over until the extended Blu-ray release in 2013…or until you see the film again in theaters.

Max Landis talks about writing “Chronicle”

Max Landis is the writer of the recent found footage superhero film, “Chronicle”. Max is the son of John Landis (“An American Werewolf in London” & “The Blues Brothers”) and he is taking after his father for being extremely talented. The script for “Chronicle” is so original and fresh, which is really fresh in busy Hollywood of remakes and sequels. Max took some time to chat with Media Mikes to discuss the new film and what else he has planned upcoming.

Mike Gencarelli: Your script for “Chronicle” is so original, tell us about the evolution of the project?
Max Landis: Josh (Tranks) and I knew each other from high school. We didn’t talk for about 10 years and then I ran into him at a party and we started talking. He said he had directed a couple of shorts and I told him I had written some scripts. At this point I had a script on the radar and I was slowly becoming a writer people knew of. He had edited and directed second on a movie called “Big Fan”. I saw his shorts and I love them. He said he read my scripts and said they were amazing. He said “I have this idea for a viral web video about kids doing pranks with superpowers”. I said “What do you mean?”. He said that “They are viral web videos but as they go on they start to get darker as they begin to abuse the powers.” I said like a “POV superhero movie” and he said “Yeah!”. I said “Can it be a POV super villain movie?” and told him to give me two weeks. So I went home and made up Andrew, Matt and Steve and all their troubles and two weeks later I returned to him with a script. I told him that if I took this film to the studios that I wanted him to direct and he screamed “Holy Shit!”.

MG: You have written scripts for TV before, was it difficult to do a feature film?
ML: “Chronicle” was actually my 58th feature script. I started writing when I was 16 and I am up to 68 scripts right now, “Chronicle” was 10 scripts ago. So, lucky number 58. It started the streak that I have been on since then of selling everything. Googling me has been really fun recently [laughs].

MG: Any particular issue during writing this script for “Chronicle”?
ML: No, it was great. “Chronicle” was a really great experience for me. I wish I had more pathos about it. Writing the script was super fun. Figuring out how to write from the POV first perspective was a ball. Fox was really a dream working on the project. The development process did not go the way these things usually go. The movie you see is really Josh’s wonderful version of my original script. There were a few changes here and there but it is really a reflection of my script.

MG: When you wrote the script, tell us about the scale of the film you were planning?
ML: The game of “Chronicle” from day one…from the moment I opened my Final Draft document, I was going to trick people into thinking this movie was going to be small. I wanted it to be exactly what it is. I wanted it to be a character drama about friendship, trust and dealing with tragedy and loss…expect at the end we throw buses and destroy helicopters. So we get to that superhero level but I like to think that we take a more honest and compelling road. You know, I want to earn my flying bus.

MG: After seeing the film, there is definitely room for sequel, any plans?
ML: What do you think? [laughs]. YES! Yes of course! The way that movie ends, do you think there is not a sequel…come on. Hopefully the next one will have to do with aliens.

MG: What can you tell us about working with Shawn Levy’s “Frankenstein” project?
ML: Yeah “Frankenstein”! That was a pitch I sold to Fox that reinvents Frankenstein as a character drama. Again it makes it a story about trust, friendship and the isolating nature of genius.

MG: Tell us about working with Ron Howard on “Amnesty”?
ML: “Amnesty” is something the public hasn’t seen in a mainstream big movie before. It takes place in a modern fantasy world but I don’t want to get too far into what that means. But imagine if the wizards in “Harry Potter” weren’t secret [laughing] and it is set in the present, things would be pretty interesting for spies and secret agents…would they? A dragon fights a tank…it is pretty baller!

MG: Do you plan on following in your father’s path of both writing and directing films?
ML: That’s what people keep telling me…we’ll see!

Book Review “The Walking Dead Chronicles: The Official Companion Book”

Author: Paul Ruditis
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Abrams
Release Date: October 1, 2011

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

Hey “Walking Dead” fans, this is the first and only authorized, behind-the-scenes guide to your favorite show.  It focuses on the making of the first season of the Golden Globe–nominated TV show.  “The Walking Dead” is a really rare show, it is not your typically television programming yet millions have latched on and love it.  I couldn’t be happier for the show as it honestly deserves it.  Season one is short with only six episodes but that doesn’t mean that this book isn’t packed with content and interesting aspects of the show.

“The Walking Dead Chronicles” is jam packed with amazing illustrated with never-before-seen unit photography, storyboards, set designs, makeup and visual effects shots, and page-to-screen comparisons of the comic and TV show.   It also features new interviews with series creator Robert Kirkman and executive producer Frank Darabont, as well as the cast and crew. Also included is a detailed episode guide, including excerpts from early drafts and final scripts.  Since this show was original based on Kirkman’s comics, it has a lot of room to grow in the future as the comic is still releasing new issues often. This is honestly the best companion book to one of the best shows on television.

This book is guaranteed to satisfy any fan of the show easily.  Paul Ruditis really did a fantastic job of providing a shit load of information as well as making it a very easy read.  Make sure to also check out the fantastic introduction by the creator Robert Kirkman.  I also recommend highly the foreword from Frank Darabont.  They both start off and end this companion book with a bang. If Abrams is reading this review, I have they are going to be releasing a second volume very soon as the second season just ended.


Related Content

DVD Review “The Fat Boy Chronicles”

Directed by: Jason Winn
Starring: Ron Lester, Cole Carson, Kelly Lynn Washington, Christopher Rivera
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Studio: Phase 4 Films
Run Time: 78 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Obesity is a very serious issue especially amongst young children. If you match that with the subject of bullying and this film really aims to deliver a very important message. The movie definitely packed some really emotional content into its short 78 minute run time. Christopher Rivera delivers a fantastic performance and really grabs hold of the audiences attention from the start. It is inspiring and also very educational for kids and adults.

The film itself is inspired by a true story, which makes it feel even more real and important. It follows Jimmy Winterpock, who is an overweight student starting his first year in high school and dealing with being bullied by his classmates. The film follows Jimmy’s efforts to overcome his bullies and win the girl of his dreams.

The special features are decent and include a preview of the eBook and information on Bully Prevention. Also included is an audio commentary track from the director and some interesting interviews from the cast, all worth checking out for sure. The only issue I had with the film itself was the teenage murder subplot. I thought it was a little out of place and didn’t really fit into the films message. In the end I feel that the film succeeds in delivering its important message and hopefully people will see this film and take its issues seriously.

Interview with Chronicle’s Alex Russell

Alex Russell is one of the stars of the recently released found footage superhero movie, “Chronicle”.  Alex plays the role of Matt Garetty in the film.  Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Alex about working on the film and his character.

Mike Gencarelli: What did you think about the script for “Chronicle”, when you first read it?
Alex Russell: Well when the script for “Chronicle” was sent to me, I didn’t even have an appointment scheduled.  It was just a read for interest.  I read about 20-25 pages…lost my mind, called my agent and said “Please please please, you gotta get me into this”.  Then I hung up read the rest of the script and called up again to make sure I stressed I had to get in for it.  It was an incredible script.  It was so tight and slick but at the same time it was so seamless and naturalistic in the dialogue.  The story was unlike anything I have ever read. I never read anything like this before. It was just so original.

MG: What drew you to the character of Matt Garetty?
AR: Well the boring answer is, what drives any of the three stars to their roles?…would be that it is teenage guys with telekinesis, which is incredible.  What makes it extra alluring and attractive is that it is this wonderful wish fulfillment.  You get to play someone with superpowers, something you wanted to do since you were 6 years old.  Teamed with these incredible powers are these characters that are layered with complex beautiful relationships.  It is everything that you can ask for an artist to sink your teeth into.

MG: What was your biggest challenge working on the film?
AR: The biggest aspect is that it is a found footage film and shooting in that genre means that the camera is always on you. You would have a scene that is 90 seconds long and you have to hit all of the beats from beginning of the scene till the end. You have to also make it feel naturalistic and hit the marks.  It is very difficult to have that kind of consistency in acting. It is like theater, there is no cuts to hide behind.  When you team that with special effects, wire works or having to fly off in the middle of your scene, it is a difficult combination.  So that was the most challenging for me keeping to keep those things together.

MG: Tell us about the flying scenes in the film?
AR: I thought they did such an amazing job.  The special effects are amazing. with the flying like every other special effect in the film, the motto from the crew was to be practical first and CG later. We had incredible wire work.  I was going to work in downtown Cape Town and getting hoisted up 10 stories…I get this incredible view then they call “Action” and I get dropped 4 stories in a few seconds.  That kind of thing was exhilarating for me as an actor but it is also that much less you have to act since it is already there for you.

MG: How was it working with Dane DeHaan and Michael B. Jordan?
AR: Man, those guys are legends.  They are just great.  They were wonderful to work with and wonderful to play with.  We had so much fun shooting in Cape Town.  We had a blast but when it was time to work, all of us worked.  Everyone involved in this production worked the hardest and worked 6 days a week. Everyone was on the same page and had the same goal.

MG: What else do you have planned for 2012?
AR: I got some things on the boil that I am pretty excited about.  I don’t want mention them because they are being locked in.  I am an actor though man, I can always do with more work.  I see this year panning out pretty great for me and I am ready to work hard.