Smile director Parker Finn on realistic scares and a possible sequel [Exclusive Interview]

So how do you feel after last night’s premiere? Your big movie, at Fantastic Festival. How does it feel?

Amazing. I couldn’t think of a better audience to debut in front of. It just feels electricity in the room. The reason I make movies is because of the audience.

This is your first feature. A lot of people make a small movie first. Your first feature is a big Paramount release. How does that feel?

It feels great. It feels weird. I feel extremely fortunate and humbled that I have had this opportunity. I like that you said it was like a big, huge movie, because it was definitely not in the making. But we set out to accomplish a lot with a little.

You talked a bit in Q&A last night about how you got the short and some of the studios that met with you about it. But what did Paramount do, or how did they come and be the one to put the movie past other suitors who might have been there?

Yeah, really, I mean Paramount and then my producers at Temple Hill, too. But really, they love the idea and they want to achieve it. We’ve been trying to do this weird left-center thing, and I’m not sure if a studio does it. To their credit, they really were behind it in a big way. For me, it’s about me stepping into the machinery of a studio. I don’t want to be swallowed by it. I want to still be able to do what we set out to do, that North Star, and yes, I’m very pleased with that.

You mentioned the idea of ​​the left side of the center, and I think when you dive into it, it’s very much like that, but maybe the point of it is, it’s like “The Ring” or “Final Destination” “, but with a smile. How do you achieve that idea in the first place?

I think I really care about the things we all carry inside of us, that we are all haunted by our hurts, our pasts, all the things that have happened to us. we make us who we are. I wanted to take something external and supernatural, and see if I could combine the two and make them indistinguishable from each other.

One of the other things – and I think that’s incredibly important with a movie like this – is that there’s appeal.


There is an absurd amount of stress and you never know when it will release. But thank God, there are some lighthearted moments in there. Even in the cinema, I remember when they just revealed the names of the cast, everyone said, “That’s great.” I feel like the intimidation must be on purpose, but is the humor intentional? Or do you find that there are moments where you don’t anticipate there will be humor and then it shows up?

I think it’s really important, like you said, to have a bit of a release for the audience, especially with something as stressful and anxious as this. Those moments, if I can make people laugh unexpectedly, or make them so nervous that they feel the need to laugh because they don’t know what else to do with their bodies. I love that feeling as an audience member and that’s what I hope to do with the audience.

The best way I can describe it to my girlfriend is, “It’s one of those movies see through your fingers.” You know something bad is about to happen, so you just [puts hands in front of face]. The other thing you mentioned in last night’s screening, which I thought was interesting, was that you said you hate CGI and you tried so hard because… I don’t want to spoil anything for any ai, but has some practical effects. In this movie.

OH that’s right.

Why is that important to you when that’s how you approach some things in this movie?

Yes, I grew up on realistic effects. That’s one of the reasons I want to be a filmmaker, because I love them. I just think that when something is real and there, and actors can interact with it, it gives it a different kind of gravity. Unless you have this huge Marvel budget… it’s not that I hate CG. I think effects are a tool that can be used really well or very clumsily. In this case, if you’re going to do something big and pompous, and have the opportunity to do it realistically, I’ll always turn to reality because that’s what I love and I think it’s more effective. . Smile director Parker Finn on realistic scares and a possible sequel [Exclusive Interview]

Fry Electronics Team

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