M. Night Shyamalan

M. Night Shyamalan ©www.bollywoodhungama.com

Daten und Fakten

Bürgerlicher Name:
Manoj Nelliyattu Shyamalan
Geburtstag:
06.08.1970
Geburtsort:
Mahé, Indien


zum Interview mit M. Night Shyamalan

Filmographie M. Night Shyamalan

M. Night Shyamalan hat in folgenden Filmen mitgewirkt, als:

Darsteller:



Regisseur:

After Earth
After Earth
(2013)



Glass
Glass
(2019)

Split
Split
(2017)

The Happening
The Happening
(2008)

The Visit
The Visit
(2015)


Produzent:


Devil
Devil
(2010)


Glass
Glass
(2019)

Split
Split
(2017)

The Happening
The Happening
(2008)

The Visit
The Visit
(2015)


Ausführender Produzent:

After Earth
After Earth
(2013)


Drehbuchautor:

After Earth
After Earth
(2013)



Glass
Glass
(2019)

Split
Split
(2017)

The Happening
The Happening
(2008)

The Visit
The Visit
(2015)


Buchvorlage:

Devil
Devil
(2010)



Interview mit M. Night Shyamalan

M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN WRITES AND PRODUCES DEVIL

Q: As the writer and producer of DEVIL, how did you come up with the idea to do a film like this?
A: I’m a big Agatha Christie fan and the idea of DEVIL l had been percolating in my head for five years. I also love movies involving confined spaces, where you learn about the characters and they have to deal with something supernatural. That always appeals to me. I found myself thinking about elevators a lot and the idea just kept building and building. I knew I wanted it to be five people with one of them being the Devil. It was a fun premise to me.

Q: How are you in elevators – are you claustrophobic?
A: That level of confined space, I can handle, but I would hate to crawl through a tunnel. I think then I wouldn’t do so well.

Q: Have you ever been stuck in an elevator?
A: Yes, many times. For some reason, I find myself in defunct, improperly-maintained elevators all the time (laughs). I think the worst though was when my family and I were returning from a press junket from around the world. We were exhausted after we flew in. It was just one of those terrible trips where we missed our flights, luggage went missing, and everything was going wrong. We arrived at our apartment, got in the elevator and then got stuck. Luckily my cell phone worked and the elevator moved when somebody buzzed us up.

Q: What made you realize the Dowdle brothers, John and Drew, were the perfect fit to direct and executive produce your story?
A: I heard there was a movie called THE POUGHKEEPSIE TAPES, but I was warned it was really disturbing. With that kind of lead-in I didn’t watch it for a while. I didn’t want to experience the vibe of something so upsetting, so I waited and waited. I’d been carrying it around in my bag for a while when finally I thought ‘All right, I’ll watch it.’ It was incredibly disturbing, very dark, but very good. It’s so twisted, but great and I thought that these guys can really direct. I wondered if they could do something fun (laughs). I heard they were making another film called QUARANTINE, which was more mainstream. I was lucky enough to screen that and had so much fun watching it. I thought they would be the perfect guys for DEVIL. I said, ‘These are the guys. Let’s go get them.’ We flew them out to my place and I gave them the treatment for DEVIL, which they loved, and from there it was like, okay, let’s do it!

Q: How difficult was it for you to step back and not take the reins on this film as director?
A: To be totally honest, I really did think it would be difficult. Everyone else around me thought I’d have trouble with it, but in the end, it didn’t turn out to be that way at all. I felt really confident in John and Drew and I thought the story was a great match for them. I was there tonally to say, ‘This is how I think the movie should feel.’ I wanted to ensure the quality level was high but basically, I just let them do their thing. If ever something slipped by, I’d talk to them, but generally I was in the great position of just letting them make their movie and supporting them.

Q: As a producer, what is the motto you work by?
A: Believe in the people you hire and support their vision. Explain your point of view of where you think it can be valuable, but support them above all else.

Q: Would you like to do more films, where you are a writer and producer versus a director?
A: I would. Usually at the end of a film, you’re weighing the pros and cons of what you have created and the end result. For me, it always ends up in a really positive category, but there weren’t any negatives in working as a producer on this for me. I felt very positive every time I turned my attention to it. It was exciting and provocative to me. I hope to make a fraternity of filmmakers, where we challenge each other. Through ‘The Night Chronicles,’ that’s what we hope to do.

Q: Is the pressure less as a producer compared to when you’re directing?
A: Yes, because every single thing is not entirely on my shoulders. You can enjoy the process of filmmaking and have more fun with it. I certainly enjoy being the go-to guy, but I find I equally enjoy having someone else call the shots.

Q: Do you believe in the Devil?
A: Yes. I believe there is a type of hell and this movie deals with it on some level. I believe when we feel helpless, it’s a feeling of vulnerability and fear where people feel like they don’t have any kind of say in what is going on. To get out of what I call hell means taking full responsibility of your life. I believe if you conduct your life like that, the tide will turn and suddenly you’ll find yourself in a much better place.

Q: DEVIL definitely has scenes which make you jump out of your chair. Why do you think we, as an audience, find the idea of a confined space so terrifying?
A: I’m a big believer in engaging the audience’s imagination as much as you can. I think as a filmmaker, we need to engage an audience’s fear and imagination. Let’s say it’s a monster – it’s a lot scarier to hear the monster than it is to see it. If you know there is something in a closet, you have to be thinking ‘No, please don’t open that up.’ Or if you hear scratching or breathing, that’s scary. It’s even scarier if you hear someone calling your name from in there. My thing is, leave it empty because it’s scarier. It’s something we get to play with all the time for entertainment purposes. We’re scared of the unknown, so I like to keep things unknown as much as possible and confined spaces do that.

Q: At the start of this film, we hear this story is told to a child to warn us the Devil is among us. Your mother never made up such stories really, did she?
A: My parents were both immigrant doctors who worked around the clock, so they were both classic, extremely hard working parents. When I tell my children stories, I make up most of them. They tend to like scary stories, so I always say, ‘Well, how scary do you want this story on a scale of one to five?’ They usually say ‘five,’ but then I explain they won’t be able to go to bed. Four means they’ll go to bed, but might wake up with a nightmare, so we usually settle on three (laughs).

Q; How responsible were you in getting the cast together?
A: John, Drew and I did the auditions as a team, so I was very much involved. We knew we needed the cast to work as a team and it became clear really quickly, who this group was going to be. We went out with our offer to the group we liked best and luckily, we got them all. With casting, you always want people who work well together, but it’s absolutely critical when you have five people who are in a confined space for the majority of the film.

Q: What do you hope audiences will take away from DEVIL?
A: I want it to be a roller coaster ride where they jump in their seats and grab the person next to them, but I also want them to come out of the theatre feeling a little sticky, like something has stayed with them. That’s the goal.

Q: What was the biggest lesson you learned while making this film with the Dowdle brothers and how has it changed you?
A: They have a sense of physicality I don’t have. I’m much quieter. My sweet spot is stillness and there’s a great value in that, no question about it, but I don’t inherently know how to make things muscular. They do. They got hold of my story and made it feel bigger than it was when I thought of it. They have a flare for it. They know how to make things physical and exciting and I’m going to take that with me. I think you can never stop correcting your swing when it comes to filmmaking.

Q: It surprises me that someone of your stature making thrillers was initially hesitant to watch THE POUGHKEEPSIE TAPES, because of its dark content.
A: I’m very sentimental. You know, we had just moved into our new house and I didn’t want to go walking around scared in the hallways. I wanted it to feel like a benevolent place and THE POUGHKEEPSIE TAPES is about a serial killer coming into people’s homes, so you feel very vulnerable. I was being a baby about it, wasn’t I? It’s like if someone suggests doing a ‘Ouija’ board. I’d be like ‘You do that at your house, not mine.’

Q: So what do you watch when you’re at home and want to feel good?
A: As a family, we’ll watch a re-run of FRIENDS or something like that. Once you watch something like that, you can shed off anything scary or bad (laughs).