tabloid! grabbed US director Scott Derrickson — the man at the helm of such films as The Exorcism Of Emily Rose, Sinister and The Day The Earth Stood Still — to chat about his latest film, Beware The Night, which filmed in Liwa last week.
On the scary scale, where is Beware The Night?
It’s got moments that are scary like [Exorcism of Emily Rose] but it’s definitely not intended to be primarily scary the way that Sinister is, for example. It’s got more procedural elements to it, more story driven elements.
It’s taken from a true-life account of paranormal goings-on in New York?
[Author] Raplph [Sarchie] is a real guy and with stories like this, that are not important historical events, there’s a lot of license that gets taken and that’s the case here. I think the character that Eric Bana plays is very much like Ralph, especially in the way he talks and how he acts because he’s spent a lot of time with him. I think we got a lot of truth in the movie as well.
You’ve chosen two actors known until now for their comedic skills – Oliva Munn and Joel McHale – playing in a fairly dramatic movie.
It’s made things between takes a lot of fun because they are both very funny. Joel is my best friend — I’ve known him for years — and I wrote the role for him. I know him in a way that most people don’t and I think that the character he plays in the movie is a lot closer to who he is, than even his TV persona. Olivia, I had never seen any of her comedic work, I knew her from The Newsroom and Magic Mike, I really admired her and hoped I would be able to work with her and this part came up.
Part of your presence here is to boost the standard of film productions in Abu Dhabi and influence young Emiratis to take jobs in the field. What would you tell them about being a director?
I love it because it uses the best of my abilities. It’s always good when you feel you are using the best of your skills towards something useful, that’s satisfying. The most fulfilling part of it creatively is watching actors work. I love the visuals of filmmaking and I’m a writer, so I love story, but my very favourite thing about filmmaking is creating an arena in which good actors do what they do. They always do more that you expect. The worst side is it’s a lot of pressure, it’s a bit like running in front of a moving train trying not to misstep but that’s part of the challenge and also what makes it fun.