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Awake In The Dark
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Old August 17th, 2009, 05:09 AM   #1
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District 9 - WOW!

Intense is an understatement. Totally enjoyable.

What I don't understand is how a major studio trusts a 29 year old with 30 million dollars for a first feature (writer/director). Someone doesn't get that lucky unless the script is liquid gold (which it was in this case).

BTW - It made it's budget back + 7 million this weekend (yep 37 million opening). Awesome.

Well, two first time directors to watch.

Neill Blomkamp - District 9
Marc Webb - 500 days of summer

-C
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Old August 17th, 2009, 06:47 AM   #2
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I'm very interested in seeing this (completely shot on RED btw).

I adored the first trailer, thought it looked amazingly interesting.
The second trailer had a more ordinary action feeling to it, so I was a bit putt off by that (not that I don't like action, but it was a different feel then the first trailer), but all the glowing reviews of the movie spark my interest again. Everyone is very positive about it.

About your question: it's re-assuring to read these kind of stories once in a time. Sometimes it happens, and I think it shows that some producers in Hollywood really believe in the capabilities and talent of someone.
And of course, having the blessing of Peter Jackson behind you helps a lot ;-)
If one of Hollywoods most powerful directors tells a studio that you are up to it, I think they are inclined to believe it. That, in combination with a great script...
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Old August 17th, 2009, 07:13 AM   #3
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Amazing too, that $30M is considered "Low Budget."
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Old August 17th, 2009, 07:21 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Mathieu Ghekiere View Post
I adored the first trailer, thought it looked amazingly interesting.
The second trailer had a more ordinary action feeling to it, so I was a bit putt off by that (not that I don't like action, but it was a different feel then the first trailer), but all the glowing reviews of the movie spark my interest again. Everyone is very positive about it.
I felt the exact same way. The extended trailer put doubts into my head. I tried to avoid any reviews or articles on it and went and saw it opening night. I wanted to be completely open to it.

It was fantastic, my new favorite film of 2009. Was so engrossed by the story that I want to back and watch it again for the production values!
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Old August 17th, 2009, 07:51 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Christopher Drews View Post
What I don't understand is how a major studio trusts a 29 year old with 30 million dollars for a first feature (writer/director).
Well, that's not exactly without precedent...
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Old August 17th, 2009, 08:39 PM   #6
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I loved it too. I saw it in 2K at Cinetopia. I thought it was shot on film (except for the obvious stuff); I had no idea it was shot on RED ONE until later. I hope we get more films like this.
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Old August 19th, 2009, 10:07 PM   #7
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I liked the premise and enjoyed the movie but I can't say I was a fan of the "wildly swinging the camera" stuff... perhaps I'm getting old but my FAVOURITE handheld POV camera work of all time is Das Boot.
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Old August 21st, 2009, 01:18 AM   #8
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What I don't understand is how a major studio trusts a 29 year old with 30 million dollars for a first feature (writer/director)
When you have Peter Jackson watching your back all along the way, that helps.

Studios are very fond of young writer-directors these days, because they can control them, and they are inexpensive to hire.
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Old August 21st, 2009, 01:59 AM   #9
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When you have Peter Jackson watching your back all along the way, that helps.

Studios are very fond of young writer-directors these days, because they can control them, and they are inexpensive to hire.
Actually, I heard (totally unconfirmed) that Jackson saw his short film relatively recently and thought it'd make a great feature. So, since Jackson is Kiwi and this guy, South African, I'd doubt if Jackson was watching his back - although maybe for D-9, but Niel didn't help with any of Jackson's other projects.
-C
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Old August 21st, 2009, 09:20 AM   #10
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I had read (and it is listed as such on IMDB) that Blomkamp co-directed "Crossing the Line", the demo short for RED that Peter Jackson made a few years ago, so they have apparently been together for a while. And Jackson has a producing credit on "District 9". Watching the director's back is what producers do, especially on their first feature.
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Old August 22nd, 2009, 06:37 PM   #11
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didn't care for it

Another opinion. I, along with the 2 others I was with, did not care for the film. Basically, we thought the acting was sub-par, the premise was tenuous at best, and it was too long. Beginning Premise: A technologically superior AND better equipped (militarily) race become subjects of those inferior to them. You lost me right from the start (with the bad acting as a kicker). As for the allegory, it was lost in the poor experience of the movie. Oh, and the cliched portrayal of humans as inept at best and putrid at worst. Nothing new here, move along.
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Old August 22nd, 2009, 11:13 PM   #12
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I watch a LOT of movies, though I don't see many at theatres, but after reading about the movie here and seeing a trailer was intrigued. Took some kids to see it today and we all thought it was great. It's fun to see a movie on a big screen and sit close.
The Pedanticism of allegory, premise and cliche be damned, it was a cool movie. It was a roller coaster ride from beginning to end. From the beginning you didn't know what the heck was going to happen. The humanity of the 2 stars, from different races came through at the end. Okay it was fiction, we knew that going in, and it didn't take away from the movie. Sharlto Copley was very effective in the lead role, I'm wondering if he was the actor in the last scene, the body language was exactly identical.
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Old August 24th, 2009, 04:18 PM   #13
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Beginning Premise: A technologically superior AND better equipped (militarily) race become subjects of those inferior to them.
Eric, this was explained fairly early in the film.

Overall I thought it was nicely done and somewhat different than your average sci-fi flick.
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Old August 26th, 2009, 11:52 AM   #14
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From what i heard Jackson saw his short films and invited him to NZ. They were going to do a videogame based movie for $100 million but it fell apart, so Jackson helped him to do something else cheaper, and they settled on this feature based on the short Alive on Joburg.
The director is an experienced animator and effects whiz/commercials director.


I wasnt really blown away by the trailers, and hate documentary style shakycam movies.
It reminded me an awful lot of Alien Nation's premise(minus the cop angle), which is why i am perplexed when it is called original. Aliens=racism has been done since the 1960s (Star Trek, Outer Limits, Twilight Zone, Enemy Mine, Brother From Another Planet...). The setting is unique-though pretty heavy handed in terms of hammering home the message. Transformations and "who's the real monster?" is certainly nothing new.

Its not very realistic either--if aliens did land en masse its doubtful that the big governments would let it be handled in South Africa. They would likely be stuck in quarantine and treated much worse than depicted.

I heard the movie described as the most significant thing since 2001, Star Wars and Robocop. Talk about building up expectations!
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Old September 7th, 2009, 11:35 AM   #15
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Good movie, really intense and very mesmerising at the same time. If I am correct Sharlto Copley the main character of the movie used to be a member of this board!

Trust me I go way back in the days on this board. Chris I'm right right?
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