Writer-Director Adam MacDonald talks BACKCOUNTRY, the True Story, shoot with echt Bears, editing Gory Scenes und More hinweisen TIFF
Adam mcdonald s talks around his function directorial debut, Backcountry, the true story the film is based on, working with real bears and more at TIFF 2014.

Du schaust: Open water wahre geschichte

It’s challenging enough zu make a zuerst feature, yet writer-director Adam MacDonald chose to make his with echt bears. MacDonald’s been racking trost acting credits for quite a while, having appeared on a number of shows including Being Erica und Rookie Blue, but now he’s at the Toronto International film Festival through his feature directorial debut, Backcountry. The film stars Jeff Roop and Missy Peregrym as Alex and Jenn, a pair that opts kommen sie ditch the big city und spend some quality time with each other camping in the woods weil das the weekend. Alex insists the knows die way to die secluded Blackfoot trail, however after one auch many wrong turns, they’re totally lost and bei bear territory, too.

In in effort zu keep myself from gushing over die film and turning this right into a mile long introduction, I’ll nur direct you kommen sie my enthusiastic review of Backcountry ideal here. However that gift said, that should kommen sie as no surprised that i was certain thrilled to hop on the phone v MacDonald soon after ns film’s Toronto International film Festival world premiere. We gott to discuss die process des getting his first feature off die ground, the true story the film is based on, what ist was prefer working with ja wirklich bears and more. Hit die jump zu check it every out.

Question: kommen sie start, I’ve gott to know around this true story. How viel of what we lakers on display really happened?

ADAM MACDONALD: ich came up with ns idea von Open Water in the woods when ich was camping v my wife. Ich heard something wade around the tent early in the morning, deswegen I came trost with the idea of Open Water in the woods und then ich started writing die script and I started doing research und I came across this story von a pair that encountered a predatory black bear an northern Ontario around 10 years ago. Ich used the same elements, the same point that happened zu them and all this stuff, however then yes sir a substantial spark from mine creativity bei the piece. I just wanted zu make find strength, so I wanted zu change the part von the story. Ich fictionalized die story auch because it’s notfall a documentary. ich love it wie people kommen sie up, we’ve had a couple of screenings, und they go, ‘Did that really happen kommen sie a couple an the backcountry?’ ich go, ‘Yes, yes it did.’ ich thought about them a lot, the echt couple, when ich was shooting. It was a tragic, heroic und extremely emotional story, deshalb I wanted zu feel that bei the movie constantly. That’s what i went for.

In ns true story, they got attacked punkt a campsite an the backcountry and he dealt with off die bear v a knife die best he could while die bear was mauling his girlfriend. He placed her bei a canoe und they were favor three hrs out in the deep backcountry, deshalb it no looking good und she passed away, sadly, an the canoe on die way. Die canoe ist a large symbol zum me in the ende of die movie. It is what it’s based on. It’s based upon a catastrophic occurrence, but die sad teil is, this happens again and again. This happened countless times. There’s in older couple an Algonquin that was murdered bei their sleep, eaten in their sleep von a schwarz bear in Algonquin Park. This is real stuff.

How do sie go around making a movie around a tragedy prefer that while respecting what happened? freundin want it kommen sie be entertaining, however you’ve gott to save it appropriate, too. 

MACDONALD: That is a very, really fine line und that’s a very an excellent question. For me, ich wanted kommen sie respect anyone who’s to be attacked von a grausam animal in a means where it’s not a joke. It’s serious, serious business. Wie man people have seen the attack bei this movie, they’re yes, really taken aback und they can feel it, and that’s what ich wanted to do. To be honest, ich think it would be together a disservice if someone saw die movie und went, ‘That’s not how the happens weist all. The happened kommen sie me and that’s bullsh*t.’ that disrespectful bei a way. Ich just wanted to convey it’s deswegen ferocious, deshalb instant, dafür powerful and that was my mandate; ich wanted to make something as powerful as it would be in real life.

How do you get began with something prefer this? the your attribute directorial debut, so how do you go around getting that off ns ground?

MACDONALD: the took 3 years to get that off the ground und that felt like in eternity. Some world were informing me, ‘You know, that’s yes, really quick.’ Once i finished the first draft von the script und then the second draft, i went to my cousin Jeff who plays Alex an the movie and then he sent out it to a producer the he knows und we got a contact, deswegen he’s to be working with us since die beginning together well, nearly the beginning. We didn’t obtain financed right away. Ich learned a last from the town hall my favourite directors, I’ve excellent three brief films und I’ve operated on TV as bei actor zum a lang time, deshalb I’m an extremely familiar with the set, I’m an extremely informed top top directing tips and all this stuff. Freundin know, watching derek Cianfrance’s movies, like Blue Valentine was a huge influence, or rob Zombie’s Halloween was a huge influence. Ich watched ns making-of documentaries like a university course, deswegen I had time in three years zu really dedicate myself zu finding the right way kommen sie tell ns story und it helped so much because, kommen sie be honest, i think if i did this two years earlier it would have been a viel different movie. That really caught what i was walk for.

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Was there any kind of specific element that freundin locked bei along ns way the made it walk from, ‘I want kommen sie make this movie,’ kommen sie ‘I’m do this movie?’ 

MACDONALD: wie Missy und Eric Balfour signed on kommen sie do the movie, that really driven it to, ‘It’s gonna occur now.’ But von course, there was no method we were gonna use CG bears or anything favor that deshalb when we locked an the real bears in Squamish, BC kommen sie shoot v them weil das a day, that really gott me excited und I knew the we could go ahead und do it.

It’s film school 101 kommen sie avoid working v kids und animals, so how was it working through a bear von all animals?

MACDONALD: five my god, i know! ich had a panic attack, to be honest, ns night before. I just totally had a panic strike because of that an extremely thought. Ich just couldn’t glauben that two big bears to be coming to shoot v me die next day. I had to get hoch at four in the morning to talk to ns wrangler, kommen sie go over die shot list and what i wanted kommen sie do through them und all this stuff. The was so intimidating. Once I gott there it was fine, yet oh mine god, it was so, so intimidating.

It was definitely worth it! There’s together a an excellent balance bolzen the thin terror of the bear moments and the real relationship in the movie.

MACDONALD: Yeah! you know, we did carry out some test screenings and it really, yes, really scored high v females and that do me deswegen happy because kommen sie me, the a bit von a liebe letter to natur because ns truth is, that both beautiful und it’s extremely violent and it’s extremely powerful out there, yet we’re all deswegen controlled best now in our cities and our towns, we feel safe und that’s where we want kommen sie be, but in reality, it’s notfall like that. Ich wanted zu capture that, both sides.

How do you decide how much to nur during ns more wild moments? I’ve got a high tolerance, but i imagine some could not. 

MACDONALD: ich had some concepts like, ‘Okay, ns gonna pull it back. I’m not gonna walk … wait a minute, wait a minute.’ That is what it would certainly be like. This zu sein what die experience would be and if human being are gonna seen the film and know the this may happen, this ist what we schutz to transaction with. Ich had zu deal through it, too. Wie we were cutting together die bear attack, it took us choose a month. Me und Dev Singh, bei amazing editor, us sat an a room together zum like three weeks, every day, Monday zu Friday, eight hours a day und I got deswegen depressed zum like a month after the because ich was deswegen wrapped up an that … Missy’s here und she’s laughing at me. i admire strong women and I have dafür much respect for women. An additional thing i wanted zu do that’s fictitious clear is, you know when you meet someone who’s a strong person or a strong woman and you wonder, whereby did it come from? Some human being are born v it or it’s a life experience and there are certain jene they need to go through to mature. I wanted zu explore that bei a woman where you can actually lakers the augenblicke where she i do not care strong and faces life for what the is. Und people are lost bei the wild. It wake up all the time. Bei the wild, it’s like, Perri, if you went zum a weekend trip and you got lost, god forbid, whoever you’re with, their true colors kommen sie out. That a life an altering experience. Sie find out what you’re make of and that’s what really interested me around Jenn kind of comes into produziert own in the movie.

I’m in reality off to die woods kommen sie shoot a movie following week, dafür I’m currently panicking! We got a warning that if we left trash in the dumpsters outside, ns bears will come.

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MACDONALD: Oh, she gonna execute amazing! that gonna it is in great! just make sure you bring be afflicted with spray und just do sure freundin know whereby they are. A bear came to our base camp day one und it was like a great omen zum the sachen to kommen sie even though the location manager thought it was a bad omen, however it ended up being a great one. It was like a blessing for our set!

Adam macdonald Backcountry interview

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