One of the great pleasures of watching a modern masterpiece is that we get endless interviews and conversations with the writers and directors of the piece. For me, Everything, Everywhere, All At Once is one of the most important movies to come out recently. It's a transcendent and emotional Kung Fu science fiction movie, and that's me trying to force it into a few genres, and that is probably wrong.
So stop listening to me and hear from the geniuses behind the movie. Writers and directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert sat down with producer Jonathan Wang and co-producers Allison Rose Carter and Jon Read to discuss just how absurdly challenging their comically ambitious screenplay was to produce. We get a candid discussion of the biggest challenges they faced and a celebration of the badasses behind the scenes who saved the day, kept it fun, and pulled off the impossible.
Check out this video from SXSW.
Unpack the Triumphs and Challenges of Directing Everything, Everywhere, All At Once
Daniels revealed in their newsletter for A24, Miracle Work: A Note from the Daniels, that everything felt too much at the end of 2016 when they sat down to start writing the first draft of the film. And we spoke with them for our podcast, but this video was completely full of new and pertinent information from them. One of the things that really engaged me was how good of communicators Daniels have to be to make a movie like this—they trusted their producers, but they were also able to communicate to them exactly what was needed.
From draft to draft, their producers never doubted. But they were also able to contextualize the scope for Daniels and help them plan when it came time to hire people to work on the movie. Also to contextualize their vision so they could communicate it to A24 and to help them spend their budget wisely.
Another big thing I took away was how they worked with everyone on the crew to get them involved in the movie. My favorite anecdote was how Daniels were not worried about the hotdog universe since it was a joke in the movie. But their set decorator loved it and spent extra time making it pop with new colors and furniture, really putting love and care into it so it shined on screen. That sort of believing and relying on one another is paramount for a movie like this to break out.
Of course, the in-camera effects are something that we've been talking about here for a while. To get the practical effects, the guys wound up doing a ton of tests. The idea was to perfect during the tests so that when it came time to shoot, they would know exactly what they were doing. This experimentation outside of the set in pre-pro saved them time and money later. They knew exactly how to get the shots they needed and exactly what it would look like at the end of the day. This dedication glows on screen and took the movie to a whole new level.
What was your favorite part of this interview? Let me know in the comments.