How Daniels Transformed Their Overwhelming Feelings into 'Everything Everywhere All at Once'

Daniels on 'Everything Everywhere All at Once'Credit: A24 Notes
Life is complicated and messy, but Daniels learned how to embrace the mess in their latest film. 

A24’s latest film Everything Everywhere All at Once dives headfirst into the multiverse madness, showcasing the ultimate possibilities of the self in the most creative and unique ways. Directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, collectively known as Daniels, the film is a love letter to the world and the beauty of cinema. 

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.

“In a world where everything and everyone is clawing for our attention, where billion-dollar corporations see every single minute of our lives as potential real estate to be bought up and sold off for profit, asking anyone for two hours of their time to watch one of our films felt like asking for, well... too much,” they wrote. 

So why create a film in the first place if it might be lost in oblivion with dozens of other great movies? 

For Daniels, creating Everything Everywhere was about asking the audience to trust their story and their ability to make an intriguing film that would “blow their minds and change their lives forever.” That is the essence of filmmaking. You don’t create because you can easily make a profit by creating generic stories with zero substance. Films are an expression of the self, a story that can no longer stay inside of you. 

Daniels reflected on their feelings about creating a film that is rewarding to watch and kept that idea in their minds as they wrote throughout the increasing political polarization and a global pandemic. The world was full of contradictions, appearing at unimaginable speeds, pushing against Daniels as they tried to make sense of the most profane and unexplainable parts of humanity. 

“We wanted to stretch ourselves in every direction to bridge the generational gap that often crumbles into generational trauma,” they wrote. “We scoffed at the false dichotomy of Scorsese Cinephiles vs Marvel Fanboys and instead asked, '[W]hy not both?' It was an attempt to create the narrative equivalent of the Theory of Everything.”

Even with the large and impending doom of the world slowly collapsing at their doorsteps, Daniels sat at their keyboards and continued to write a story that held a profound meaning of existence to them. In a life where you could be anything, Daniels created characters who were everything. 

Everything Everywhere found a trusting home with the film crew and cast that backed the modest rom-com sized budget with faith. In 40 days of principal photography, eight movies were made at the same time with 30 different lighting setups each day and every possible camera lens available while trying to navigate the tropes and elements of almost every genre of film. 

'Everything Everywhere All at Once'Credit: A24

“We made an entire action movie in the same amount of time some Hollywood blockbusters shoot a single set-piece, but in an environment that promoted safety and respect above all,” they wrote, explaining the dizzying number of costumes, looks, and craft in each frame to help the editing team seamlessly craft intertwining, interdimensional sequences.

Even if the film doesn’t fulfill your idea of everything, you are at least given a bit of your time to appreciate the wonderful cinematography, direction, dynamic performances of the wonderful cast, and gorgeously deep story of a person just trying to find their place in their perceived reality. 

Everything Everywhere All at Once is Daniels’ gift to us—the moviegoer, the filmmaker, and the weirdo just trying to figure out what everything means to them. 

You can watch Everything Everywhere All at Once now in theaters everywhere.

Let us know your thoughts on the film in the comments below!      

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The movie was amazing. The Daniels’ have a knack for creating deep emotional rollercoaster rides through out their movies while being completely entertaining and fresh. Albeit it this is only their sophomore feature, I think these two are going to be a force in the filmmaking world. Give me more Daniels.

April 11, 2022 at 3:36PM, Edited April 11, 3:36PM

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Franklin Carpio
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