Found-footage films are not a new concept; especially in horror movies where the idea goes all the way back to ‘1999’s The Blair Witch Project and has been utilized in such recent hits as Cloverfield, the Paranormal Activity franchise and The Devil Inside. However, two films in particular this year, Chronicle, and Project X, have pushed the envelope by incorporating the found-footage concept into entirely new film genres. With Warner Bros.’ Project X, the technique was used to illustrate a high school party movie, and with 20th Century Fox’s Chronicle, which is available on Blu-Ray and DVD beginning May 15th, the concept was fused with the super hero genre to great success as the film was an international box office hit.
First time director Josh Trank, along with screenwriter and childhood friend Max Landis, created a found-footage story about three friends who find something mysterious that gifts them with unthinkable super powers. The film follows Seattle high-school seniors Andrew (Dane DeHaan), his cousin Matt (Alex Russell), and Steve (Michael B. Jordan), as they form a close bond after receiving telekinetic abilities from an unknown object. The boys use their newfound abilities for mischief and personal gain until Andrew begins to utilize them for more nefarious purposes. Since the initial success of the film, Trank has been mentioned as a possible director for several upcoming comic book based films including a Fantastic Four reboot, a Venom Spin-off, and an adaptation of Image Comic’s The Red Star.
In honor of the Blu-ray and DVD release of the film, I recently had a chance to chat with director Josh Trank about Chronicle, as well as his rumored involvement in those upcoming comic book adapted film properties. Trank discussed his recent movie, developing the story with screenwriter Max Landis, marrying the super hero and found-footage genres, his actual cinematic inspirations for the film, what the studio wanted him to change, the technical aspects of directing a found-footage movie, and which comic book-based film he will direct next.
Most movies involving superpowered characters are ridiculously costly affairs, but last month's Chronicle, a sort of found footage superheroic origin story, was far more cost effective. The film was a pleasant surprise for critics and audiences, proving quite commercially successful over the last month. For the film's younger director, Josh Trank, and writer, Max Landis, this has meant a huge jump in their respective profiles. Now they're both lining up new projects, and Landis has signed on to write a Chronicle sequel for 20th Century Fox.
Just five years after the Marvel Comics character Venom made his theatrical debut to much derision in Spider-Man 3, Sony is rebooting the Spidey series with this summer's The Amazing Spider-Man. With the studio seeming pretty confident about the new cinematic Spidey, it's also making moves towards a solo Venom movie. According to a scoop at 24 Frames, Chronicle director Josh Trank is currently in negotiations to direct a theatrical Venom, news that raises some questions.
With Skyline making its way into theatres this coming November 12, we here at iamROGUE have SciFi and special effects on the brain. Whether it is creature features or alien abduction, we can’t help but think about those little green men that sometimes make crop circles or take people up into their ships in the middle of the night.
It also seemed like the right time to look back at the films that The Brothers Strause have been a part of. Their talent for visual effects has enhanced a wide range of movies. The following is our Top 10 Most Excellent FX from Colin and Greg. You may even find a low budget B-horror flick somewhere! So here it goes, some of The Brothers Strause “most excellent” effects.