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“Time Is Not Your Friend”: Director Matt Ross | Captain Fantastic

Captain Fantastic

In every film, there is the story that you knew you were telling, the story the audience perceives. But there is always some other story, a secret story. It might be the result of your hidden motivations for making the film, or, instead, the result of themes that only became clear to you after you made the movie. It might be something very personal, or it might be a story you didn’t even know you were telling. What is your film’s secret story?

The secret story of Captain Fantastic is that – on paper – it looked deceptively simple. Everyone was concerned about the difficulty of finding six great child actors, as they, with Viggo, are the leads of the film and the film would sink or swim depending on the quality of these children. But no one thought the logistics of a simple human drama/comedy would be as difficult to pull off. You know what they say. Children and animals.

It turns out that making a film with six kids in every single scene, with the limited time children are allowed to work, doing two major stunts and two musical numbers and stage combat and foreign languages and taxidermy and rock climbing with children, doing a hunting sequence with a live animal, and the fact that the whole thing is a road movie, meaning remote locations every single day, locations all over two states – is fantastically difficult. So the secret is: time is not your friend.

[PREMIERE SCREENING: Saturday, January 23 at 6:30pm — Eccles Theatre]

Sundance Responses 2016

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