If you’re looking for a fun yet intense watch with some friends Great White is the perfect film. It’s got action, sharks, suspense, beautiful locations and did I mention sharks? To celebrate its release, we spoke with director Martin Wilson about Great White, the filming and about the scarier members of the cast. We’re so excited to bring this interview to you. So enjoy it and be sure to check out Great White.
What should have been a trip to remember, quickly turns to a living nightmare when five passengers on a seaplane are stranded on a raft in the middle of the ocean. What follows is a desperate bid for survival as the group try to make it to land before they are taken by the man-eating sharks lurking just beneath the surface.
1) What is it about the Shark genre that enticed you to make Great White?
“I’ve always loved creature features, The Thing is one my favourite movies of all time, with the shark genre delivering some of the best creature features of all time it’s hard not to be drawn to make Great White”.
2) Were there any challenges filming in water?
“Shooting Great White was an awesome challenge. You’ve only got 25 days and you’re faced with so many variables in particular when you’re shooting on water where you’re fighting the elements as well as time. The deeper the water and the further out you go means you are all walking off boats which adds considerable infrastructure that means you move more slowly.
Then you had the added challenge of filming underwater where you often can’t tell what’s the shot until you have a camera down in that environment and can see whether it’s working or not. It takes time because you might have to change a lens and you’ve got to bring the camera back up, put it back in a housing. And with actors working underwater, they can hardly see in front of them; so, they’re faced with a big challenge of communication between themselves and the crew. But I had such a great cast that were so dynamic, so ready and willing for the physical challenges and the action of shooting on water”
3) What research went into understanding how Great Whites and their behavioral traits?
“Our research revealed that despite their reputation as lone hunters, great whites will cooperate with one another, hunting in groups and sharing the spoils”
4) Much like Jaws, did your Shark puppets/props have names?
“Yes we had Brenda but she wasn’t named after my lawyer”
5) There was a mixture of both practical effects and CGI. How important was it to incorporate that mix?
“We shot a lot in the real ocean where the practical effects helped blend into the natural environment. We used CGI for the more complex moments with the shark”
6) Do you have a favourite Shark movie?
“Jaws, a masterpiece. I just love the characters and the action”
7) How would you describe Great White to someone new to the horror genre?
“Great White showcases the northern tropical waters of Australia as vast, beautiful and beguiling, yet what unfolds on the raft is a taut, claustrophobic affair.
The film transitions between wide-angle wonderment and dread of the limitless ocean separating them from safety and finite claustrophobia of their sinking raft. The film is an action adventure, a tense survival thriller with a lurking monster seemingly about to strike at any moment.
But with our minimal characters stranded on a life raft, the film becomes an intense character study. An exploration of human nature. As food and water supplies dwindle, as the raft loses air, with no rescue in sight, and a relentless shark on their tail we see human beings coming to terms with the immediate reality of pain and death. They are tested to the extreme, a nightmare where your worst primal fears have become very real. It’s this tension that draws you into the film, and asks you the question yourself: what would you do if placed in that situation?”
Just when you thought it was safe to head back to the seaside, along comes Great White, a nerve-jangler survival thriller which is available to own DVD and digital platforms. Great White is also available to watch on Apple, Amazon, Google, Sky Store, Virgin and more. You won’t want to miss it.
You can also check out James’ review of Great White, here.
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