Today we added our official review for Adam Green’s Spiral, which arrives in limited theaters tomorrow and on DVD February 19 from Anchor Bay. In addition, inside you’ll find our exclusive interview with Joel Moore (actor, co-writer, executive producer, and co-director), Jeremy Boreing (co-writer, producer) and Zachary Levi (actor, executive producer) who talk about the film’s history and what they’re up to now. Click the title above for the review or read on for the interview.
Bloody Disgusting was able to chat with Joel Moore (actor, co-writer, executive producer, and co-director), Jeremy Boreing (co-writer, producer) and Zachary Levi (actor, executive producer) about SPIRAL’S history and what they are up to now:
Jeremy: Our relationship with Starz was there from the beginning. They wanted to follow the production from start to finish, but they were a bit under-funded, sort of like the film itself. They had a tiny crew come down on I think three occasions, and then they got some footage that we shot, from our own behind the scenes guys. So what actually made it to air was the three minute vignettes. Everyone hoped there would be a longer version of it, but the resources just weren’t there. But it was cool for us, and it was kind of fitting that we ended up with Anchor Bay (who is now owned by Starz – the two companies were not associated when Spiral was in production). But yeah, I think that’s all that’s there is – it’s funny, you’ve seen the DVD and we haven’t!
B-D: I win! Actually I wanted to mention, when I first saw the film at the LA Film fest, it wasn’t a very good copy, so I was blown away by how good the film looks on DVD, it’s really beautifully shot.
Joel: Yeah, that was kind of a shame, the festival showed a blown-up DVD. So at least people will get to see it the right way now.
B-D: What’s the release looking like?
Joel: We’re going out on February 1st, in five or six cities. Definitely New York and LA, and then we’re looking at the Phoenix area, Austin, and the Portland (Oregon) area. We did the festival route, and had a lot of success, we were surprised at the success we had, because we weren’t sure how people would respond to the film. Especially with Adam and his team on board, we were worried, but people responded well and understand that it’s not a slasher movie. We’re proud of it.
B-D: Zach, when I saw Spiral I only knew you from Chuck…
Zach: Oh nice!
B-D: …and I was pretty blown away by how different you were in this film. So I gotta ask, since there’s no way you can play these two entirely different characters so well, one of them has to be sort of like you really are. So are you more like Chuck or more like Berkley?
Zach: Oh, definitely more Chuck than Berkley. But there’s a little Berkley in all of us I think, the guy who has that tough love attitude. He and Mason had some event when they were kids that drew them together, so even though they’re nothing alike, they’re both sort of lonely in their own way, which is what bonds them. And it was really fun to play, you know, the sort of balls to the wall dickhead. But Chuck is definitely more like me, I’m actually playing video games in between interviews.
B-D: (laughs) nice, nice. What are you playing?
Zach: Couple different ones, Mario Galaxy on the Wii, and then Rock Band.
B-D: Likewise. I’m addicted to the drums.
Zach: Drums are great. I’ve played Guitar Hero for a while, but the drums are a whole new animal. What level you playing on?
B-D: I’m actually stuck on Green Grass and High Tides on Medium.
Zach: (laughs) that one’s tough! I’ve finished up on Hard so now I’m drumming on expert.
B-D: Grats! Jealous…
B-D: Back on topic, you guys have all been together for a while, so I assume you sort of share responsibilities. Did you have any input on the script or was this strictly an acting/producing gig?
Zach: The writing was all Jeremy and Joel. I came in with some little character things and they were very open to that, but I was just happy to be considered for the role.
B-D: I guess this would be for Joel or Jeremy, was it just coincidence that the actress had the same name as the character?
Joel: Actually, Amber (Tamblyn) was our first choice, and we wrote with her in mind. We also needed a name that was also a color, and not many of those will work. We thought maybe Purple… Gunbarrel Blue didn’t really work… (everyone laughs)
Joel: But no, we got the script to her and she really responded to it. And we were delighted to get our first pick, that rarely happened when you’re making a movie. And she just shines in it, she gets to play an adult for once, I think it was her first role that she wasn’t playing a teen.
B-D: On the commentary you guys mention a few scenes that were shortened, but none of those are on the DVD extras. Was anything really significant or was it all just sort of a general tightening?
Joel: We had a version that was a half an hour longer, and I sort of took the reigns on editing; I went in there and tried to develop the best version of this movie. There were a lot of note sessions, showing it to everyone. It’s hard when you have a whole team of creative people trying to figure out the best option of what to do, and we knew that the film had to be a certain length and not a minute longer. So we took a bunch of stuff out, stuff we needed but knew we had to sacrifice; cutting bits and pieces. Just taking out those seconds and frames got 10-15 minutes out of the film. Then we went through it again, just cutting fat, cutting fat. So we got it down to about 80 minutes and then we were able to put stuff back in, every piece of character bit that we wanted the audience to see. We developed the script to be sort of Hitchcockian, and wanted the audience to be interacting with the film, trying to figure out what happened: what happened to Mason’s mother and father, what happened in Berkley’s past that brought them together… I love doing festival Q&As, people ask us these very questions, and I always ask right back: “What do YOU think?” And whatever they come up with is usually right. We gave them the bits and pieces that add up to that assumption, without spelling it out. And look, it’s a small, deliberately paced movie; we knew what we were making from the beginning, that it was a different kind of film, a hard sell. But people have embraced it BECAUSE it’s different. The style and attitude is unique, and we are proud of that. We didn’t want to be another movie.
B-D: I don’t want to spoil the film, but there’s sort of a… double twist, I guess you’d call it? Are we supposed to start suspecting that first part of the twist?
Joel: Yes. You’re supposed to think it. I like the idea that a couple will be watching the movie, and the girl will nudge the guy and say “I figured it out, I knew it!”, so then when the 2nd part, the REAL twist comes, the guy can throw egg in her face for being a know-it-all. And I don’t know if any other movie has had this twist before. The first part yeah, but not the second part. It was actually the first thing we thought of.
B-D: The “non twist” twist.
Joel: Yes! The non-twist twist, exactly.
B-D: I know you can’t really say much, but how is Avatar going? You’re heading back to shoot some more, right?
Joel: Yep, we’re continuing to shoot. I can’t tell you how cool it’s gonna be. The story is so powerful and it’s really gonna blow people’s minds. And he really knows how to cast his films. People are going to see this and know the reason that he is “JAMES CAMERON”.
B-D: So besides that, what’s next for you guys?
Zach: Well the strike has sort of stalled things, Chuck has a full season but we only shot about half of it, I think they have two more episodes ready to go but after that it’s nothing until the strike ends. So for me it’s just a lot of taking meetings, playing video games… it’s awfully tough to get a job when nothing’s really moving. Meth helps. Meth and video games. (everyone laughs)
Joel: We’re working on a comedy next. It’s absolutely hilarious. Kind of under a lock because of the strike, but we can say it’s a comedy; sort of back to our roots, what Zach and myself are known for.
B-D: OK guys, thanks for your time.
Joel: Hey no, thank YOU, you guys have always been really supportive of Hatchet and now Spiral, we really appreciate it.