Director Kimble Rendall talks about his bloody horror-thriller Bait 3D, available on Blu-ray 3D and DVD September 18
Most directors don't become filmmakers overnight, with many cutting their teeth working in other capacities before ascending to the director's chair. Australian helmer Kimble Rendall is one such director, serving as an editor and producer before making his directorial debut with the 2000 thriller Cut. He also served as second unit director on blockbusters such as The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions, I, Robot, Ghost Rider, Underworld 3: The Rise of The Lycans, and last year's Killer Elite. He returns to the helm with Bait 3D, debuting on Blu-ray 3D and DVD September 18. I recently had the chance to speak with Kimble Rendall over the phone about this new release. Here's what he had to say.
I read there were a few different versions of the script going around before you became involved. I was wondering if you could talk about what kinds of things were in place when you came on?
Kimble Rendall: Yeah, it was developed by Russell Mulcahy. I think he pitched the idea to Arclight, the film company, and they worked on it and had other writers come and go. They had a script when I was asked to come on board, and I went through that with a writer or two as well. There was stuff that would be very difficult to film, like cars driving underwater, and various other things. So I did my version. The story was there. The sharks in the supermarket had already been developed, the concept that Russell had developed.
Would you say that your version was more pared down? Was the other version developed for a big-budget affair?
Kimble Rendall: Well, I've done a lot of action, and I added a lot of that in, particularly at the end. I didn't like the original ending, I thought it was pretty lame, so I thought let's blow some stuff up. I actually made it bigger, in some ways, and simplified it in other areas that would be hard to film.
There is quite a cast here, filled with established veterans and young up and coming actors. Can you talk about the casting process, and were a lot of these actors at the top of your list?
Kimble Rendall: Yeah, we did some extensive casting. I came to L.A. and did some, and in Sydney. A lot of them were Australian actors who had gone overseas and are working in Hollywood now. The main thing was to get the right people for the part. Julian McMahon is popular over there and here as well. It was an Australia and Singapore co-production, so I cast Adrian Pang out of Singapore, who is a really good theater actor. There is Chinese involvement as well, so we got Yuwu Qi, who is well-known in China. It was an interesting cast to put together.
I was wondering if you can talk a bit about finding the right locations in Australia to shoot this. Was there extensive location scouting to find the right place?
Kimble Rendall: Yeah. We were filming in Queensland, and there were a lot of beaches close to it. We tried to find a little village place where it all starts, and that's a place in Coolangatta. We filmed outside for three or four days, and the rest of it was in the studio, where we built this big swimming pool and put the supermarket into it. We spent like nine weeks locked in there. There were two sets, the supermarket set and the car park downstairs.
In going through your filmography, there are some really huge movies that you worked on. I was curious about how a background like that helps in making a movie like this, which has to be both big and small at the same time?
Kimble Rendall: Part of the reason I was asked to do it was there are hardly any people in Australia who have this expertise or background in making these different types of movies. I love action and genre and sci-fi, and I've been fortunate enough to work on those movies. And, also, the crews I've worked with, we all grew up together, doing these films. When this came up, I got a lot of the crew from those films, and they came on, even though it was low budget. We just had to be clever, and use the expertise we had in doing the big stuff, and try to make it work on a smaller scale, a smaller budget. Also, it was 3D, and it was a very complex film to make, very technically complex.
Was 3D always a part of the conversation with this project?
Kimble Rendall: It was always going to be 3D, that was part of the thing. Sharks in a supermarket in 3D was always the concept. We shot it in 3D, and we wanted to do it for real. We didn't want to convert it later on. The 3D is really good on the eye.
With shooting this in 3D, were there any particularly challenging shots? You said before you took out some things that were going to be too hard to film. Is there one scene in particular that was either trickier than you anticipated, or that you knew was going to be tough from the get-go?
Kimble Rendall: I knew it was going to be tough. Nothing was really unexpected. We planned it quite well, in the execution of it. Some of the scenes where the building was collapsing, that was quite a big setup, and we spent a lot of time on that. It was all planned out, so I knew what to expect, but getting the shark-cam through the water was tough. The shark is like 12 feet long, and it's got to be able to move around, and you have two big cameras. It's tricky. I don't think there is anything I was completely surprised with.
I believe you're in pre-production on a new project right now called Blowback. Is there anything you can say about that? Are you casting that right now?
Kimble Rendall: We're talking to casting agents, and it's really early days. That's getting a bit of interest, because I'm going to film that in Sydney, use Sydney as a backdrop, which hasn't been really done before for a big action movie. It's basically about a man whose daughter is kidnapped, but that's a small part of it. It's an action-thriller, and there are big action sequences involving some of the iconic things in Sydney, like the Opera House. It's a good cat-and-mouse story, a classic action script.
Kimble Rendall: Go and see a cool and entertaining film for 90 minutes. You get a bunch of good scares, and also a few laughs.
Great. That's about all I have. Thanks so much, Kimble. It was great talking to you.
Kimble Rendall: My pleasure. Thanks.