ON SET: The Covenant Part 2
The next scene that Director Renny Harlin was going to shoot he actually demonstrated to the assembled press using two water bottles. This shot, in addition to having the blue screen all around the tall rock formation, is also going to have a blue screen applied to the ground because of the way the camera is going to be moving. This is actually an earlier part of the scene described in The Covenant Set Report #1.
Set in present day New England, the film follows Caleb (Steven Strait), Reid (Toby Hemingway), Pogue (Taylor Kitsch) and Tyler (Chace Crawford). These are four friends who share supernatural powers like shapeshifting and various "feats of strength" that nobody else knows they have. However, every time one them uses their power it effects the lifespan of all of them. Soon, Chase Collins (Sebastian Stan) joins the group and it isn't long before he and Caleb are locking horns over Sarah Wenham (Laura Ramsey). With Caleb about to achieve his "full power" on his 18th birthday, he realizes that he is going to have to sacrifice everything to save what he loves.
In this new shot, Pogue (Taylor Kitsch) and Caleb (Steven Strait) are both going to be descending down on the party (as was demonstrated by Harlin knocking two water bottles off his monitor). He then explained that the camera was going to be "moving the whole time" as the actors actually fall past it, and then the camera will move to where they were standing showing them now on the ground at the party.
"It's incredible," says Steven Strait. "We've been working with the wires for the past two months. It's been really great." Sebastian Stan who plays Chase Collins had a different take about being lifted up and moved around by wires. "For me it was tough. I have a bit of a vertigo thing going on."
The actors proceeded to talk about their roles in the movie. "Caleb has an influence over what people are going to do." Strait states. "He's trying to get a grip on this power he has no choice about having." Stan takes the same stance on his character who's motivations while seemingly similar are the polar opposite of Caleb's. "I'm the new guy who comes in. I think for me it's more about fitting in... I think it becomes about overcoming the powers to a certain extent."
"All these guys are so linked together," Strait continues, "that when they use these powers they all feel it... somebody eventually falls victim to these powers and they all feel it." Strait who worked with wires on the more lighter toned film Sky High, sees the roles in both those movies as defined, to some extent, by their superpowers but they are also much different. "Sky High was much more animated... this one's not. This is about a small group of guys who share a gift that only they have. They can't explain it and if they overuse it they could all die." Stan looks at The Covenant in relation to other films as well. "I see it like The Skulls or The Lost Boys."
Next we talked with the other members of The Covenant, Toby Hemingway, Taylor Kitsch and Chace Crawford. All of these actors were very effusive in discussing their characters, the film and what it's like working with director Renny Harlin.
"I play kind of the youngest one," states Crawford. "Who wants the power and just to be
along for the ride."
"I'm kind of a mix but at the same time I'm deadly serious." Offers Kitsch. "It's a bit more than jealousy with him there's a lot more going on."
Hemingway makes no bones about the problems his character has with Caleb. "I butt heads with him a lot. I have a bit of an attitude. He's moody but he likes to have a good time. There's a conflict between us because we're all about to ascend (turn 18 and attain their "full power"), it's starting to get serious. I think he resents that Caleb's the leader and always taking charge."
The actors then discussed the benefits of Harlin letting them perform their own stunts. "It's been a great experience." Kitsch declares. "It helps with the characters. We did a month of training."
"We did all our own stunts except one." Crawford says referring to a scene in which a stunt double was employed for a motorcycle chase.
"We do everything we can." says Hemingway. As for the roughest part of the shoot? "The weather," he states.
When asked about working with director Renny Harlin the three actors launch into impersonations of the Finnish director. "Brilliant" the say, mimicking Harlin's pleasure at seeing something the actor might have done in a scene. They quickly follow that up with, "One more take," proving that no matter how "brilliant" something is there's always room for improvement. The actors say that Harlin is "great" and what they really love is how if they have ideas, he'll let the actors do a take their way.
Working in the cold weather conditions of Montreal, with long hours for days on end, the byproduct of this seems to be that all of the actors have bonded naturally. This is something that will surely help the character's of The Covenant put that "bond" across on screen. Nothing could sum this up better than Toby Hemingway's final comment,"My favorite scenes are when we're all together."
Stay tuned for another installment of interviews from MovieWeb's visit to the set of The Covenant.