Cellular & Final Destination 3: A recent interview with About.com has director David R. Ellis talking about the upcoming Kim Basinger thriller Cellular, which he is in post production with. Just as well, the director talks about the current plans for a 3rd Final Destination film. Here's a clip...
Are you still in post?
Yeah, we’re still in post. We just had our first preview which went well. We’re just making a couple more editorial changes, and then we’re going to do a couple days of additional photography, and then go right into our second preview.
What was the length of the first cut?
Will you make it shorter?
Just a little bit. Three or four minutes.
What changes will you make with the additional shoot?
Mainly we had always planned to do some additional photography afterwards, some aerial shots. There were some things that were designed to be on Kim in voiceover when she’s on the phone that we decided we wanted to be on her for, so it’s really not reshooting as much as just shooting some additional stuff for clarity.
How did this shoot differ from Final Destination 2?
Both were fun. This one was great because we got to keep it in the United States and L.A. We shot all around Venice, West L.A. which is great because I got to go home at night. We had great weather and we didn’t have the rain of Vancouver. As well as I had the crew that I use a lot on second units shooting it, so there’s a lot of very talented people that I knew well. They were both good. It was just great to be home and keep the work here in the states.
Was a cell phone tie-in a major part of preproduction?
Yeah, getting the company that would help advertise and cross promote the movie on the release was an important factor for New Line, so we went out to a lot of different companies. Some people had problems with it because at times, part of the jeopardy of the phone is that you might lose the signal or he goes into a tunnel and it starts to become static. Some people didn’t want their product represented like that would ever happen with a cell phone, although it does. So it was an interesting marketing thing to get the right company to come up to the plate and we got Nokia, which is great. And we were also needing the new video streaming technology that the new phones are going to have. Nokia had one that is just coming out that we felt was most apropos for the film.
How tough was continuity like which hand the phone is in?
It’s always an issue because he does switch hands, but because he’s so active in the action sequences that he had to use both hands on the steering wheel and switch hands all the time. So it kept Brenda, our script supervisor busy. But Chris is really good at it, so it wasn’t really that big an issue.
How did the script change during the rewrite process?
During the development, once I came on board, it changed dramatically because the McGuffin of what the bad cops are after and the reason they’ve kidnapped Kim Basinger originally was a computer chip that her husband had been developing with another guy. Then that changed to bad cops and a videotaped beating/execution thing that these cops that are ripping off drug dealers did. That changed and we just tried to strengthen the characters and bring some creativity into the action beats without making it over the top and just stunts for stunts’ sake. So it went through a pretty drastic rewrite. We went through a couple sets of writers and Chris Morgan eventually was on board and then we got some new writers and then brought Chris back on board. It was a great process between Chris and Dean and myself and everybody else.
Were there set pieces you envisioned to add in?
Yeah, some of the action pieces. Also, originally the script was written for Boston and the third act was a big concert in the Charles River with a lot of people. So we changed that to a concert/fundraiser at the Santa Monica pier with Heal the Bay as the backdrop. So it changed a lot.
CLICK HERE for the entire interview.