Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
The Best, Worst And Most Disappointing Films Of The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival The Best, Worst And Most Disappointing Films Of The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival David Fincher Says Differences Over Casting And Disney's Corporate Culture Stalled '20,000 Leagues Under The Sea' David Fincher Says Differences Over Casting And Disney's Corporate Culture Stalled '20,000 Leagues Under The Sea' Review: 'No Good Deed' Starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson Review: 'No Good Deed' Starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson Watch: Shailene Woodley Gets NSFW In 2 Clips From 'White Bird In A Blizzard' Plus New Pics Watch: Shailene Woodley Gets NSFW In 2 Clips From 'White Bird In A Blizzard' Plus New Pics TIFF Review: 'Cake' Starring Jennifer Aniston, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington & More TIFF Review: 'Cake' Starring Jennifer Aniston, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington & More Watch: First Trailer For ‘Serena’ Starring Jennifer Lawrence & Bradley Cooper Watch: First Trailer For ‘Serena’ Starring Jennifer Lawrence & Bradley Cooper First Look: Matthew McConaughey & Ken Watanabe In Gus Van Sant’s ‘Sea Of Trees’ First Look: Matthew McConaughey & Ken Watanabe In Gus Van Sant’s ‘Sea Of Trees’ Tom Hardy Says He'll Never Do Another Romantic Comedy Again Thanks To 'This Means War' Tom Hardy Says He'll Never Do Another Romantic Comedy Again Thanks To 'This Means War' David Fincher Apparently Thinks 'Dragon Tattoo' Sequel 'The Girl Who Played With Fire' Could Get Made David Fincher Apparently Thinks 'Dragon Tattoo' Sequel 'The Girl Who Played With Fire' Could Get Made Revisiting On The Rise: Where Are Our 2012 Picks Now? Revisiting On The Rise: Where Are Our 2012 Picks Now? Oscars: Dust Settles On The Fall Festivals With No Clear Best Picture Front-Runner (Yet) Oscars: Dust Settles On The Fall Festivals With No Clear Best Picture Front-Runner (Yet) Fall TV Preview: Our 22 Most Anticipated Shows For The Rest Of 2014 Fall TV Preview: Our 22 Most Anticipated Shows For The Rest Of 2014 Watch: NYFF Trailer Has Snippets Of ‘Inherent Vice’ Footage For Those Checking For Trailers Several Times A Day Watch: NYFF Trailer Has Snippets Of ‘Inherent Vice’ Footage For Those Checking For Trailers Several Times A Day TIFF Review: 'Still Alice' Starring Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin & Kate Bosworth TIFF Review: 'Still Alice' Starring Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin & Kate Bosworth Boardwalk Empire - Season 5 - Episode 1 Recap: “Golden Days For Boys & Girls” Boardwalk Empire - Season 5 - Episode 1 Recap: “Golden Days For Boys & Girls” The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Interview: Barry Levinson Talks Going The Horror Route With Eco-Thriller 'The Bay'

Photo of Drew Taylor By Drew Taylor | The Playlist October 31, 2012 at 4:18PM

This weekend, Barry Levinson's disgustingly gelatinous eco-horror tale, "The Bay," will be unleashed in theaters and on iTunes. A cutting, inventive found-footage tale of a Fourth of July weekend that goes horribly wrong, we saw it at the New York Film Festival (where it was part of their inaugural crop of midnight movies) and pretty much loved it. The movie is all the more surprising for coming from the gentle, humanist creator of "Diner" and "Tin Men." We caught up with Levinson at this year's New York Comic Con and talked about what brought him to the found-footage horror genre, where film is headed, and what he thought of that gushing Vanity Fair piece on "Diner" from a few months ago.
0
The Bay Barry Levinson

This weekend, Barry Levinson's disgustingly gelatinous eco-horror tale, "The Bay," will be unleashed in theaters and on iTunes. A cutting, inventive found-footage tale of a Fourth of July weekend that goes horribly wrong, we saw it at the New York Film Festival (where it was part of their inaugural crop of midnight movies) and pretty much loved it. The movie is all the more surprising for coming from the gentle, humanist creator of "Diner" and "Tin Men." We caught up with Levinson at this year's New York Comic Con and talked about what brought him to the found-footage horror genre, where film is headed, and what he thought of that gushing Vanity Fair piece on "Diner" from a few months ago.

Kether Donohue, The Bay

Initially, the project started as a straight documentary about the Chesapeake Bay, a body of water that, the film points out, is now 40% dead. (Yikes.) Levinson realized that there was already a documentary on the subject, though, and feeling that he couldn't "necessarily improve upon it," changed course. "What stayed with me was all of these frightening facts," Levinson explained. "So I thought, well, storytelling, that's what I do, why not bring that into it…" He said that this line of thinking got him into a "sci-fi/sci-fact/eco-horror" thing that reminded him of the movies that played up timely social and political fears. "It's not unlike in the fifties, the scare of atomic energy unleashed," Levinson said. "You apply factual stuff to other things and create a piece of entertainment."

Levinson said that he wasn't looking to do a genre movie ("It didn't jump out at me") and even the found-footage aesthetic wasn't something that readily presented itself. Instead, it was born out of Levinson's desire to tell the most human version of the story, which is unsurprising given his oeuvre. "I was thinking about – this is the first time in history that in the midst of all this big stuff going on, you can find all of the small human behavior that was taking place," Levinson said. "So you can hear telephone conversations, people that were texting, people that were doing all these things – and we can find the small moments, which never would have been done before, against this catastrophic backdrop."

Capturing those moments, though, required a fair amount of research. Levinson said that the movie used "21 types of cameras, all of them consumer grade." He explained, "I didn't want to shoot with all these high-end cameras and have to degrade it later. We did all the tests earlier – what's the Google camera going to look like, what's the iPhone camera going to look like? Which was rather interesting to see the capabilities of those cameras." Levinson added, "I had a lot of fun in that."

This article is related to: Barry Levinson, The Bay


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates