Bryan Woods and Scott Beck Interview: ‘A Quiet Place’ writers
“Our intent is first and foremost just telling a story about broken communication in a family; that’s the centerpiece,” Scott Beck tells Gold Derby about “A Quiet Place” in an exclusive joint interview with his co-writer and fellow executive producer Bryan Woods (watch the video above). “Everybody sees their own experiences with family in the film and that’s perhaps why it connected so widely,” Beck says about the unexpected blockbuster, which was produced for $17 million and originally projected for a domestic box office run of $60 million, but ultimately grossed $188 million out of $339 million worldwide.
“A Quiet Place” is now in the mix for Oscar nominations, including Best Original Screenplay, which went to fellow horror film “Get Out” last year. Citing that as their favorite film of last year, Woods explains, “As two filmmakers who have loved genre movies forever and have appreciated the power of genre movies, it was really cool to see something get recognized like that… Horror in particular has always had a lot to say and a lot to reflect about where we are as a society, so those movies are so, so important and also oftentimes esthetically and stylistically pushing boundaries and doing really inventive things.”
Woods reveals about the origins of their film, “I remember seeing ‘There Will Be Blood’ and Scott and I were so enamored with the first 12 minutes of that film and how it was completely silent and just pure cinema — pure storytelling — and having the naiveté and ego of a young filmmaker and being, ‘Well, we’ll do that for a whole feature! What if you did a whole movie just like that’?” Beck says that it took a decade to outline the premise, characters and mythology and once they “finally got down to the script, that was a three-and-a-half/four-month process to really get that done, then two months later, it was at Paramount.”
“We were off writing and directing another film,” Beck says about when John Krasinski boarded the project as director, re-writer, executive producer and star. “We constantly juggle five or six projects at a time, so as soon as something starts inching forward, we’re trying to figure out how do we get something else to inch forward, because we’ve been through the process where so many times, movies don’t get made.” Woods adds, “Our brand is attempting to combine the art-house with the multiplex — in other words, combining the art-house esthetic of a Paul Thomas Anderson film like ‘There Will Be Blood’ with the popcorn fun of a movie like ‘Jaws’.”
Beck teases about the sequel starring Krasinski and Emily Blunt that is due for release in two years, “The studio is very hungry to find an original story to tell in this world and that’s what’s exciting for us. Writing the first ‘Quiet Place,’ that was something that was just provoked by our love for original storytelling and giving the audience something new and so to have a sequel is very, very flattering — that there’s an appetite for more story like that, but the key to it is just finding characters that everybody’s going to really love.”