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Horror movie Speak with me hit San Diego Comic-Con, it lives up to its name. The panel, led by filmmaking twins Danny and Michael Philippou, was all talk, despite a short clip, as the film’s cast withdrew from presenting due to the SAG-AFTRA strike.
But that didn’t stop the panel from being entertaining and informative, with the brothers hyperactively chatting about their origins, dispensing directorial advice and spitting non-sequiturs, leaving the audience in the Bayfront’s Hilton Indigo Ballroom with smiles on their faces. faces.
The enthusiastic and excitable brothers gained a huge following, as well as experience, making action horror comedy videos on YouTube before gaining interest in Hollywood with Speak with me, which they made independently. The supernatural horror film, about teenagers who find themselves on the wrong end of a possession gone very bad, became a sensation at Sundance this year before being picked up by A24. It will be released on July 28th.
“We never came to YouTube with the intention of becoming YouTubers. We wanted to make feature films,” said Michael. “Every fight scene we designed either a new rig or a new blood effect or something with music. We always set ourselves challenges for the videos we were making. if it was possible to do something and gain experience”.
The brothers shared many details about the do-it-yourself ethic that permeated the making of Speakfrom having eight weeks of shooting suddenly reduced to five, having to set up your own visual effects company just to make sure the shoot was done on time, and even turning down a studio to maintain creative control.
But none seemed more surprising than Danny who revealed the risk they took fighting to cast relative newcomer Sophie Wilde as the lead.
“We lost a million dollars off Sophie’s casting budget because it wasn’t a name,” Danny said. “But we really believed in her… To secure Sophie, we had to put our fees back into the film. And our manufacturer did the same thing.
The filmmakers talked about their love of practical effects – “Even bad practice looks better than bad CG,” Michael said – and meeting legendary game designer Hideo Kojima – “We talked about a little something, something,” he said Danny to ooh and aah.
And they talked hilariously about how they had to shoot a montage sequence that they were told they had two hours to shoot that involved 50 setups.
“The first AD told us it was mathematically impossible to do,” Michael recalled. “And we were like, ‘Let’s control the set for these two hours. Give us a boom box and two cameras.’”
There were shouts of orders, actors furiously in and out of makeup, and pure chaos.
“We actually got all 50 hits. So fuck that first commercial,” Michael said as the audience howled.
“No, no, we love you. He was really good,” Danny said, stepping into damage control. “I just don’t want things taken out of context.
More laughter broke out.
Ultimately, the brothers focused on their non-traditional non-film business origins.
“There is a stigma that comes with being a YouTuber that people box you into,” Michael said. “That you can’t work by other means. But I feel if you’re a storyteller, you’re a storyteller. TikTok, Snapchat, YouTube, Instagram, it doesn’t matter. If you want to make films and you are serious about it, you can do it”.