30 Days of Night

David Slade on directing

Film is a living evolving beast, and its best when it does that. You get into a scene and it's all perfectly storyboarded and you know precisely the lens you are going to use and why and what each camera movement means, and an actor changes a line or improvises a moment and you realize that this moment of inspiration beats your months of preparation hands down. You follow that for a while and it makes things better, truer. Then you go and you write new scenes based on these ideas. It's not often that this is the best thing to do, and it's truly not often you can even afford the luxury to do that in a studio movie as everything has to be planned and accounted for. However we did expand certain ideas that really improved the film and gave greater depth to the characters, and that is the joy of working with great actors. That said we did set out with a specific plan for everything and didn't really deviate that much except to enrich character. I think we all knew what we were getting into, and we got lots of it.



30 Days of Night Movie Review

by Charles Robertson

Great opening shot of a ship in the ice and a lone male on the frozen shore. He makes his way to the very northern town of Barrow Alaska which is about to plunge into 30 days of darkness due to its geographical location. The lone male brings with him some friends of the zombie-vampire variety who see an opportunity to feast on the poor citizens of the town. These creatures cut off all means of escape and power and begin to order take-out. It reminded me of Salem's Lot by Stephen King, where another band of vampire's ravaged a small town. This film is however based on a comic book miniseries by Steve Niles who also co-wrote the screenplay. Josh Hartnett, as the asthmatic Sheriff Eben Oleson and his soon-to-be ex-wife; Stella Oleson, played by Melissa George fight to keep the last few surviving humans out of the clutch of these zombie/vampires. Hartnett is great as his humanity is tested by the awful decisions he is forced to make to keep his small band of humans alive. In fact, the portrayal of the fight for survival of this small human tribe by the actors on this small dark frozen stage, is the strength of this film, because once you've seen one crazed zombie/vampire, you've seen them all. It's the human characters that make the difference. In a world of uncertainty, its the zombies and vampires that provide a kind of stability by following a set of rules, that all film makers follow. Director David Slade is no exception. The human reaction is the x factor and Hartnett's performance shines in the Alaskan gloom.

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Josh Hartnett-Advice to Young Actors

Keep your head on straight. Be honest with yourself about what you're getting into because it's a really difficult business to break into - don't expect it to happen overnight. But if you really, really, really want it, if it's the only thing you want to do and you must do it, then do it. Go for it. Take the time and put in all the effort you can and focus on the acting first. I mean, it doesn't always work like that, you know what I mean? Certain people out in Hollywood can't act worth a damn but they're very successful because they're just either lucky or have been pushed along by the right people. But you can't count on that happening, so you just have to be yourself and do the work. Most of all, don't let other people tell you what to do. Do it your own way.



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