|
|
|
|
Chillicothe News - Chillicothe, MO
  • Director Will Eubank ready for the next level with ‘The Signal’

    • email print
      Comment
  • By Dana Barbuto
    More Content Now
    Up-and-coming indie film director Will Eubank apologizes at the end of our interview. “I was rambling. I’m sorry. Give me a little coffee and I go for days,” Eubank said while promoting his new movie, “The Signal,” at the Liberty Hotel in Boston.
    You can’t fault the loquacious director for being enthusiastic about his fledgling career and a movie that was the darling at January’s Sundance Film Festival, where the sci-fi mind-bender was purchased by Focus Features.
    It tells the trippy story of three M.I.T. students whose cross-country trip turns into an experience straight out of the “Twilight Zone.” Things go wrong for Nic, Jonah and Haley when their side-trip pursuit of a rival hacker lands them prisoner in a government facility surrounded by untalkative guys in haz-mat suits. Young actors Brenton Thwaites (“Maleficent”), Olivia Cooke (“Bates Motel”) and Beau Knapp (“Super 8”) portray the trio. Laurence Fishburne plays the agent in charge. “It’s kids sort of trying to find themselves and then happen upon something really crazy,” Eubank said of the film, which opens Friday. “They go down the rabbit hole ... and they’re trying to find their way out. Through this process, hopefully, they learn more about themselves.”
    Hailed as innovative and ambitious, Eubank – like Quentin Tarantino – didn’t go to film school. Instead, he’s drawn on years of experience working at Panavision, the camera rental house. The 31-year-old worked a lot of different jobs on a lot of different movies, all of which prepared him to be a filmmaker. And it all paid off at Sundance.
    “As a filmmaker it’s like a merit badge you desperately hope you’re going to get,” Eubank said of the festival. “I had two dreams before I turn 30 – go to Sundance and then get into the DGA. And the Sundance part took a little longer.”
    It wasn’t the Holyoke native’s first trip to Park City, Utah. “Panavision would send me to Sundance to talk about digital cameras … and I would just sit there and see these people, these actors, directors, and storytellers and just wish that one day I could be one of them.”
    Mission accomplished.
    But Eubank said the experience was bittersweet.
    “My grandfather lived in Salt Lake City and he was kind of ... a gruff and crazy character. We called him Old Coyote,” Eubank said. “He was a cinematographer in the Navy and I would always – on Panavison’s dime – go take him out to dinner. He was was like, ‘Someday you’re going to get to Sundance.’ Unfortunately he passed away two years before the film got there. I was bummed.”
    When he was younger, Eubank said he either wanted to make movies or go to the Naval Academy. “I always felt like my granddad was connected to both of those things,” Eubank said. Ultimately, movies won because you “probably didn’t need to get good grades to be a filmmaker.”
    Page 2 of 2 - So Eubank started to “climb the ladder.” He got the job at Panavision to learn the technical side of shooting a film. He borrowed the cameras on weekends to shoot other people’s projects, earning several gigs. “While I was doing that, I was always working on the stuff I was writing. And then my first film, ‘Love,’ came along. It was all just falling into place. I wouldn’t say any of it was easy, and actually making ‘Love’ was difficult. But when it was all said and done, I had a film in my pocket that I had directed and built upon everything I had learned up ’til that point. It was like solving a big math problem.”

        calendar