Thursday, September 03, 2009

Pandorum: An Interview With Screenwriter Travis Milloy

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(Michael Allen) Hello Travis, how are you doing today?

(Travis Milloy) "I am great. Where are you at today?"

(Michael Allen) I am in Victoria, British Columbia on the westcoast. Are you in Hollywood?

(Travis Milloy) "I am in Los Angeles, yes. I have a place in Colorado as well, but I am in Los Angeles right now. I come out for business and all that stuff. Mostly I write out of Colorado to get away from the rat race, you know?"

(Michael Allen) I was doing some research on "Pandorum" and to me it looks like a psychological horror thriller. Is that close to how you see the film?

(Travis Milloy) "Yes, it is a little mix of both of these genres. Yes, I don't know where to start. I actually wrote it out of spite. I was working on other projects. I was under contract with Warner Brothers for awhile. I had been working on some big studio projects for several years without any of my scripts making it. Then I sat down and wrote 'Pandorum.' I decided I was going to write something for myself. That is how it all got started.

This is the first script where I started and I did not know where it would go. I did not know the whole structure, but this script started with a guy waking up from a hyper sleep chamber and not knowing what is going on. It was like I was watching him as I was writing the script.

It was really cool how it happened. I kind of got lucky; from a writer's perspective it is a dangerous thing to do 'cause I could walk into a brick wall and not know how to finish it. It worked out. I had written it as an independent film. I thought it would be me and a couple buddies getting a camera together and going to go shoot it. I was not sure if my agent would be interested because there is no dialogue for the first twenty-five pages of the script. It was like Robin Crusoe in space type thing."

(Michael Allen) The film sounds like a real mystery.

(Travis Milloy) "Yes, it is like what is going on? And my agent really liked it and he sent it to Impact Picture and they loved it!"

(Michael Allen) Overture Films is a part of it as well.

(Travis Milloy) "Yes, they came in to the picture a little bit later, but it started with Impact, which is Jeremy and Paul from the 'Resident Evil' pictures."

(Michael Allen) I love those movies.

(Travis Milloy) "They did a deal with Constantin and that is how Christian Alvert got involved. Then I think they locked in with Overture for distribution."

(Michael Allen) One of my favourite movies is "Event Horizon" and I see from the trailer the real difficulty in dealing with deep space and being so far away from a comfortable surrounding.

(Travis Milloy) "It definitely falls into that genre. I am a kid of the 80s so I definitely draw from the staple like 'Aliens,' 'Outland,' 'The Thing,' and all those sci-fi ones. My inspiration definitely came from those settings 'cause those are the settings I know that I watched growing up.

It was a fun little script that I did not know if it would go anywhere. Christian Alvert came along. He was really hot at the time. He had done a German film called 'Antibodies.' He came to Hollywood and big studios where throwing projects at him, but he did not know what he wanted to do. He ended up reading my script and he literally fell out of his chair 'cause he was writing a similar script. It was a slightly different story, but the first ten to fifteen pages where almost identical.

He loved the script so we came together with some of his ideas and then did a rewrite and we came up with the script that they shot."

(Michael Allen) From the trailers the film looks very mysterious and I am wondering if what is actually happening in the film a part of Bower's (Ben Foster) imagination, or is it something else?

(Travis Milloy) "It plays into that, it goes that way. I try to pose the question of: is this really happening? Is this generated by something? So, it definitely has the horror factor. It has the psychological as well: are we seeing something real? It kind of climaxes all together at the end."

(Michael Allen) Is the release date firmly September 25th?

(Travis Milloy) Yes, absolutely.

(Michael Allen) What personal experiences did you draw from when writing the script other than dealing with the big studios?

(Travis Milloy) "I was really trying to think of the most uncomfortable scenario for myself. What is the scariest shit I could come up with? I tried to put myself into those places like claustrophobia, like being in the dark, in general, but not really knowing your surroundings. So, I started from there - from a small place like a coffin. As the story goes on the story gets larger and larger and more fucked up. I was going with the most primal feelings.

The things that he sees and encounters that are ripping people apart. What are they? What would freak me out the most?"

(Michael Allen) Being in the middle of deep space with nothing, but danger on a ship sounds very scary and I am sure that will tap into viewer's fears.

(Travis Milloy) "Yes, being a million miles away is pretty scary. I think it works. It will be interesting; I hope it will be successful.

It is a dark movie. It is pretty violent. The one thing I hope for is that people will not forget it easily. I want it to create a following so that it leaves its mark."

(Michael Allen) From the first trailer, several months ago, I have been looking forward to the movie and I cannot wait to see it!

(Travis Milloy) "Thanks, I was in awe when I saw the first copy. It was the most surreal movie experience I have ever had. I had never seen anything that I had ever wrote on the big screen. I did not even know if I liked it and the director turned to me and said 'what do you think?' I said I don't know. It was not until the next day that I thought that was a great movie."

(Michael Allen) Can we talk about some other projects that you have coming up outside of "Pandorum?"

(Travis Milloy) "Sure, the same company that did 'Pandorum" Constantin has hired me to do another movie. It is a bank heist film called '28 Minutes.' So, it is a completely different genre. That is what I am working on now and I have a bunch of new scripts. We are moving into September and that is basically the sellers market for setting up projects. So, I have a bunch of different scripts that I have written on my own. Some are wicked sci-fi stuff and all different genres."

(Michael Allen) Are any of these new scripts horror?

(Travis Milloy) "I have one, but I have not finished it yet. I definitely love that genre. I try to search for a way to find something that has got some real intelligence to it so that it is a real mystery instead of the ordinary slasher."

(Michael Allen) I think the horror genre is good for tapping in to the dark side.

(Travis Milloy) Absolutely, I have some of my friends who do not like these movies and they are like 'life is hard enough without these movies' and for me it is that rush from a horror film. As long as a movie has an emotional impact whether disturbing, or whatever. If it does that then it has left a mark."

(Michael Allen) I like movies that make me feel uncomfortable during and afterwards.

(Travis Milloy) "Yes, I like those movies that make me want to go take a shower after.

So, yes this is my opportunity to get other stuff made. Obviously I want to get some independent movies made. I am waiting for the right time to make those and I love horror, psychological thrillers. So, I will see if I get my chance and see if 'Pandorum' does well."

(Michael Allen) Well, this has been a great experience talking to you for myself as an amateur writer and I know fans would love to hear more about 'Pandorum' and they well check out this interview.

(Travis Milloy) "Thanks, Michael it was a real exciting experience making the film and anytime you would like to talk in the future drop me a line."


dbettschen82 said...

Hey Travis long time no see. Didnt see you at the 20th. Cant wait to see the movie.

Betch 87

P.S. tell mike I said hi.