A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (Blu-ray)
Warner Home Video
Release Date: October 25th, 2010
Certificate (UK): 15
Running Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Director: Samuel Bayer
Producer: Brad Fuller
Writer: Eric Heisserer
Cast: Jackie Earle Haley, Rooney Mara, Kyle Gallner, Clancy Brown, Connie Britton, Katie Cassidy, Kellan Lutz, Thomas Dekker
A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010) Blu-ray Review
Some time ago I got in touch with Platinum Dunes and asked Brad Fuller if he would be up for a chat about the recent remake of Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) and to see if I could learn some more about the production company as well.
Platinum Dunes, since its formation back in 2001, has been behind films such as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), The Amityville Horror (2005), The Hitcher (2007) and Friday the 13th (2009), but they don’t just do remakes. The Horsemen (2009) and The Unborn (2009) were both developed from original screenplays.
One of the things I enjoy about their movies is that they give first time feature directors a chance at making movies they want to make and that’s something we covered in this interview as well as the future of Elm Street.
As a kid growing up, what kind of movies do remember watching?
“It wasn’t a specific genre. I loved everything, I just loved going to the movies so I pretty much saw everything that I could. I always loved the big action movies or the disaster films of the ‘70’s, I love those.”
What did you study at Wesleyan University?
“I was a film major at Weslyian and they had a fantastic film department and that was where I learned a whole lot about movies. It was fantastic!”
Did you get involved in any productions while you were there?
“I did make a couple. I think I made two. But they were little, tiny, nothing, I mean not even real films, they were more exercises. The Weslyian education was… although we did make films, it was more film theory than it was actual production.”
What was your first job like?
“When I was 16 years old I started working for Henry Winkler and Roger Burnbell. That was my first job. They had a production company together and they made a movie together called The Sure Thing. I was the office intern so I didn’t have anything specific, but I was around and I loved it.”
As a producer, what skills would you say have really helped you along your way?
“They’re the same skills that I know to this day and that’s that you never accept the answer “no”!”
What was the idea that first started Platinum Dunes?
“It was really Michael’s [Bay] concept. I think that Michael felt very grateful to Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer for giving him his first shot. At the time he was just directing commercials and videos. I think that he felt it would be a great thing to provide that same opportunity for first time directors. So we set out to do films that were not so expensive that studios would be unwilling to take a risk on a first time director. We figured as long as we made movies that were at a certain price point they would allow us to work with first time directors.”
The first couple of films from Platinum Dunes were remakes but then you did Horsemen, an original story for which you choose first time feature director Jonas Ackerland. How did you first come across his work?
“Well for us, for the most part everything has always been about looking at directors’ reels. Even though the directors we worked with, in most cases, have not directed a film before, they’ve directed hundreds or thousands of commercials and rock videos. We don’t pluck someone from obscurity who doesn’t have a tonne of experience behind the camera, we look for people who have a tonne of experience but haven’t made a film before. We would love to work with him again. It’s interesting, I had dinner with him three nights ago and we were just talking about what else we could do together. We think he’s an incredibly talented guy.”
Are you on set a lot during shooting and present during post production as well?
“Absolutely. Between Drew [Form] and myself, there’s not been a single frame that has been shot on any of these films that at least not one of us, and actually, 90% of the times, both of us have been sitting on set, watching and the same goes for our post production.”
How do you manage to balance that side of the business with keeping the everyday things running at Platinum Dunes?
“We do have a good support team. Platinum Dunes is just myself, Michael and Drew, and two assistants so it’s not a huge organisation, its five of us. Our output is limited because we are on set making movies. That’s why we tend to make one movie a year because it takes that long to take it from beginning to end.”
What was the scariest part of handling A Nightmare On Elm Street?
“There wasn’t one thing; the whole time on set was terrifying because it’s such a beloved film. There was a real chance we were gonna screw up something and in a lot of people’s minds we did. A lot of people loved it, some people didn’t but for the most part I think that is the most loved movie that we’ve done. So there are certainly a lot of opinions and a lot of scrutiny to everything that you do. There’s no way to please everyone but it felt like we pleased a lot of people which is nice.”
Did everyone know early on that both Freddy and Nancy were going to be these much darker characters than they were in the original, that the film would go in a different direction?
“Yes, the answer is yes, we knew that we did not want him to be wisecracking and jovial. We wanted him to be terrifying so it started from there. In terms of Nancy, we just wanted to choose a girl who we felt was of the moment and that’s how we chose Rooney.”
How did you pick Steve Jablonsky to score Elm Street?
“I think with Steve, he did our first movie with us and if you really scrutinise our credits we tend to keep on back to the same people over and over if they’ve worked well with us. There’s comfort in doing that and Steve works a lot for Platinum Dunes as Michael Bay, we love his work and we’ll continue working with him as long as he’ll have us.”
Where does Elm Street go from here?
“That’s anybody’s guess honestly. The studios here don’t seem that keen to be making horror movies right now. There definitely seems to be many, many less horror movies made. And so it depends on what the studios decide they want to do, whether or not there’ll be any more. We’d love to do it.”
So there you have it folks. Although Elm Street’s future is uncertain, we’re still hoping to see a lot more from Platinum Dunes. With so many scripts and talented directors out there waiting for the chance, I’m pretty sure there’ll be another venture soon.
The founder of Static Mass Emporium and one of its Editors in Chief is a composer and music producer with a philosophy degree. Static Mass is where he lives his passion for film and writing about it. A fan of film classics, documentaries and World Cinema, Patrick prefers films with an impeccable way of storytelling that reflect on the human condition.
You can find his music on Soundcloud .