Adam MacDonald Talks BACKCOUNTRY, Storyboarding with Cats and More

     March 21, 2015


I got the chance to hop on the phone with director Adam MacDonald when he was celebrating the world premiere of Backcountry at TIFF in September, but if you’ve seen my review of the film you know I’m a huge fan so when I heard MacDonald was coming to New York City to do some press for the March 20th release, there was no way I was missing out. His feature directorial debut stars Jeff Roop and Missy Peregrym as Alex and Jenn. He’s a big fan of the wilderness and she’s a super supportive girlfriend so she agrees to go on a camping trip to see one of Alex’s favorite spots, a lake on the secluded Blackfoot Trail. Trouble is, they take a wrong turn somewhere and unknowingly wind up in bear territory.

Whereas my last conversation with MacDonald was a brief 10-minutes long, this one clocks in at just over 20. He ran through what he’d recommend packing for a camping trip, showed off the storyboard video he made with cats to prepare for the bear attack scene (really and it’s amazing), discussed his hopes to make Backcountry part of a trilogy and more. Check it all out in the video interview below.


Image via IFC

Adam MacDonald:

  • 00:00 – Aiming to get into Fantasia, but then switching gears when he found out the film got into TIFF.
  • 00:38 – Backcountry isn’t a quintessential midnight movie.
  • 00:55 – He isn’t a bear expert, but he does know quite a bit.
  • 01:11 – If you’re going on a camping trip, here’s what you should bring – according to MacDonald.
  • 03:50 – Survival techniques.
  • 04:26 – Prepping with the bear trainer well before production.
  • 05:11 – MacDonald’s cat video. (If you only watch one part of this interview, this must be it!)
  • 07:07 – How his experience as an actor affected his work as a director.
  • 08:19 – Making the move from shorts to his first feature as a director.
  • 09:49 – Did the story change much from script to production to post-production?
  • 11:41 – Screening a movie that’s got no jump scares in a horror program.
  • 12:03 – Making the Psycho shower scene of bear attacks.
  • 13:10 – Shooting the movie out in the woods; the challenges of working with that kind of terrain.
  • 15:07 – Shooting on the Red Scarlet; lighting the film in a way that feels real.
  • 17:06 – Shooting the waterfall scene with a GoPro.
  • 18:19 – The canoe scene story we’ll never hear.
  • 19:00 – A new project he’s working on called A Wolf at the Door.
  • 19:37 – His hopes to make a trilogy of movies about women surviving extreme circumstances.
  • 20:47 – The bigger film he’s attached to as well.

Image via IFC

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