Writer-Director Destin Cretton Talks SHORT TERM 12, Portraying Heavy Issues Without Becoming Melodramatic, Deleted Scenes, Getting Financing, More

     August 20, 2013


One of the best films I’ve seen this year is writer-director Destin Daniel Cretton‘s Short Term 12.  The movie picked up the Audience Award and the Grand Jury Prize (Narrative Film) at this year’s SXSW, and it stars Brie Larson as Grace, a young woman who works at a foster-care facility for at-risk kids, but she also has to face her own demons.  While the film deals with serious subject matter, it’s never preachy or melodramatic.  Instead, Cretton allows the story to unfold naturally, and you feel like you’re watching real people in authentic situations.  It’s absolutely worth your time and money.  Short Term 12 also stars John Gallagher Jr., Kaitlyn DeverKeith Stanfield, and Rami Malek.

At the recent Los Angeles press day, I landed an extended video interview with Cretton.  He talked about the overwhelming positive reception to the film, how tough it was to get financing, winning the awards, how much changed from inception to the finished film, using the RED Epic cameras, balancing the heavy issues without them becoming melodramatic, deleted scenes, future projects, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to watch.

short-term-12-brie-larson-john-gallagher-jrDestin Cretton Time Index:

  • :15 – Talks about the overwhelming positive reception to the film.
  • 1:22 – When did he first know that he wanted to be a filmmaker?
  • 2:41 – What’s the worst job he’s ever had?
  • 3:39 – The process of getting financing for the film. Talks about winning awards for the short film version of Short Term 12.
  • 5:34 – How much the film changed from the first draft of the script to the finished film.
  • 6:26 – Talks about shooting the film on the RED Epic camera.
  • 7:59 – The balancing act of portraying heavy issues in the film without them becoming melodramatic.
  • 10:37 – Does he have any past jobs that he would want to mine for future scripts?  Says he’s interested in exploring the world of hospice care.
  • 12:17 – Deleted scenes.  Says he has close to 30 minutes of extra material that will be on the Blu-ray.


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