‘Hardcore’: Sharlto Copley and Timur Bekmambetov on TIFF’s Breakout Film

     September 22, 2015


About two years ago, Ilya Naishuller and his band Biting Elbows hit it big with the music video for “Bad Motherfucker.” Naishuller directed the piece which is shot entirely from the first person perspective, following the main character as he kicks, punches and shoots his way out of an office building overrun with armed thugs. Soon after the “Bad Motherfucker” video made the rounds on the web, Naishuller teamed up with Timur Bekmambetov to turn the idea into a feature.

Considering the popularity of “Bad Motherfucker” and the unique shooting style, it’s no wonder that their feature version, Hardcore, picked up a good deal of buzz going into its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. However, the movie didn’t just make due on that hype. It far exceeded it. Not only did Hardcore snag the People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award, but it also locked one of the biggest deals of the festival, a reported $10 million sale to distributor STX.

Shortly after the world premiere screening (but before the sale), I got the opportunity to sit down with Bekmambetov and star Sharlto Copley to discuss how they got involved in the project, the unprecedented challenges they faced during production, the need to raise a significant amount of money on Kickstarter for post-production, and loads more. You can hear about it all in the video interview below and, in case you missed it, click here to check out my full review of Hardcore.

Sharlto Copley and Timur Bekmambetov:

  • 00:04 – How they got involved.
  • 02:11 – Can they shoot something like this with a traditional script?
  • 03:31 – They didn’t do any test screenings.
  • 04:38 – Bekmambetov on finding unique, innovative ways to tell stories on screen.
  • 05:50 – Discussing whether or not they could sustain this format for 90 minutes.
  • 06:29 – At first, Ilya Naishuller tried to avoid making video game references.
  • 07:02 – There are lots of deleted scenes.
  • 07:20 – How this shooting format changes how a director works with an actor on set.
  • 10:58 – Copley and Bekmambetov break down the timeline of the movie from shooting to launching a Kickstarter campaign to bringing it to screen.
  • 11:14 – Did they know they’d have to raise that money when they went into production?
  • 11:52 – How do you get insurance for something like this?
  • 12:07 – Copley’s favorite scene in the movie.
  • 12:50 – The horse scene.
  • 13:25 – Bekmambetov updates on Ben-Hur and the Unfriended sequel.
  • 15:00 – Will Copley work with Neill Blomkamp again soon?

Image via TIFF

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