Director Rodrigo Cortes Talks RED LIGHTS at Sundance 2012

     January 28, 2012


One of the many films that premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was writer-director Rodrigo Cortes (Buried) Red Lights.  Starring Cillian Murphy, Sigourney Weaver, Robert De Niro, Toby Jones, Joely Richardson, Elizabeth Olsen, Craig Roberts, Leonardo Sbaraglia and Adriane Lenox, Red Lights is a paranormal thriller that questions the supernatural and whether a world-renowned psychic is actually gifted or just a charlatan.  Shortly after premiering at the Festival, Millennium Entertainment picked up the film for domestic distribution, so I’d imagine it’ll be released later this year.  For more on the film, here’s Matt’s review.

During my extended interview with Cortes, he talked about coming back to Sundance after premiering Buried at the Fest two years ago, the plot and themes of Red Lights (he doesn’t spoil anything), how he came up with the idea, the challenges of filming and trying to finish for Sundance, film vs. digital, his writing process, future plans, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to watch.

As usual, I’ve time indexed the interview so you can watch the parts that interest you.

red-lights-movie-image-sigourney-weaver-cillian-murphy-01Director Rodrigo Cortes

  • Talks about coming back to Sundance after Buried premiered here in 2010.
  • 1:15 – Pitches the plot and themes of the movie without spoiling anything.
  • 3:20 – He started with two words: “paranormal” and “hoaxes.”  He wanted to explore both perspectives on supernaturalism.
  • 5:20 – It took about 10 weeks to shoot the film, and about 3 months to edit the film to be ready for Sundance.
  • 6:20 – Cortes says he is a “great defender of 35mm,” but he also likes shooting digital, especially if it’s for “narrative reasons.”
  • 7:50 – People like Roger Deakins and Michael Mann have done great work on digital, but Cortes is sad that soon, film won’t be an option.
  • 9:10 – He likes the quality of IMAX, but doesn’t like the framing of the 1.44:1 aspect ratio.
  • 10:10 – He normally doesn’t write with actors in mind, but he was thinking of Sigourney Weaver when he wrote the Red Lights script.  The rest of the cast was a wishlist that somehow signed on.
  • 11:35 – What you see on screen is pretty much the same as the words on the script.
  • 13:15 – Cortes wishes he had the Woody Allen desk drawer full of ideas, but he usually puts all his energy into one idea at a time.
  • 14:40 – Future plans



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