One of the many films to premiere at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival was Marrowbone, which is the feature directorial debut of Sergio G. Sánchez. If the name sounds familiar, there’s good reason: Sanchez penned both The Orphanage and The Impossible for director J.A. Bayona. Even before those scripts, however, Sanchez has been trying for a long time to helm his own movie with nothing much to show for it. Thankfully, the release of Marrowbone confirms that Sanchez has as much talent as a visual artist as he does a screenwriter.
If you haven’t heard of the film, Marrowbone follows four siblings (George MacKay, Charlie Heaton, Mia Goth and Matthew Stagg) that seek refuge in their old family home after the death of their mother. Within the house, they quickly discover that a far more sinister inhabitant also stalks the various halls and rooms. Split and The Witch breakout Anya Taylor-Joy plays a supporting role as well.
Throughout the movie, Sánchez keeps you guessing as to what exactly is happening to the siblings and within the walls of the house. The mysterious inhabitant is at the center of much of the film’s action but there’s greater depth to both the characters and the scares in this case. Just when you think you’ve figured out what’s going on, he offers another twist to keep you wondering. It’s a great feature debut.
After seeing the film, I sat down with Sánchez and MacKay. They talked about the film’s meaning, what (if any) changes to the script came about during production, deleted scenes, the value of long takes, memorable moments from filming, how they shot two endings, upcoming projects, and a lot more.
Check out what they had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about.
Sergio Sánchez & George MacKay:
- At what point they were told the film was accepted into the festival.
- How they would describe the film, and why it’s “a dark fairytale.”
- What the audition process was like.
- How much of the story changed from when they started, and how the script evolved.
- The shooting schedule, and whether they like to do a lot of takes.
- Why Sánchez’s favorite take didn’t make it into the film, and what else they had to cut, and the final runtime.
- How Sánchez wanted to create a timeless quality to the movie.
- Whether or not Sánchez took any particular wisdom away from other film sets he’s been on.
The value of long takes, and seeing it from an actor and a director’s perspective.
- MacKay on working with his on-screen family, and forming their bond.
- Sánchez on MacKay’s maturity and how he took the lead on uniting the cast and crew.
- Memorable moments from filming.
- Why they shot two endings, and whether audiences will get to see the alternate ending as a bonus feature.
- How the industry is based against writers directing a film, and whether Sánchez wants to write or direct again next.
- MacKay’s upcoming projects.