Kieran Darcy-Smith’s debut feature, Wish You Were Here, premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Starring Joel Edgerton, Teresa Palmer, Felicity Price and Antony Starr, the film is about four friends (two couples) who embark on a carefree holiday in Cambodia, but only three of them return home. As the film unfolds, we start to learn more about what happened on the trip and how one of them might know more than they’re letting on. Shortly after the premiere, Entertainment One picked up the film for distribution, so look for it later this year.
The day after seeing it I sat down with Price (who co-wrote the film) for an exclusive interview. During our extended conversation we talked about what it means to premiere at Sundance, how the project came together, what the film is about and who she plays, filming in Cambodia, how the project changed during the writing process, deleted scenes, and a lot more. Hit the jump to watch.
- :14 The Sundance experience. Talks about what it’s like to be the opening night movie of the festival.
- :55 How she first found out that the film got into the festival. They got into another North American festival, but Sundance said their film was selected but it had to be the world premiere, so they had to back out of the their festival.
- 2:55 Describes what the film is about. It centers on four friends who go on holiday to Cambodia and one of them goes missing. Says it’s a tense mystery story but it’s also a relationship drama.
- 4:32 Was the finished product radically different than the first draft? Says yes, but the core element about the relationship between the two leads was maintained throughout subsequent drafts, as well as the mystery story. The balance between the stories fluctuated and was the real work of the writing.
- 6:23 Getting financing. Says it came together quite nicely. They got into a good script development program in Sydney that helped their development of the script.
- 8:35 Being the co-writer, did she spend a lot of time in the editing room? Says for a long time she wasn’t allowed in, and she didn’t feel the urge to micromanage her performance. Talks about seeing the film for the first time.
- 10:33 Deleted scenes. Says they didn’t lose a lot in the editing room, as most of the cuts were little snippets. Only one major scene was cut for pacing issues.
- 11:44 Filming in Cambodia. Says it’s still kind of like the Wild West of southeast Asia. They were guerrilla style shooting all over the streets.
- 13:36 What’d she learn from this experience? Learned a lot about the language of film and structure. Says she’s writing a psychological thriller right now and she’s interested in writing her own ideas.