February 4, 2012


One of the many films that premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was director Colin Trevorrow‘s Safety Not Guaranteed.  Written by Derek Connolly, the film’s about a trio of magazine employees investigate a classified ad that seeks a partner for time travel. One employee develops feelings for the paranoid but compelling loner and tries to discover what he’s really up to.  It’s based on a real ad that was passed around the internet in 2005 and the movie stars Aubrey Plaza, Mark Duplass, Jake Johnson and Karan Soni.  Shortly after premiering, FilmDistrict bought the film, so you can look forward to seeing it at some point in the future.  For more on the film, you can read Matt’s review.

After seeing the movie, I got to sit down with Mark Duplass for an extended interview. We talked about being at Sundance, how he got involved in Safety Not Guaranteed and what it’s about, what it was like to watch the film for the first time with a big crowd at Sundance, and how the film changed during production.  In addition, since Duplass is involved in a number of other projects, we talked about the directorial debut of Alex Kurtzman (Welcome to People), The Skeleton Twins (Bill Hader and Anna Faris as twins), Jeff Who Lives at Home, The Do-Deca-Pentathlon, The League, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to watch the interview.

safety-not-guaranteed-Mark-Duplass-Aubrey-PlazaAs usual, I’ve time indexed the interview so you can watch the parts that interest you.  Finally, if you missed my video interviews with Jake Johnson or Aubrey Plaza click the links. 

Mark Duplass Time Index

  • Talks about what it’s like to be back at Sundance.  Duplass and his brother Jay got their start at Sundance in 2003
  • 1:00 – The Duplass brothers plan on making a movie every year or two.  But Mark has outside interests like acting.
  • 2:30 – He has three movies at the festival: Safety Not Guaranteed,Your Sister’s Sister, and Black Rock, which he produced and wrote for his wife Katie Aselton.
  • 4:15 – Pitches Safety Not Guaranteed for people who have not seen it yet.  It is based on a true story of a man who put out an ad for a time travel companion.
  • 6:00 – Duplass talks about losing enthusiasm as you age.  His character never lost that enthusiasm.
  • safety-not-guaranteed-movie-image-aubrey-plaza-jake-johnson-017:00 – He praises the script, but explains that the ending was changed during the filmmaking process, so there was a major deviation from the page.
  • 8:25 – The Sundance premiere was his first time seeing the movie with a big audience.  He was very pleased with the excited audience response.
  • 9:10 – Says that as both an actor and director he likes about “7 takes.”  This gives you options to work with in the editing room.
  • 10:00 – Talks about Welcome to People, the directorial debut of Alex Kurtzman.  Says they’re looking at a fall release, possibly at the Toronto Film Festival.
  • 11:35 – The Skeleton Twins is in development.  Bill Hader and Anna Faris star as twins.
  • 12:05 – The Do-Deca-Pentathlon is the last small independent movie Jay and Mark worked on, starting in 2008 and finishing this Christmas.  Expect an announcement soon on when it will premiere.  It is the Duplass version of a sports movie.
  • 13:00 – Their next movie, Jeff Who Lives at Home, is coming out in March.  He praises how the marketing represents the movie.
  • 14:00 – The Duplass brothers will travel with Jeff, including festivals.
  • 14:30 – He has “6 or 7 projects” in the can that he’ll let come out after his wife gives birth and shoot The League in the fall.
  • 15:10 – The next script that the brothers have written that they will probably direct features kids.
  • 15:35 – Expresses great admiration for the process of the filmmakers behind Beasts of the Southern Wild.


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