Directors Francois Simard, Anouk Whissell and Yoann-Karl Whissell Talk TURBO KID at Sundance

     January 26, 2015

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Three years ago, François Simard, Anouk Whissell and Yoann-Karl Whissell, the writing-directing trio also known as RKSS, gave the ABCs of Death 26th director competition a shot.  Their short film, “T is for Turbo,” came very close, but didn’t make the cut.  However, ABCs of Death producer Ant Timpson wasn’t about to let the most popular submission of the entire competition live and die with 63,628 views and 2,286 votes.  He decided to help them turn the concept into a feature film, so “T is for Turbo” became Turbo Kid.

The film stars Munro Chambers as an orphaned kid who’s been on his own for years in a post-apocalyptic world.  He manages to get by scavenging and trading what he finds for water, supplies and, on occasion, comic books featuring his favorite superhero, Turbo Rider.  When his perpetually perky friend Apple (Laurence Leboeuf) is taken by the villainous Zeus (Michael Ironside), The Kid comes to realize his days of just getting by are over.  He’s got to step up and be a hero – just like Turbo Rider.

turbo-kid-imageWith Turbo Rider celebrating its premiere at Sundance in the Park City at Midnight program, I got the opportunity to hop on a Google Hangout video call with the three writer-directors to talk about their experience making the movie.  They discussed losing the ABCs of Death competition but still winding up with the ultimate prize, working with a special blood rig and gore cannon, what they’re hoping to do next and more.  Check it all out in the video interview below.

François Simard, Anouk Whissell and Yoann-Karl Whissell:

  • 00:00 – Introductions.
  • 00:24 – Making “T is for Turbo” for the ABCs of Death contest.
  • 01:13 – On the possibility of making a short for ABCs of Death 3.
  • 01:32 – What happened after “T is for Turbo” lost the contest; how they got the resources needed for the feature.
  • 02:26 – What inspired the post-apocalyptic environment in the film.
  • 03:33 – Making sure the movie had heart to it in addition to all the gore.
  • 04:26 – Turbo Kid as a love letter to the films they grew up with in the 80s.
  • 05:16 – How they work on set as a trio of directors.
  • 06:33 – The importance of turning their cast and crew into a family and having fun.
  • 07:00 – Dealing with scheduling challenges and limited resources.
  • 08:44 – Nailing the blood-heavy scenes in just one or two takes.
  • 10:11 – It was so cold on set, the blood would freeze.
  • 10:40 – Who are the Blood Brothers; the special blood rig and gore cannon.
  • 11:45 – On casting Munro Chambers.
  • 13:00 – Finding the right balance for Laurence Leboeuf’s “out there” character.
  • 14:15 – What’s next for RKSS?  More Turbo Kid?

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