‘10 Cloverfield Lane’ Director Dan Trachtenberg on the Benefits of Secrecy

     March 10, 2016


The hype and buildup surrounding a film can be as calculated as the development of the project itself. Yet barely a decade ago, coming attractions were the prime means of drumming up interest in soon to be released flicks. Such was the case when the 10 Cloverfield Lane trailer dropped before theater showings of 13 Hours. The promo drew an intense online reaction that included social media debates among fans of Cloverfield (2008) and videos analyzing each frame. Many were unsure what to make of the genre-bending production but were intrigued nonetheless and have since been eagerly anticipating its release.

The film centers on a woman (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) who finds herself confined to an underground bunker and at the mercy of a menacing survivalist (John Goodman). Along with the cellar’s other occupant (John Gallagher Jr.), she’s led to believe that her confinement is for her own good – as the world outside has been overtaken by a mysterious and deadly force.

Directed by newcomer Dan Trachtenberg, 10 Cloverfield Lane is refreshingly difficult to categorize. It draws from classic chillers like The Twilight Zone and Hitchcock’s Notorious while weaving in a bare bones human story. The J.J. Abrams produced feature is filled with moments of tension and suspense that play out in an unconventional way. Its unpredictable setup proves gripping, building to a rewarding final act.

During my video interview with Trachtenberg, the promising talent spoke about the excitement surrounding what many have called “a secret film” and not wanting audiences to know too much about the plot beforehand. He also touched on how he crafted some of the film’s tensest moments and how fear manifests throughout.

Dan Trachtenberg:

  • Discusses the seemingly out of nowhere debut of the film’s trailer and the passionate reaction it garnered.
  • The benefit of having an audience see the film with little preconceived notions.
  • His cinematic influences and how they inspired key scenes.
  • The story’s overarching theme regarding the power of fear.

Image via Paramount Pictures


Image via Paramount Pictures


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