Before You Know It turned out to be one of the most delightful surprises of Sundance 2019. I went into the screening knowing next to nothing about the project and walked out having really taken to the heart and humor in Hannah Pearl Utt‘s feature directorial debut. She also stars in the movie as Rachel Gurner, a stage manager who’s still living with her father, Mel (Mandy Patinkin), and sister, Jackie (Jen Tullock). Rachel is itching to start a life of her own but when a family tragedy strikes, she and Jackie must cope with a major revelation – their mother (Judith Light) is still alive and she’s actually a soap star.
I walked away from the Sundance screening appreciating Before You Know It mostly for its fun and charm, but after a second viewing, I was even more impressed by how strong the film’s dramatic beats are. It’s a crowd-pleaser with depth that serves as a super effective coming-of-age story in a variety of respects. I was lucky enough to catch up with Utt, Tullock, Light and co-star Mike Colter in Park City earlier this year, but I was especially eager for a longer chat with Utt and Tullock to discuss their extensive collaboration, their lengthy journey with this particular project, have them answer some “Collider Random Questions,” and so much more.
You can catch the full chat in the video at the top of this article or using the podcast audio below. Before You Know It hits select theaters on August 30th!
Hannah Pearl Utt & Jen Tullock:
- 00:30 – Utt and Tullock on the comedy of errors when they first met.
- 02:00 – Thoughts on finding that dream collaborator.
- 04:12 – Was it always, “I want to grow up and become a filmmaker,” for Utt and Tullock?
- 06:18 – What’s the biggest difference between draft one of Before You Know It and the final product?
- 07:28 – Getting to develop the project at the Sundance Institute Lab.
- 11:33 – Making movies in New York vs. LA.
- 14:05 – Their series Disengaged sadly is not available anymore because the company Super Deluxe went under.
15:00 – What were their expectations going into their Sundance premiere and were those expectations met?
- 18:50 – Picking the title for the movie.
- 21:00 – Utt and Tullock on their on-set collaboration and how that process has evolved over the years.
- 22:24 – Were there any major producing challenges or concerns on Before You Know It?
- 26:55 – What do they turn to to destress on set?
- 28:10 – They made sure the set was as green as possible.
- 30:00 – Get to know Utt and Tullock with some “Collider Random Questions!”