Director Colin Trevorrow and Screenwriter Derek Connolly Talk SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED at Sundance

     February 7, 2012

Colin Trevorrow Derek Connolly SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED interview slice

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 Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly for an extended interview. We talked about premiering at Sundance, how they first met, casting, how they secured financing, filming multiple endings, using the brand new Sony F3 to shoot the film, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to watch the interview.

As 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, Aubrey Plaza, or Mark Duplass, click the links.

safety-not-guaranteed-movie-image-aubrey-plaza-jake-johnsonColin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly Time Index

  • 0:30 – Talk about their first movie appearing at Sundance as “the perfect scenario – the ultimate dream.”
  • 1:20 – Trevorrow talks about the quick turnaround for shooting Safety Not Guaranteed.
  • 2:05 – Connolly reflects on how he and Trevorrow began working together, starting with their NYU and SNL backgrounds.
  • 2:40 – Trevorrow comments on how Safety Not Guaranteed combines Connolly’s humor with his own sci-fi slant.
  • 4:00 – Connolly and Trevorrow reflect on how they secured financing for their film as well as casting decisions.
  • 5:20 – Connolly talks about rewrites during the shoot and the fact that they re-wrote the very beginning and the very end a number of times.
  • 6:51 – Talk about the equipment they used on the film. Trevorrow says the used the Sony F3, which came out just before they started filming. Talks about using the high-end digital camera with old lenses in order to get just the right look.
  • 8:42 – Connolly says from the very beginning they wrote the female character for Aubrey Plaza, after seeing her in Funny People. The other characters went through slight alterations once the actors were cast, but they mainly stayed the same.
  • 9:24 – Trevorrow talks about filming multiple endings. Says it’s really hard to know where a movie’s gonna end up, no matter how good the script is. They ended up using the original ending written in the script, but at the last minute they swapped it out for a different ending. Talks about whether or not we’ll be able to see the other endings on DVD.


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