Quibi is making its way to Comic-Con@Home this week to show off an upcoming project that boasts quite the team in front of and behind the lens, Don’t Look Deeper directed by Catherine Hardwicke. The series stars Madeline’s Madeline breakout Helena Howard as a high school senior living in Merced, California who’s got some burning questions about her parents and who she is.
On Friday, July 24th at 12pm PT, we’ll be sharing our Comic-Con@Home conversation with Hardwicke, Howard, Don Cheadle, Emily Mortimer and Don’t Look Deeper co-creator Jeffrey Lieber. The conversation is loaded with behind-the-scenes stories, personal feelings on artificial intelligence and more, but do you know what will help you enjoy that panel to the fullest? Going into it having had a look at some footage. It’s a one-two punch of an honor to moderate that Comic-Con@Home conversation and to bring you the Don’t Look Deeper trailer, exclusively right here on Collider.
After giving the trailer a watch, you might be able to tell that the material suits Hardwicke’s sensibilities as a filmmaker quite well. During a recent phone conversation, she even laughed and pointed out, “When I read kind of the first draft of the script, I was just drawn in because I love a story about – as is obvious – a teenage girl or a young woman that’s trying to figure out, who am I? How do I fit in the world? What should I become? Am I the cool kid? Am I an artist?”
The young woman in this scenario is played by Helena Howard. Hardwicke noted, “Helena had a beautiful movie at Sundance called Madeline’s Madeline that was kind of inspired by her own life, kind of like saying that Thirteen was inspired by Nikki [Reed].” As we saw with Reed, Kristen Stewart and then some, Hardwicke has a knack for bringing the most out of emerging talent and jump-starting their careers in a sense. What is it that draws Hardwicke to working with young stars like Howard? Here’s how she put it:
“Helena is so in touch with her emotions, the honesty, the truth, what she’s feeling. It was just absolutely a pleasure to work with somebody that just stayed so true to herself and so raw and honest. And I think that’s what’s exciting when you work with somebody new. They’re discovering their talents, they’re figuring out how to use their gifts, and find themselves in each new story that they’re telling and connect with a new character.”
For anyone out there wondering, why tell this story in the Quibi format rather than a traditional feature film, Hardwicke did note that the script was written in chapters from the beginning. “We didn’t have an old script sitting around that we had to get the scissors out and cut it up into sections. We had something that was conceived that way, which actually I think is relevant to the form.” Don’t Look Deeper plays a good deal with memory so, in turn, wound up with a non-linear story structure. “Memories are erased and brought back.” She further explained, “[It] gives you that chance to start from out of sequence and go backwards, and it’s just kind of built into the story.”
Quibi also challenged Hardwicke, Lieber and co-creator Charlie McDonnell to find ways to use the format to get an added energy boost every single chapter:
“Every 10 minutes, you’re basically able to almost reengage the viewer, reenergize the viewer, draw them back in again and leave them wanting something else. So that was fun. You’re immediately thinking, what’s the most compelling opening image? And you’re now coming up, in our case, with 14 of those. What’s the most compelling final image out of there? Make sure that you’re feeling something that launches you to the next thing.”
On top of that, Don’t Look Deeper also afforded Hardwicke the opportunity to marry music with her visuals, and pinpointed some songs well worth looking out for:
“There’s about three songs. For example, one by Phantogram, one by Ruelle, and one by Anya Marina. And all of those, somehow the artists wrote these songs and they just almost filled out the world, filled out the visual. So for me, when those three songs appear, I’m just blown away. I just love the way they take you there. Also, great song by Jamila Woods called ‘Betty’ that’s used in the flashback love story. So each of those moments I think would be highlights to me.”
For more on Don’t Look Deeper, be sure to keep an eye out for the Comic-Con@Home panel dropping on the Collider YouTube channel and on the official Comic-Con YouTube channel on Friday, July 24th. The first three chapters of Don’t Look Deeper are set to debut on Quibi on July 27th with a new chapter being added every weekday until August 11th.