Drake Doremus on Making ‘Equals’, VR, Future Projects, and Getting Honest Feedback

     July 13, 2016

With writer-director Drake Doremus’ sci-fi drama Equals opening this weekend, the other day I sat down with the talented filmmaker for an extended interview. Since Adam spoke to him after the Toronto Film Festival premiere and covered a lot of ground on the making of the film, I decided to use my time covering other subjects. During the interview, Doremus talked about securing financing, who gives him honest feedback in the editing room, the first cut versus the finished film, VR, if his process has changed over the years, his collaboration with editor Jonathan Alberts, future projects, and a lot more.

equals-posterIf you’re not familiar with Equals (read Adam’s review here), the film is Doremus’ first sci-fi movie and stars Kristen Stewart and Nicholas Hoult as two members of a totalitarian state where emotions have been eradicated since birth. However, a new disease called Switched-On-Syndrome threatens society by allowing emotions to reemerge. Caught in the middle, Stewart and Hoult’s characters try and deal with the ramifications of the disease in a place where one false move would be the end of their new existence. For more on Equals, you can watch the trailers.

Below I’ve listed what Drake and I talked about. Further down is the official synopsis.

Drake Doremus:

  • What has it been like waiting for the film’s release since he made it a while ago?
  • How long was the first cut versus the finished film?
  • Talks about his collaboration with editor Jonathan Alberts considering his unique filmmaking process.
  • How different is the film from what he envisioned going in?
  • Talks about the decision to film a lot of the movie in close-ups.
  • Why did he decide to shoot Singapore for Tokyo?
  • How difficult was it to secure financing for Equals?
  • Getting actors with financing based on international appeal.
  • nicholas-hoult-equals

    Image via Venice Film Festival

    How he’s been developing multiple projects.

  • What he’s been developing.
  • If he’s been taking more meetings because he knows how to work within a small budget.
  • The value of the theatrical experience, especially for Equals.
  • If he’s been looking into VR.
  • Writing the language of VR movies.
  • The difference experiences of VR formats and genres.
  • The color palette he uses in Equals.
  • How his process has changed over his filmography.
  • His thoughts on extended cuts of his movies.
  • Who does he invite to his friends and family screenings and who gives him honest feedback?
  • Based on early screenings, were there any big changes made to Equals?

Image via TIFF


Image via Venice Film Festival


Image via Venice Film Festival


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