Blink and you might have missed them at Australian cinemas, but Aussie Andrew Traucki’s ace films ”Black Water” and ”The Reef” were slow burn thrillers that relied more on tension than jump scares and realism rather than gore.
On the surface they look every bit a pair of B movie hoots, but the performances by a host of some of Australia’s outstanding acting talent and Traucki’s assured direction drew you in to every tightly-wound second.
Traucki returns to screens soon with ”The Jungle”, another creature feature which tells the story of a pair of conservation experts who travel to the wilds of Indonesia in search of a rare big cat and instead find something they should have left alone.
When Moviehole.net talked to Traucki while he was promoting ”The Reef”, he joked that his next project might be a movie about a shark and a crocodile hybrid. Instead, he’s left the water to explore the horrors on land, but The Jungle looks like it might complete a horror threesome par excellence. Better yet, you can be part of it by helping complete post-production through Traucki’s crowd-funding project (see below).
Why another monster movie? You’ve obviously not concerned with being typecast as a director.
I think you get typecast on your very first film. I wanted to make another creature flick so I could have a trilogy. I now have Traucki’s trilogy of terror, which has a nice ring!
Realism was such a strong aspect of both The Reef and Black Water. How important is that to you as a director?
Very, especially in this genre. I love fantasy and sci-fi but even in those kinds of movies I expect the film to have its own internal realism and truth – truth always rings loudest. So I try to be as real as possible and still deliver a fun ride.
A movie called The Jungle [filmed in Indonesia and northern New South Wales] doesn’t sound like it was an easy shoot. After filming in the mangroves of Sydney (Black Water) and the open sea (The Reef) are you just a glutton for punishment?
The jungle was actually easier to shoot than the other two, but it did rain for a week and the jungle turned to mud. I had to ask myself what it is with me and water – even on dry land I was getting wet!
It looks like the monster’s identity will be a big part of the appeal. How much can you tell us about it?
Not much. I don’t want to say too much because I don’t want to ruin the film but we’re putting clues on the facebook page (facebook.com/thejungleofficial)
What are some of the lessons monster movies have taught you about directing.
Feature films are a long journey – a marathon and not a sprint. It doesn’t really get any easier. Each film is different but it seems on each one you swap one set of problems for another.
But the thing that always strikes me is how important story is. If you have the right idea and turn that into a good script you’re miles ahead of the pack.
Any desire to do something completely different next time?
I do feel like moving on to other genres. I like crime stories and fantasy and sci-fi as I said before so hopefully I can work in those areas as well, just need the right script.