non-stop-poster“Non-Stop” Director Jaume Collet-Serra and Producer Joel Silver talked technology, Film vs. Digital, and Liam Neeson.

Visit for more information

Q: What was it about the subject matter that really peaked your interest?

JC-S: For me it was the content, also the challenge of shooting an entire movie on one set. Also I’ve been afraid of flying a little bit and so I thought that the fragility of the environment, a plane going from New York to London in the middle of the ocean, if something goes wrong it can be a very scary place. I didn’t want to make a movie that was all in your face high jacking terrorist. I wanted to make a mystery in that environment.


Q: Can you talk about the notion of using technology against us? And I was wondering how you directed Liam to respond to something he wasn’t seeing?

JC-S: I like thrillers and mysteries. Watching the old “Hitchcock” movies or any movie where you have one character against some extraordinary circumstance, you always have the scene where he needs to get to a phone to deliver information. Now and days, there are phones everywhere and there is google, so you cannot have that scene anymore because usually people have access to phones and all that information. So you always have to use that information against the character. If I hadn’t put the text on the screen it would have been 150 shots of the phone.

Q: In terms of the script, how much rewriting do you guys have to do?

JS: The first draft we got was a concept; not really kind of worked out, yet and the person that pushed it along was Liam because we have a relationship and “this just came in and what do you think?” He said, “I’ve never seen this before” it has a “Murder on the Orient Express” kind of vibe, which was written in 1935 and he said “I think we should do this.” We go together and started to craft it and work it.

Q: Paramount has stopped releasing major movies on film. How do you think it will affect you in the future?

JS: The notion of film vs. digital I’m just going to throw that to my partner here because he has very specific thoughts about it.

JC-S: I will shoot on film as long as they make it. So far nobody has argued with me about it and to me it’s not about the quality of the image. To me it’s about the process. I think that everything changes when what goes through the Mac is cheap. I think people don’t pay too much importance to the takes if you can do 40 takes. I do three takes and I move on and if an actor knows that, they’ll give me three good takes. Sometimes we need more takes for technical reasons if they’re children or animals, but if not we do 3 takes and we move on.

Q: What do you think makes Liam a good action star?

JS: It’s not as if he just became an action star. He knows his way around a light saber. He’s in “Star Wars” and in “Batman,” he’s always had an action element to his career, but it wasn’t until he said “I have a unique skill set and if you don’t give me back my daughter, I’m going to find you and I’m going to kill you.” When he said that, that gave the audience a view into his psyche and he became an action hero. He because someone we want to see succeed and do what he wants to do.

“Non-Stop” hits theaters this Friday, Feb. 28.

Credit: Keith Lee