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‘The Hunt’ | Anatomy of a Scene

Hi, my name is Craig Zobel, and I directed ‘The Hunt.’ “What?” The scene you’re about to watch is a scene between Ma and Pa, played by Amy Madigan and Reed Birney, in which they’re cleaning up after having just killed one of the people they’re hunting, and this is really one of the first times in the story that you get to hear kind of the reasons why this one set of people might be hunting this other set of people. “Those people?” “Sorry. Black people.” “African-Americans.” “Honey, it’s—” “Privilege, Julius.” “It’s perfectly fine to call them black again.” [LAUGHS] “According to who?” “NPR.” Our hope in the scene was that we would, through comedy, be able to expose one side’s assumptions about the other side’s beliefs, as well as mocking the hunters at the same time. “You there?” “Hey! We’re here. We got three of them— Molly, Moses, and Mr. Whimper.” “Yeah, great. Liberty got—” Damon Lindelof and Nick Cuse, the screenwriters’ screenplay pokes a lot of fun at liberals, and this is one of the scenes that kind of we first really lean into that. And this is really the kind of the first scene in the film that the kind of horror and action that you have been seeing truly is colored by— “Honey, that’s poison!” —a sense of satire and comedy. “You— you rigged the soda?” “No. There are 43 grams of sugar in that bottle.” “Oh, good god, Miranda, you really scared me.” “I am not going to apologize for caring.” The hunters have been playing a pretty elaborate game, and they have actually constructed this convenience store as a trap in order to catch the hunted. So everything in it has been designed to be appealing to a group of people that they feel like they aren’t a part of, and we did a lot of that kind of in the production design of the convenience store. And then, of course, this new person appears, and this is Betty Gilpin playing the role of Crystal, who turns out to be the main character in the film. This is kind of the first time that you’re really interacting with her in the story. You’ve seen her once or twice before, but she’s been kind of an outsider on the edge. As she comes into this trap, this fake gas station, we see her process who these people are and quickly deduce that they are, in fact, some of the people that are hunting her, and that Crystal is one step ahead of everyone. “Everything O.K.?” “I lost my wallet.” “Oh.” “It’s for emergencies.” “You want some matches with that?” I was really lucky in that I had cast Betty prior to casting Reed Birney in the film. But once I cast Reed, I discovered that Betty and Reed had been in a play together, where it was just a two-person play with the two of them before. I was unaware of that when I cast the role, but it really added a lot because they were able to immediately have a shorthand. ”—Arkansas. Is there anything else?” [GRUNTS] [GUNSHOT] [PA SCREAMS]

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