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'A Quiet Place: Day One' Director Michael Sarnoski Discuss' His Latest Film

June 26, 2023

When John Krasinski was looking for someone to direct the prequel to his A Quiet Place film series, he knew it wouldn’t be a simple search. With its rare combination of tension, character, and spectacle, this is a series of movies that exists in a unique universe – one as emotionally layered as it is rich in popcorn thrills.


In the end, appropriately enough, Krasinski found his filmmaker in the woods. “John had seen a movie I did, called Pig, and he really responded to it,” A Quiet Place: Day One director Michael Sarnoski says of his Nicolas Cage-starring Oregon wilderness tale. “He was really generous and gave me the space to bring what I wanted to.”


Pig won no less than 37 awards on its release in 2021, with Sarnoski lauded by the Directors Guild Of America and the Deauville Film Festival, among many other industry titans. All had been captivated by his ability to mix thrills and heart, to powerful, enthralling effect. That skillset, Krasinski figured, was ideally suited to continuing the legacy of smart horror that audiences everywhere had loved about his signature series so far.


"John was like, ‘Here's my world. We're trying to do this New York ‘Day One’ invasion. What's the story you want to tell in that world?’"


A Quiet Place Day One

"The story ended up being unusually intimate. And John was very supportive of going down that path. He gave me a lot of freedom. He wasn't trying to make this another ‘John’ A Quiet Place movie. He very much wanted to open up this world and hear other voices within it. And he’s very happy with the film."


Sarnoski was a fan of Krasinski’s first two A Quiet Place movies because of the way they approached epic events through a subjective lens.


"I wanted to maintain that. This film is about how these characters are experiencing this event from a boots-on-the-ground perspective"


Its core premise, of taking the story right back to the start, but this time replacing remote locations with one of the noisiest cities in the world, has resulted in a movie that, Sarnoski says, will more than satisfy fans of the franchise, while also opening up a wider worldview, and larger scale.


"The thing the first movies did so well was circle a family. There was a core family story that the creatures just happened around. The real soul of the film came from the characters and the relationships"


A Quiet Place Day One

"This is a totally new set of characters. But we're trying to do the same thing. There is a bunch of big, crazy stuff going on around the city, but the story is very focused on an intimate relationship. It's fun to see these huge set-pieces paired with these intimate moments. That was one of the core ideas: as the world is ending all around us, how do we find these moments of peace and connection?"


A Quiet Place: Day One takes us right to the start, and in describing the movie Sarnoski talks about the importance of not step too far away from the previous films.


"The core premise is taking A Quiet Place back to the start – doing a ‘Day One’ New York City movie of what [the first attack] looked like in a big, noisy, populated city. And our route into that is focusing on a very strong character story."


"This is a totally new set of characters. But we're trying to do the same thing. There is a bunch of big, crazy stuff going on around the city, but the story is very focused on an intimate relationship."


With completely new characters for the movie Sarnoski discusses these characters and their dynamic along with the return of a familiar face from the previous movies.


"Lupita’s Samira is returning to a city that once meant a lot to her, having been cut off from the world for a while, wanting to have an adventure. Over the course of her adventure, she meets this stranger played by Joseph Quinn, and a lot of the story is about the two of them navigating what they need from each other, how they're going to survive together."


A Quiet Place Day One

"We’re exploring what people need from each other when the world is falling apart. We also have a cat called Frodo, who is Samira's cat, and is a big, big character."


"Yes, we met him in A Quiet Place Part II. He’s on the island they [Cillian Murphy’s Emmett and Millicent Simmons’ Regan] get to at the end. And the initial conception for this film came from the story that Djimon’s character tells [in A Quiet Place Part II], about how he was in New York City when the invasion happened; how people tried to evacuate on boats."


The creatures in A Quiet Place have never been seen in an environment like this before, as an important part of the story Sarnoski spoke about them in length.


"One of the things the previous movies did really well was not oversharing about the creatures and keeping things very focused on the characters’ point of view. I wanted to maintain that. This film is about how these characters are experiencing this event from a boots-on-the-ground perspective."


A Quiet Place Day One

Speaking on the initial attack...


"We have some very big sequences in the movie, and they were a blast to shoot. We were shooting a movie that takes place in New York, and we shot it completely in London. And we accomplished that through our incredible production designer, Simon Bowles, who built an entire outdoor New York backlot, from the serial killer wall [of Post-It Notes detailing each area] in his office."


And the amount of creatures in the film...


"It was a balance of trying to convey the sense of what a herd of these creatures is like, while also keeping a sense of mystery. Especially to these characters who don't know much about these creatures yet. We wanted to maintain the mystery, while also giving a sense of the scale. You feel like they are everywhere."



A Quiet Place: Day One releases in cinemas June 27



This interview was not conducted by Film Focus Online, interview provided by Substance Global

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