July 2, 2022

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The making of Supernova – Movie Stories

6 min read

Writer and director Harry Macqueen tells Simon Brew about his new film, Supernova, and the several years of study it took to make it.

The very last time I watched a movie known as Supernova, it was a sci-fi movie. With that particular production, its director took his identify off the challenge, and a strange fumble in room was re-edited with distinct actors’ heads overlaid on to other performers through put up-manufacturing. It was one of the worst movies of its yr. The Supernova of 2021 is a considerably, considerably much more total movie fortunately. It has its ft firmly on the ground. What is a lot more, it’s a person of the finest flicks of its yr so significantly.

It tells the tale of Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci’s Sam and Tosker, a extensive-time couple with the latter in the grip of dementia. The next element from author/director (and right before that, actor) Harry Macqueen, it also involves a camper van, the Lake District and some of the most human cinema of the year.


“It stemmed from a lengthy and quite immersive exploration process”, Macqueen tells me as we chat about the qualifications to the film, “which associated expending a whole lot of time with individuals who ended up influenced by various issues in the film”. The prolonged research gave Macqueen significantly to ponder, and he concluded that the finest way forward was “to kind of wrap that up in a little kind of microcosmic story”.

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“The career usually I felt from the begin was if the audience would buy into the minimal nuances of this smaller story, then in fact the broader themes of existence, loss of life, dementia, end of life options and all of people items would hopefully arrive into the perception of the film in a natural way. The work out was normally to make items smaller and scaled-down and smaller”.

The analysis he did – and he still continues to be involved in volunteering lengthy following the film is comprehensive – taught him that “almost almost everything I assumed about dementia wasn’t automatically true… that extends to how quite a few people today it influences, what age array of individuals it impacts, what we know about it and what we really do not know about it. Primarily when you are looking at youthful onset dementia, new discoveries are currently being discovered almost monthly”.

The bulk of the exploration wasn’t medical, nevertheless. Macqueen basically used time with human beings. He observed the harrowing areas, the humorous moments, and noticed the network of individuals all-around the Uk supplying a aid network. “It’s an amazingly emotive and profound point to witness initial-hand”, he argues.


With all those components, there was a significantly extra showy film that could have been built in this article, potentially even some thing blockbuster-y and Oscar bait-y I place to him. “It’s partly my taste”, he admits. “But also it’s getting devoted to the people today I was lucky sufficient to devote time with … I do not know, it would have felt practically distasteful to make a big blockbuster movie about anything like this. What I located is the reverse of that – authentic people, likely as a result of unbelievably difficult times. I preferred to be really delicate and compassionate with it”.

It was this approach that served entice in the high-profile cast. The stature and profile of the task is lifted in this article extremely considerably by its two prospects. Macqueen confirms that he did not compose the script with any actor in brain though, “I just preferred the people to sense reliable and original… I really do not assume about actors when I’m writing, and individually I imagine that’s the best way to do it… which is my own opinion”.

Qualified prospects

Both Stanley Tucci and Colin Firth have been attracted to the textual content, and came aboard with a completed script in place. Neither felt the require to tinker with it. “In one more sense there may well have been the impulse to wholly rewrite it. I wouldn’t have needed to do that anyway, but I do not assume they did both. One of the pure factors about the system I that they arrived to the script with open arms and actually fell in enjoy with both equally of the characters”.

So a lot so that Firth and Tucci could not initially get the job done out which of the two qualified prospects they every single preferred to enjoy. They’d each fully commited to the film, but it took time to function out who was going to be who. “We established it up one way, and we study it a couple instances, all sat close to the desk. They almost auditioned as if they have been playing equally areas. It was these kinds of a privilege to see those actors test both of those roles, and see what energy they carry to both of them”. Whilst Macqueen was eventually joyful with the casting, he does confess “they each skipped actively playing the other character, which is rather flattering”.

Tucci and Firth’s involvement heightens the odds too of the movie finding a even larger viewers than it if not might. “It was almost the best of the two worlds really”, Macqueen agrees. “They have their own international audience previously. I personally think my creative eyesight has stayed in put, and we have two actors of that calibre taking part in the roles. It’s now going to have a really vast release globally. And I really hope it provides individuals subject areas to light”.

One particular function of the movie is how timeless it is, save for a right barney above a satnav early in the motion picture. The absence of specificity was a keen selection. “I’m generally somewhat acutely aware of that with the factors that I produce. I consider you can be dropped in anything a little bit far more very easily if you have not frequently reminded of the precise month in the actual calendar year that individuals folks are present in. There’s a timelessness about a journey film in any case, and acquiring rid of laptops, cellular phones and obvious present day markers appeared like an exciting cinematic issue to do”.


What now, then? Should really Hollywood appear contacting at Macqueen’s doorway/Zoom window with some thing like Die Challenging 9, would that interest him? “I’m actually fascinated in creating and directing my individual work”, he laughs. “What excites me is creating these worlds from scratch. So I definitely hope to be able to proceed to do that”.

“And yeah, I do have the urge to make operate on the complete that has some broader social or political context. You know, I that is the form of work that that excites me. And that’s not to say that that can not materialize in significant Hollywood blockbusters, but I feel that’s what excites me…”

Supernova is in cinemas from Friday.

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