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Interview: Will Wernick (No Escape)

Writer/Director Will Wernick talked to Horrornews.net about his film, No Escape.

 Hi Will, I watched No Escape and it was nerve-wracking but in a good way.

Will- Thank you and I’m sorry all at the same time.

No, no, it was a great movie, lots of fun. Please tell us about the how this idea manifested for No Escape?

Will- I was watching quite a bit of VLOG content on the internet. I think growing up with traditional television and then being around for all this type of stuff it created. A new type of celebrity being born and people starting to create their own realities online. I’ve always found that interesting and the way it mirrors an escape room. It felt like a fit. We’ve been looking for an idea to do an escape room type movie, we wrote a couple of other versions of it that felt a little mean in terms of having meaning or something new in them.

It’s a great mix with the social media and the escape room. You are sort of put in a situation and you’re not quite sure if its really bad or worse. What was it like filming this movie and having all the various cameras and how was the technical aspect?

Will- From the technical side, it was very complicated because we had to do all this separate coverage for his vlog within the movie. It was great having Keegan there because when I first met with him about the project, I don’t know what it’s like to have six or seven million people at my fingertips on my phone but, he does. He was able to inform me quite a bit about that. During the first meeting that we had, he went live on his Instagram just to show me, immediately there was a lot of people watching and he connected with a fan and she freaked out. He instructed me on a lot of that stuff and what its like to have all these people at your beck and call.

This whole cast did such a great job. What was it like working with everyone and directing this cast?

Will- It was great. I think films are so intense and concentrated. Keegan is now a good friend, Ronan Rubinstein from the cast, I didn’t know him from before. Denzel Whitaker’s fantastic, George Janko is a real YouTube star. This was his first real feature movie. He brought an authenticity to it. Everyone from Pasha Lychnikoff who is actually from Russia and all the Russians in this speak real Russian, which was important to me. Holland was fantastic as well. They are all interesting, wonderful people.

How did you get the special effects team ready? The escape rooms are crazy and creepy.

Will- It starts in writing the script. I’m a pretty visual, mechanical kind of person. I had diagrams of all the rooms drawn up while it was being written. Our production designer, Adam Henderson and my DP Jason Goodell did an amazing job together, and a lot of other people obviously.

They did a good job. Are you working on anything else? Also, do you think there could be a sequel because of the ending? I don’t want to spoil anything but.

Will- I have another film that shoots at the end of the year in Toronto. I’ll be heading there in November. I wouldn’t be opposed to doing a sequel to this.

Thank you so much Will. It was great to talk with you. No Escape was such a great movie. It was fun.

Will- Thank you.

NO ESCAPE stars the ensemble cast of Keegan Allen (“Pretty Little Liars,” Palo Alto), Holland Roden (“Teen Wolf”, “Channel Zero”), Denzel Whitaker (“The Purge”, Black Panther), Ronen Rubinstein (“911: Lone Star” Some Kind of Hate)Pasha Lychnikoff (“Deadwood”,”Shameless”, A Good Day to Die Hard), George Janko (“NCIS: Los Angeles,” Millennial Mafia) and Siya (The First Purge). The film is written and directed by Will Wernick (Escape Room).

SYNOPSIS: A social media star travels with his friends to Moscow to capture new content for his successful VLOG. Always pushing the limits and catering to a growing audience, he and his friends enter a cold world of mystery, excess and danger. As the line between real life and social media is blurred, the group must fight to escape, and survive.

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