Steven Brill Without a Paddle

Recently I had the chance to speak with Director Steven Brill regarding his new film “Without a Paddle”. Steven was kind enough to take the time to share his views and passions for films as well as some insight as to the joys of filming his latest release.
GVK: Where was the film shot and what were some of the biggest challenges you faced?
SB: The film was shot in New Zealand, as it was winter in the states and due to the schedule we needed a warm weather location to film. The biggest issues were the class 5 rapids as they made filming difficult. We also had to get Maori blessing to shoot on their land. While they were very accommodating, you can imagine how this can delay scenes.
GVK: You have worked with Adam Sandler in the past and as such have a real knack for comedy? What did you like most about filming and what attracted you to the film?
SB: I liked ensemble cast, and the nature of the three guys outdoors going from one crazy situation to another. I really loved Seth Green, as I have enjoyed everything he has done as he always cracks me up. Being able to have him in the film was a real plus as was Matt and Dax all worked so well with one another and were bursting with creative energy.
GVK: Did you have to cut anything that you later wished that you had left in?
SB: The M.P.A.A. had issue with pot field, as they did not want the characters to act like they were inhaling the smoke on purpose. Due to the nature of the scene it was tough but we were able to get that out. I also loved the line about “I once ate a brownie” and oddly enough that got in with no issues at all. The M.P.A.A. is not allowed to censor films so they make suggestions and force the filmmaker to attempt to address the concerns. We also had some great canoe surfing scenes where the guys got dumped but I am sure this will show up on the DVD.
GVK: That must have been a pain to film. Did you have to get it in one shot?
SB: No, we would light a section and have the guys run around and they would fine fire pits and other areas and then we would light another section and off they would go again.
GVK: The Tree house scenes were great how difficult was it film them?
SB: The tree house was full size and we had a cliff set one as well. It was a pain to build, and we had to shoot with cranes and other techniques, but it came out really well, and we were thrilled.
GVK: How did you manage to get Burt Reynolds into the film?
SB: Since we had a “Deliverance” style theme I asked Burt to be in it and since he liked the script he was in. He was such a joy to have on set as even when he was not filming he hung out on set and was such a kind and interesting person. We would also have dinner and take in the sites during breaks. His character is really funny and really works very well.
GVK: how did you find the crew in New Zealand?
SB: We used Peter Jackson’s crew and they were such professionals it really went well.
GVK: It was interesting to see that Seth’s character was a DR. who is also a Hypochondriac, not to mention how he uses the
C3PO as muse. Was it intentional that you selected a character that himself is a Hypochondriac to be his hidden voice?
SB: That is a good way of putting it. I wanted to use items such as C3PO and the Indiana Jones compass that would be appropriate items from their childhood so it makes sense that Seth’s character would relate to him.
GVK: It sounds like you had a great time would you do a part 2?
SB: Depending on how the box office and overall performance of the film goes, but yes, I had a blast and would do another given the chance.