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SxSW 2016 Interview: THE TRUST directors Alex & Ben Brewer

THE TRUST - At SxSW 2016
by Jason Whyte

"THE TRUST is a story of two police officers who stumble upon a shady vault hidden in the back of a grocery store and decide to rob it. What seems like a simple crime becomes more complicated and the two officers fall deeply into dangerous waters. The film features great performances from Nicolas Cage and Elijah Wood. We wanted to make a film that explored the heist genre in an original way, balancing both humor and drama to create something human and honest." Directors Alex & Ben Brewer on THE TRUST which screens at the 2016 edition of the South By Southwest Film Festival.

I am thrilled to hear your movie is showing at SxSW and this is your first time here! Are you both planning to attend your screenings?

We are attending two out of the three screenings and couldn't be more excited to experience all SxSW has to offer!

Talk to me a bit about how you got your start in the industry and your previous work!

We got our start directing music videos. We have worked with artists like Alt J, Passion Pit, Foster the People, and Justin Bieber. Each video provided its own unique challenges and storytelling opportunities and served as a great means for honing our craft.

So how did this feature film come together from your perspective?

Braxton Pope, who had produced several of our music videos, got our script to Nicolas Cage who was interested in doing it and the project really came together around his involvement.

What keeps you going while making a movie? What drives you? How much coffee?

Responsibility is a huge aspect of it. Responsibility to the actors, to the crew, to the people paying for the film. And most importantly a responsibility to the audience, to put something out into the world that will entertain and enlighten and be worthy of someone's time.

Coffee helps too.

What was your biggest challenge with making THE TRUST, and the moment that was the most rewarding to you, where you knew you had something special?

We had many of the same challenges you will find with most movies, managing time and budget. We never had a problem due to weather and got along great with all our actors so we were very fortunate in those areas. The most rewarding moment was the first time we got in a room to rehearse with Nicolas Cage and Elijah Wood. Watching them work so well together, bringing the scenes to life was a thrill unlike anything we would experience up to that point.

Iím about to get technical, but I would love to know about the the visual design of the movie and how it was filmed.

We shot on the Arri Alexa and had the great fortune of working with Sean Porter. In addition to being a very gifted artist, Sean is a great collaborator and a natural storyteller. Visually we wanted to always maintain a naturalism in regard to light and crafted shots and camera movement that served the story dynamics of the scene first and foremost.

What are you looking forward to the most about showing your movie here in Austin?

This will be our first visit to Austin but we have heard incredible things about the city and SxSW. We can't wait to celebrate our love of art and film amongst a community that feels as strongly as we do.

If you could show your movie in any theater outside of Austin, where would you screen it and why?

The Kendall Square Cinema in Boston, Massachusetts. Our go-to theater growing up.

What would you say to someone who was talking or texting through a movie?

Outside of responding to an emergency, it is hard to understand why people feel okay doing this. It's disrespectful to literally an entire room full of people. We were watching THE REVENANT and people had their phones out and it was really distracting. The movie is doing everything it can to create the visceral reality of the frozen 19th century wilderness and it has to compete with some dude checking Instagram in the front row.

We have a lot of readers on our site looking to make movies. What is the ONE THING you would say to someone who is wanting to get into the filmmaking business as a piece of advice?

Learn how to negotiate. There is no end to the compromises you will be asked to make. Figure out the things that are most important to your film and do everything you can to fight for them.

And finally, what is your all time favorite movie?

Pretty much anything by Billy Wilder.

We hope you enjoyed this SxSW filmmaker interview in our interview series for our site. To see the entire series click on the Live Report sidebar on your right. We will have interviews posted all throughout the festival so be sure to visit us often for more coverage!

This is one of the many films screening at the 2016 SXSW in Austin, Texas taking place March 11-19. For more information on this film screening times, point your browser to or use the SxSW GO App for Android and iOS.

Jason Whyte,
Twitter: @jasonwhyte / Facebook: jasonwhyte / Instagram: jason.whyte

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originally posted: 03/08/16 10:39:00
last updated: 03/09/16 03:10:43
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