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SxSW 2017 Interview: GAME OF DEATH'S Laurence Baz Morais and Sebastien Landry

by Jason Whyte

"GAME OF DEATH is the first feature of two Montreal based directors. We, Seb and Baz, have been working as a duo for almost 10 years now! Our movie is about a group of friends that finds a game and discover they need to kill 24 people or their heads will explode. Think JUMANJI meets NATURAL BORN KILLERS. We wanted to create a fun and gory movie that still makes you think and questions something in you. Not just pure entertainment but with something more added to it. We call this hide the broccoli in the grilled cheese here. We come from the music video industry so this movie is also very music driven!" Directors Laurence Baz Morais and Sebastien Landry on GAME OF DEATH which screens at the 2017 South By Southwest Conference.

I hear you are both back at SxSW this year!

Baz: I came to SXSW very often for the music segment. It is going to be my fifth this year and for sure I will attend my screening ! Some actors will also be here and it is gonna be their first time seeing the movie.

Seb: This is going to be my third time and I wouldn't miss any of the screenings! We have been pretty crazy during the music festival. Back in the days we were doing short documentaries about our trip for different media in Montreal. We love everything about SxSW and Austin. How the city comes to life during SXSW but also since the city has a lot of students you always have something cool to do here. We also wrote a big part of GAME OF DEATH in October 2015 in Austin.

So how did you get into this business?

Baz: We have been working with video since we were young. Baz started doing his own Web TV show about Montreal's nightlife in 2005 which lead to becoming an influential music video director in Montreal. I teamed up with Seb around 2008 and started experimenting together. Coming from a cinema school he always wanted to do movies. He did his first feature UN PARALLELE PLUS TARD in 2012 at 24 years old with money borrowed from his parents.

Cool! So how did GAME OF DEATH come together?

Seb: We did a short called CAGED in 2013 and it gained some attention from different distributors and producers. After that a French producer asked us what was our next project and we created GAME OF DEATH.

What keeps you going while making a movie? What drives you?

Baz: We don't really know. I think it's just the desire to create stuff. The desire to bring an idea to life. The desire to see people question themselves and their reality. Just to make people think about other thing than their everyday life. While we shoot we are just focused and driven by the need to get it done. This is probably the only moment in our life where we are almost sober.

What was your biggest challenge with this project, and the moment that was the most rewarding to you both?

Just to make this ambitious movie with such a small budget. This movie has been made in eighteen days so everything was a challenge. We also needed to find solution in bringing this small group of actors to become real friends and to embark in this insane journey. To achieve that we worked really hard with the production to shoot in chronological order and we really think this is what made GAME OF DEATH the movie it is now.

I would love to know about the the visual design of the movie and how the movie was photographed!

Seb: We have been working with SPG for quite a long time now. Baz and he have also been roommates for four years. So it's really just a group of friends coming together to make their first feature. We shot on the Arri Alexa.

What are you looking forward to the most about showing GAME OF DEATH in Austin?

Seb: We just wanna see the reaction. It's going to be a world premiere. So the first time we will have a chance to see how people will react to the movie. This is exciting.

After the film screens at SxSW, where is the film going to show next?

Baz: The movie exists in the form of a feature and a digital series. The feature will do the genre festival tour and it will also exist on a new platform called Blackpills.

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

Seb: Sundance, just to say we have been at Sundance.

What would you say to someone who was being disruptive during a screening of GAME OF DEATH?

Both:Watch movies at home please.

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

Just do stuff. Have fun, try and don't be afraid to fail. There are moments for thinking and over-thinking but there is also time for actions. Do it and think after is sometimes the best way to start.

And finally, what is the greatest movie you have ever seen?


Mar 13, 2017 at STATESIDE THEATRE, 11:45pm
Mar 14, 2017 at ALAMO RITZ, 11:45pm
Mar 17, 2017 at STATESIDE THEATRE, 7:00pm

Follow GAME OF DEATH online on Facebook!

We hope you enjoyed this SxSW filmmaker interview as part of our coverage of SxSW 2017. 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 2017 SXSW in Austin, Texas taking place March 10-18. 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

link directly to this feature at
originally posted: 03/08/17 14:39:58
last updated: 03/08/17 14:42:31
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