Teeth-clenching action in ‘Getaway’
Lapacazo Sandoval | 8/29/2013, 10:14 a.m. | Updated on 8/29/2013, 10:14 a.m.
When reviewing a film and meeting the filmmakers, I make a practice of never reading the press notes because I want the film and one-on-one exchange to influence me. I value first impressions the most.
At the risk of upsetting the terrific actors in Warner Bros.’ new adrenaline-laced, testosterone-pumped action flick, I’m going to call it as it see it—which is the Harlem way—and declare that “Getaway” is a directors’ film!
In my opinion, Courtney Solomon isn’t just a director; he’s a auteur in the vein of—dare I say it—Martin Scorsese, Brian De Palma and the Wachowskis.
I dared. The aforementioned, Solomon included, know how to use their fancy “toys” to enhance the foundation of what makes a good movie, which is compelling storytelling.
Solomon is also a keen businessman with creative verve and a gut understanding of the global film marketplace. It’s evident to anyone knowledgeable about the inner mechanics of filmmaking (development, financing, crewing, pre- and post-production, shooting, publicity, marketing and global distribution) that ‘‘Getaway’’ was not turned over to a novice.
Solomon has a few jobs: director, producer, screenwriter and co-founder and CEO of After Dark Films.
In the horror genre (which sells briskly on the international scale), Solomon redefined the traditional film festival with the launch of the “Horofest: 8 Films to Die For” franchise in 2006.
The annual weeklong, nationwide theatrical event (followed by a DVD release in partnership with Lionsgate) helped transform After Dark Films from an acquisition entity into a mini-studio.
Solomon recently partnered with filmmaker Joel Silver to produce five original action films, launching a new franchise banner for his company called “After Dark Action.”
Currently, he is producing “Dungeons & Dragons,” starring Marlon Wayans and Thora Birch, for Warner Bros. under Sweetpea Entertainment.
AmNews: How did you persuade the money-men to let you make “Getaway?”
CS: I thought it was a really great concept: trapped in a confined space on a wild chase for the duration, not knowing the identity of the person pulling the strings … literally driving for their lives.
At first, I didn’t know how to capture that thrill, and it kept me awake. Then it hit me: equip my dream car [Mustang Shelby GT500 Super Snake] with all types of cameras, capturing the action inside and outside. Then it clicked for all of us!
You used 18 to 42 cameras, ranging in size and format, including the state-of-the-art digital RED Epics, an impressive turn for your director of photography, Yaon Levy. Honestly, it’s the stunts in your movie and the car that are the big stars. Agree?
Well, Ethan [Hawke] and Selena [Gomez] make all those elements work, keeping it interesting. You feel for [Hawke’s character,] Brent; he’s a regular guy, sort of beaten down, and who he cares most [about] is taken from him. He loves his wife so much that he’s risking life and limb to get her back. Ethan delivered a remarkable performance.
Yes. It’s Ethan Hawke. I expect no less. Let’s talk about the other big star in ‘‘Getaway’’