03 February 2011
SANCTUM director Alister Grierson took the helm of the ambitious 3D action thriller after being recruited by James Cameron and producer Andrew Wight but was having James Cameron as his boss more intimidating than the underwater 3D shoot? Find out in our interview with James Cameron, Alister Grierson and Andrew Wright.
During CineMovie's interview with James Cameron, Alister Grierson, and Andrew Wright in Los Angeles the weekend before SANCTUM'S big release, director Alister explains why his bosses were impressed with his first full-length film Kokoda (2006), a low-budget war drama which became a hit in his native Australia. Kokoda helped him land his second feature and his American debut. James Cameron knew he was the right director for SANCTUM because of the similiarities between Kokoda's story of survival and SANCTUM's similar dilemma. James Cameron was happy with his choice in Alister specifically because he delivered SANCTUM, an underwater action adventure movie in 3D, for far less than your average Hollywood film budget.
Shooting with the same 3D cameras Cameron created for Avatar was not a problem for the SANCTUM director. The underwater elements presented many more problems. In the interview, James Cameron and Andrew Wright also addressed the misconception that 3D cameras cause more of a burden during production. For SANCTUM, the locations and subject matter were far more worrisome than using the latest 3D technology which Cameron has made more production friendly than previous cameras. Grierson added he was not worried about shooting in 3D for the first time since he was surrounded by Cameron's experts. During pre-production, Alister visited the Avatar set and familiarized himself with Cameron's new technology.
Shooting with actors underwater proved difficult but Alister joked the best part of the production was the actor's inability to talk back while wearing their diving gear. Actors Ioan Gruffudd (Fantastic Four), Richard Roxburgh (Moulin Rouge), Alice Parkinson, and Rhys Wakefield had to go through intensive underwater training.
Alister told CineMovie, working with Cameron was not an area of concern when he signed on. Originally, he didn't know James Cameron was attached to SANCTUM but once it was revealed - he didn't change his mind about the project. James Cameron's expertise proved very helpful not only with the 3D elements but in the post production process. James Cameron came on set once, according to the Australian director, but his influence was by far greater in the editing process to craft a film that was worthy of a James Cameron film. For a second feature film for Alistair, the ambitious film paid off for all parties.
The SANCTUM producers were extremely content with Alister Grierson's work and hope audience discover the film when SANCTUM opens in theaters February 4, 2011.
SANCTUM follows a team of underwater cave divers trapped underground after a tropical storm floods their exit. In order to survive, they go deeper into the cave by diving into unknown territory as panic sets in.