Video Interview: Talking with 'All is Lost' Writer/Director J.C. Chandor
by Alex Billington
October 22, 2013
Never give up. At the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year I caught two different screenings of a film that amazed me and left me floored both times I saw it - All is Lost, the second feature from writer & director J.C. Chandor. I first met J.C. at Sundance in early 2012 at the party for his first film, Margin Call, which premiered at the festival and went on to earn an Oscar nomination. He's back again this year with All is Lost, a film which stars Robert Redford and only Robert Redford, with only a handful of lines of dialogue, taking place entirely on a sailboat lost at sea. It's a beautiful film and I had plenty to ask J.C. Chandor about.
All is Lost first premiered at the Cannes Film Festival back in May, which Chandor references at the start of this interview. I wrote in my glowing review at the time: "It's grueling, thrilling, meticulous, inspiring and most importantly, moving. I can't stop thinking about it and how wonderful it is." The film really is Redford trying to survive while lost at sea, with only a few lines of dialogue. My focus was asking Chandor about how they pulled this off, how it all came together, what was in the script, how he got Redford, and everything else I could fit in 20 minutes time. Without further ado, dive in now and watch/listen to my chat with J.C. below.
Watch my video interview with All is Lost writer/director J.C. Chandor, shot on Flipcam in New York:
Timeline of questions: 0:15 - Did you have any expectations for reactions? 1:38 - What we see is not what I expected…? 3:24 - How many little details are in the script? 4:38 - Did you write it for yourself, would you have written differently for someone else? 5:54 - How much evolved on set, how much does Redford direct himself? 8:40 - Staying true to the vision! 9:52 - What is the story behind how you "got" Redford for this? 16:44 - Where are going next from here? Are you always going to write your own scripts that you'll direct?
I love this bit about working with Robert Redford: "There's a confidence of purpose where he's fully engaged and showing himself." That really does come through in the movie and his performance is one of the many reasons I loved watching it. I'm glad J.C. and I could cover a good range of topics from Sundance to Redford to the screenplay to some of the production challenges. He's a very nice, humble guy and we'll be following his career closely. A big thank you to J.C. Chandor for his time, and to Roadside Attractions, Gingsberg Libby & PMK-BNC for arranging the interview. All is Lost is definitely worth catching in theaters this year.
J.C. Chandor's All is Lost opened on October 18th and is now playing in select theaters nationwide. For a complete list of theaters and more info on the release, visit AllisLostfilm.com. Read my review from Cannes.