South of Heaven Director Aharon Keshales on Mixing Tone and Genres

With South of Heaven now playing in selected theaters and available On-Demand and digitally, I recently spoke with writer-director Aharon Keshales’ (Big Bad Wolves) about making his of the indie crime thriller. If you’re not familiar with the movie, South of Heaven features Jason Sudeikis as Jimmy, a man who receives early parole after being in prison for twelve years and promises to give his dying girlfriend Annie (Evangeline Lilly) a great last year. However, Sudeikis’ honest plans take a turn when his parole officer (Shea Whigham) forces him into running an errand or end up back in jail. The film also stars Mike Colter as a local crime boss.

During the interview, Keshales talked about how he put together his incredible cast, why he likes to mix tone and genre in new ways the audience hasn’t seen, how Evangeline Lilly gave him some great notes on the script and the way he reworked a key scene, filming the big action scene in the house in the 3rd act, why Beyond Fest was the perfect place to premiere the movie, his reaction when Quentin Tarantino called Big Bad Wolves the best film of 2013, and more. In addition, he talked about some of the things he’s working on now and why he wants to make a modern remake of The Incredible Shrinking Man with it being more like The Revenant.

RELATED: Evangeline Lilly on ‘South of Heaven,’ the ‘Ant-Man’ 3 Script, and Why ‘Real Steel’ Is One of Her Favorite Movies She’s Ever Made

Watch what he had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about.

Aharon Keshales

  • If he could get the financing to make any project what would he make and why?
  • Why he wants to make the incredible shrinking man and make it like The Revenant and it being a survivalist thriller.
  • What was his reaction when Quentin Tarantino called Big Bad Wolves the best film of 2013?
  • What did it mean to premiere South of Heaven at the Beyond Fest?
  • Why South of Heaven had a mixture of tone and genre.
  • On why he likes to make movies that people haven’t seen before.
  • How he came up with the idea to have Jason Sudeikis open the movie just talking to the camera.
  • How he put together this great cast.
  • Filming the big action scene in the house in the 3rd act.
  • What did he learn about the movie when he got in the editing room and did he make any big changes?
  • How he learned he needed to focus more on the love story.
  • How Evangeline Lilly gave him some great notes on the script and the way he reworked a key scene.
  • Future project talk.

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Author: Steve Weintraub

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