Kiera Allen of ‘Run’ on Upending Incapacity Stereotypes

Hi, I’m Aneesh Chaganty and I am the co-writer and director of Run. OK. So the scene that is happening is in the second act of the film. Without giving much away, this is the basic setting. Our daughter, played by newcomer Kiera Allen, has been locked in her room by her misaligned mother, played by veteran Sarah Paulson, and is convinced that she must flee. From a form standpoint, I think what you’re about to see is actually one of the few sequences that breaks the pattern of film aesthetics. Much of the film style is borrowed from the films of Hitchcock and Shyamalan, and these films don’t just select shots because something can happen within them. They designed frames in which four or five things could happen. To borrow a page from her book, I hand-storyboarded every single frame in this film before we began filming. You can actually compare the boards to the final film. It’s all pretty much the same. So right now we’re watching Chloe, who is this super resourceful, smart and inventive girl, kind of MacGyver, a solution from her room. Chloe uses a wheelchair, so a solution that a capable person may have come up with won’t work for her. She has to overcome this with some kind of pure intelligence, and she does. Every single shot in this room is repeated from an earlier shot in the film. I wanted to be very frugal with the graphics of this film and always create frames that could be repeated so that it felt like real catharsis when things narrative explode like this. [MUSIC PLAYING] All of this was filmed on a stage in Winnipeg. We basically created the entire second story of his house on one stage, and the first story and the exterior – what you are seeing now – are all in place. So now we’re jumping into the most complex filming process in the entire film, in which this whole sequence will combine so many different skills and elements and days of shooting into one. So she just comes on her roof. We land on a take of Kiera on a stage on a set where the roof is actually flat and the walls are sloping to one side. It looks kind of cool – it’s hard to describe, but only film magic makes it possible. So the camera is just tilted. It actually lies completely flat on the floor. We tilt her hair just a little and occasionally blow the wind aside. And that’s her face pushing forward a little and some kind of blue screen behind her. The next shot you’ll see is going to be from the side, and that’s a stunt double. But it looks like Kiera because we replaced Kiera’s face on it. And that kind of shot was actually the first shot we took on the first day of shooting. And we had to shoot it on the first day because we were shooting in Winnipeg, Canada, the coldest place ever, and we had to shoot our outsides first before it all started snowing. We started filming on October 31, 2018. By the way, the house was chosen because it felt like it looked like it was – you could stick it on a movie poster and pull it out and Sarah Paulson’s face over it, and it just had that old Hitchcock’s vibe -House, so there are just like secrets in there and such. This is another shot on the set on that little fake roof. This is another shot on the set. Obviously we didn’t put Kiera on an actual roof at risk. But we shot this whole sequence over several, several days. And she still has a lot of water in her mouth that she used to swallow. She puts in a soldering iron, heats the soldering iron and places the soldering iron on this glass in the cold, where it cracks immediately because the heat expands it, and then immediately spits some water on the glass where it breaks the rest of the glass. This is actually a technique. One of my best friend’s fathers is a glassblower and he taught me that on the phone. So this is the end of one of the movie’s biggest set pieces, which is honestly trying to do what we tried to do with this whole movie, which is to take a normal house and turn every single element of that house into a massive Burj Khalifa-scale Obstacle.

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