Breath – Behind The Scenes

Breath – Behind The Scenes

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The story was profoundly relatable for
me. It feels in some parts autobiographical and I think that’s the beauty of the book in a sense because it resonates for a lot of people in that
familiar terrain of figuring out who you are and that defining moment where you
become an adult. I think what attracted me to Breath was the fact that it’s
really rare that you can have the opportunity to make a picture like this
because Winton is so precious to Australia and because people like Mark
Johnson and Simon Baker attached we were able to raise enough funds to make a
movie of this scale that tells quite a small Australian story and most films
these days are all about spectacle and all about scale whereas this movie it’s
about us this movie is about Australians and the opportunity to tell this
story on this size canvas was just once-in-a-lifetime. Young men all over
the world have this mistaken idea that physical courage is the only form of
courage that matters and I think Pikelet’s story is learning that courage
is more than simple physical bravery it’s owning up to who you are and what
you’ve done and taking responsibility for your life. You know what I really
love about the story is as much as it is Pikelet’s journey into finding himself
and understanding his place in the world I think all the characters are doing
that in their own way and it’s sort of a portrait of a group of humans who are
very lost and at the same time sort of trying to search for connection in each
other and trying to understand who they are. The book is so squarely focused on
those themes that the world becomes sort of an exotic interesting
place that draws you in it doesn’t matter if you’ve been to Australia it
doesn’t matter if you haven’t been on a surfboard there’s something that you can
plug into with this story about having been young and you know looking at who
you were then and looking at who you are now and finding those moments that helped you realize who you were. I think what makes Simon so strong as a director is he is just a fantastic communicator. He’s very real, he’s very
direct and he speaks to people in their language there’s a really great
universal understanding of filmmaking because he’s grown up on set and he
knows character really well as well as being a really extraordinary surfer. So I think all of those qualities it would be really difficult to imagine anybody else
directing this picture it’s been really exciting to watch him work. Simon wanted
to cast surfers not young actors if possible so I guess we started looking
for young surfers in the right age group that had an aptitude for learning or
to take on roles. Because Simon’s a very subtle actor and
you need somebody who can finesse and work very delicately with those
boys in those roles especially given that they’ve never done anything
before. It’s just amazing to see someone handle the pressure of making a film
like he has and it was awesome to see someone who just sort of was so in love
with the story that he was telling which I thought was really cool.

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