Film audiences that are no longer claustrophobic may feel that way after watching The Chamber, a new thriller set almost entirely off the coast of North Korea in the cockpit of an overturned submarine that is stuck at the bottom of the Yellow Sea. . The plot, an imminent conflict between the US UU And North Korea, is badly synchronized or very well synchronized, given the recent world events, but the real story is the classic moral dilemma of how humans behave when they try to survive.
Mats, Swedish captain of an underwater ship (played by Force Majeure star Johannes Bah Kuhnke), is involved in espionage when his boss orders him to pilot a special American team to an undisclosed location on a ramshackle Cold War submarine called Dawn. The American mission is led by brave Edwards (Charlotte Salt), with Denholm (Elliot Levey) and Parks (James McArdle), completing the three-person unit. Before diving, Mats says: "This is not a luxurious Navy Seal submarine, she is not a high-tech athlete." Only Mats knows how to maneuver the old and fussy submarine, but his boss has accepted that the Americans make the decision.
"She's not a high-tech sports thing."
The film's conflict comes from the team's mysterious mission, which revolves around the destruction of what appears to be a RQ-170 surveillance drone that has been hidden from the North Koreans in the Yellow Sea. When Edwards discovers the hidden drone for the first time, she marvels. "An RQ4, a global hawk UAV, an unmanned U.S. aircraft with full surveillance and guidance capabilities, it's a drone, beautiful, is not it?" It becomes clear that he will do everything possible to destroy the drone, even if they destroy the fragile submarine in the process.
In an interview with The Verge, writer and director Ben Parker says that the premise of the film was inspired in part by the terror of drone strikes. "A drone that crashed into the ocean was where the core of the story came in. I've always been fascinated, or rather terrorized, by drones." My first fascination, as a child, was of airplanes and aeronautics. Planes on my walls. " But with the advent of remotely armed drones, his admiration turned to fear. "The disconnection of the use of drones for attacks is something that scares me, and the camera really was about all my darker fears, all in one, so I wanted the plot to revolve around the recovery of one of these drones "
More than one of Parker's fears makes its way into the film. He is claustrophobic, and the movie often feels that way too. Jon Bunker, a conceptual artist in Gravity, conceptualized the nearby locations of the submarine. The set was a bit larger than a real cabin to make room for the camera, but the tight space still feels oppressive, and about to crumble.
"I wanted it to be a ragged submarine … that was quite old and broken, because I saw, firsthand, how advanced and safe modern submarines were," says Parker. "I wanted to create a sense of fear in the audience, that this submarine was like an old ramshackle car, on its last legs and ready to collapse, and that this was the only option available, I think the use of a dilapidated old ship He must be influenced by my love for the Millennium Falcon as a child, a reluctant hero, piloting a patched can.
Parker also got inspiration and understanding from his uncle, who was also a submarine pilot. "I was in the Special Forces, and he used to tell me stories about submarines." When I wrote the script, it was someone I could go back and see what was plausible … He descended to great depths in these submarines and I was in suspense [to hear] what he found down there. "
As part of his investigation, Parker visited a NATO rescue submarine at Fort William in Scotland and was beaten by ordinary cameras abroad. "They were there for durability, not for the beautiful images of the camera, so when it came to filming outside views, I thought why not use the same thing they do in the real submarine," he says. "The use of GoPros allowed us to get the look and maneuverability between the miniatures and the sets, I really wanted to use GoPro images on board for part of the inner action too, to increase the realistic feel, but we did not end up using this in the movie ".
The Chamber was not a high-tech or large-budget company either. With a budget of less than one million dollars, the team had to be creative to shoot credible action sequences. "I did not want it to seem low resolution, but I liked the idea of limiting things to a small space, it was even more fun, four people trapped in a prison cell would not have been that dynamic," says Parker.
Instead of CGI, the crew used old Hollywood tricks to create dark and dark sequences with GoPro cameras. "I realized that I was emulating many of my inspirations from B movies, shooting models, higher camera speeds and then slowing down," says Parker. He cites the work of the intelligent, sometimes outrageous cameraman Roger Corman as an influence to create the effect of the ocean, and a way to overcome budget constraints.
The film was filmed in 23 days in a warehouse in Wales. "We built [the submarine] from scratch ourselves, we had to film everything in sequence," says Parker. While filming scenes in which the submarines began to fill with water, the actors had to stand in the water for hours, often while it was too cold or very hot. And then there was the enervating combination of electricity and water.
"We used visual effects where we needed to, but we also had real and practical effects whenever we could, and of course, being a thriller, I knew the limitations of mixing practical water and CGI effects. Do everything you could in the camera, "he says. "We had a big network above the models with flour, someone would touch the net, and small pieces would fall into dust."
For the final sequence, the cast and crew fired from the south coast of the United Kingdom near Devon. "We all jump into the water and slowly move to the sea," says Parker of recent days filming in the place.
The Chamber is in theaters, On Demand, and Digital HD on February 23.