FINAL DESTINATION 5 Pub Crawl In St. Charles, New Images & Behind The Scenes Look
Tomorrow night (August 5th) Main Street in St.. Charles, MO will be hosting a FINAL DESTINATION 5 Pub Crawl at 10pm. Everyone will have a chance to win VIP Seats to the screening along with Final Destination Prizes! At each location along the crawl, you will have to play a game symbolizing a “new death” from the movie!
Photos by Doane Gregory/Warner Bros. Pictures
Along with the crawl, get a load of Warner Bros. Pictures slew of new images from New Line Cinema’s horror film FINAL DESTINATION 5. For those with a passion for film production, below is a background piece on how the August 12th movie was made.
“Death doesn’t like to be cheated…”
In “Final Destination 5,” the fifth installment of the successful horror franchise, Death once again proves to be the ultimate stalker as it systematically hunts down a group of friends struggling to escape its relentless pursuit.
This time around, Death is unleashed on several coworkers as they embark on a corporate retreat for what should be a quick overnight trip. As the charter bus makes its way toward the location, the route takes them over a massive suspension bridge that arches over a river, where raging waters surge 200 feet below. But their fates are seemingly sealed as the bridge splinters apart right in front of their eyes. Sam, the character who had first presaged the accident, desperately tries to figure out a way to save them, with some degree of success…or so he thinks.
Director Steven Quale says, “In the previous ‘Final Destination’ films, it’s inevitable that they’re going to die, and the question is when and how – that’s the adrenaline rush. But in this movie, we’ve added a twist: a few may have found a way to survive.”
For producer Craig Perry, the opportunity to come back for a fifth time offered a chance to not only meet the fans’ expectations, but to rock them out of their seats.
“We’re always looking at these films with an eye to taking it to the next level,” Perry says. “One of the things we’ve learned from fans is that they want a gripping, terrifying story that is also an entertaining ride, so we really tried to ramp it up.”
Knowing that they wanted to shoot the film in 3D, producers Craig Perry and Warren Zide brought Quale, an expert in the field, on board.
“Steve has forgotten more about 3D than I’ll ever know,” Perry suggests. “He has been doing this for 20 years with Jim Cameron, the grand master of not just 3D but of action movies. Also, Steve genuinely loves movies and has a real passion that, married with his technical expertise, made him pretty much the perfect candidate for what we were trying to do here.”
Quale felt that working on a film where the core premise was firmly established provided him with a creative challenge to enhance the bones of the franchise. “I did a marathon screening of all four ‘Final Destination’ movies back-to-back with the mind of a moviegoer, noting what I liked best about each. Then I began to think about what I was going to do once I was behind the camera.”
Screenwriter Eric Heisserer says working on “Final Destination 5″ was a writer’s dream job, since setting up the hook of the story isn’t needed. “The ‘Final Destination’ conceit is one of those rare situations where, thanks to the previous four movies, I didn’t need to spend a lot of time on exposition to make sure the audience would get it. It was my intent from the start to write an engaging supernatural thriller that also happens to be a ‘Final Destination’ movie. Like fans, I wanted some heinous kill sequences, but I also wanted to expand the mythology of the world by introducing a moral dilemma for the characters, which forces them to wrestle with the question of what, or who, they value most.”
With the series’ signature chain reaction-style kills always at the center of anticipation for audiences, the scenes have to be bigger and better each time, presenting a fun challenge for the writer.
“The toughest thing for me was definitely choreographing the death sequences. I made several trips to various real-world locations where our scenarios are set. I took pictures, drew diagrams, conducted interviews. Often it felt like I was at the scene of some crime, even though none had been committed…yet,” he laughs. “The chain of small, mundane events that, when triggered in proper order, spell disaster for a character, took a lot of careful planning. The flip side of that coin is that, when a death sequence worked, it was easily the most fun to write.”
In addition to the death scenes, the producers and Quale were adamant that the story and character development take equal precedence, recognizing the value that comes from engaging the audience to care about the characters, which then makes watching their demise that much more of a visceral, horrifying event.
“We set out to make a visually stunning film with dynamic action sequences, beginning with the bridge,” Quale states, “But I also think the characters are people the audience will want to follow. Their storylines really help drive this movie, so we spent a lot of time looking for the right actors for each part. We got very lucky with this group.”
“I think we found a great balance with this film,” Perry says. “With the bridge collapse, we’ve got the biggest opening sequence we’ve ever had. Then there’s the sheer suspense of not only what will happen to each of these characters but, more importantly, how it will happen, which is really what sets ‘Final Destination’ movies apart.”
“The lucky few survive the disaster. And then
one by one…Death comes for them all.”
The story of “Final Destination 5″ centers around Sam, a young professional in the midst of a career crisis: sticking with a job at a paper factory that pays the rent, or following his passion to become a chef and moving to Paris. But Paris might cause him to lose the girl he loves, and that may be too big a price to pay.
“When we meet Sam, he is distracted because, while he’s supposed to be setting up to go on this retreat, his girlfriend, Molly, is breaking up with him,” offers Nicholas D’Agosto, who plays Sam. “Then as they get on the bus, he gets that pang of ‘something doesn’t feel right,’ but shrugs it off. When Death starts taking out those around him, he gets really scared, because he doesn’t understand why this is happening, what he’s supposed to do about it or how to convince the FBI that he has nothing to do with the deaths of those around him. On top of all that, he’s trying to make decisions about his lifeÃ¢â‚¬â€for as long as it lasts, that is.”
Perry notes, “Nick’s an engaging and personable guy, and that translated to Sam, which was key since the audience has to want to take this really frightening ride with him.”
D’Agosto smiles, “What I love about this franchise is that it leaves this big question open for the audience: ‘Who or what is the entity that delivers this vision to these characters so that they can stave off Death just long enough for it to come and get them?’ I think it’s a fun question that fans can engage in and certainly something I won’t try to answer…even though I have my own ideas about it.”
As Death casts its net around Sam’s nearest and dearest, no one is excused from its macabre plan – except maybe the love of his life.
Emma Bell plays Sam’s girlfriend, Molly, a sweet girl who’s deeply in love with her boyfriend but feeling that their life paths are moving in two different directions.
Weighing in on Molly, Bell offers, “She lives in a small town and she’s very comfortable with that. I don’t think she ever really dreamed of moving to a city, or wanted to be part of something more. She’s in love with Sam, but she knows that he dreams bigger than she ever could, and isn’t sure how to balance her love for him without holding him back from pursuing his goals. Molly knows that, given the choice, Sam would pick her over going to Paris. But she doesn’t want to put him in that situation, so she makes that choice for him.”
Perry recalls first seeing Bell in an earlier film and thinking, “‘Who is this girl? She’s fantastic.’ So when we were going through the casting process and her name came up, we jumped at it. Emma has incredible eyesÃ¢â‚¬â€she can sell a whole scene without saying a word.”
Sam’s best friend and immediate supervisor at work is Peter, played by Miles Fisher. “Here’s someone who is a pretty straightforward, one-plus-one-equals-two kind of guy,” Fisher attests. “When Death starts coming after him and his friends, he struggles to find some kind of logical explanation, because the way he thinks doesn’t allow for anything else. And when Death claims the life of the person closest to him, I think something snaps inside; he just can’t wrap his head and heart around it and in trying to make sense of it, he desperately starts grasping at straws.”
Perry says that Peter’s character may be the greatest departure yet for the franchise, and gives the film a dramatic narrative that they haven’t explored before. “There are a lot fun twists and turns in store for the fans, but I think one of the most interesting things is that we take a character and watch him transform as his world collapses around him, as he searches for depraved ways to save himself. It’s something we’ve never had before, a tangible antagonist in the third act.”
Fisher enjoyed playing against the series’ type. “What is so terrific about these movies is that people know the rules of engagement. They know that everybody is probably going to die in some horrible way and the fun is in teasing the audience. Accidents happen everyday – in your bathtub, in a tanning bed, at a race track, every time you get on a plane. These films ignite the imagination and freak you out, but it’s done with a sense of humor. It was fun to play into that and to take it to a different level.”
Peter’s girlfriend, Candice, is played by Ellen Wroe, a young actress who is also a former gymnast, which was exactly what the filmmakers were looking for. In fact, it was through the activity that Wroe got her first exposure to the films. “When I was competing, we’d have sleepovers every Saturday night, and we’d watch scary movies, including the ‘Final Destination’ movies. I would be scared out of my mind and have my eyes covered, but afterwards we’d watch them all over again.”
Quale says there was no question in his mind that Wroe was the one. “Ellen had spunk and feistiness as well as the gymnastics background and as soon as we saw her, I knew we were done looking, we’d found Candice.”
Because it had been seven years since she practiced the sport, stunt coordinator J.J. Makaro had two stunt doubles lined up and learning the gymnastic elements for a scene in which Candice goes through a series of complicated routines. But, as Makaro explains, doubles weren’t necessary.
“Ellen was a huge surprise. I was fully prepared for her to need a stuntwoman for the more complicated parts of the routine, but Ellen went straight to the gym and started working out. Every time we thought we were getting to a place where we could help her, she came back and wowed us. Finally our gymnastics coach said, ‘The person we need to do all of this is Ellen.’ Her work ethic and dedication were beyond impressive.”
“It was a little tough to get back into shape and be at the level I was after so many years off, but I was up for the challenge,” says Wroe. “After a couple of weeks I was up to two- or three-hour daily training sessions and a lot of my skills came back.”
One character without much of a work ethic is Isaac, that one guy in every office who always seems to irritate everyone, and to completely turn off the ladies, despite his constant attempts at the reverse. New to the horror genre, actor P.J. Byrne was eager to jump on board in the role. “I thought, ‘When am I ever going to have a chance to die like that again onscreen, let alone in 3D?’ That’s what really got me fired up for ‘Final Destination 5.’”
Byrne goes on to describe Isaac and his main motivation in life. “Isaac likes girls, Isaac likes himself, and Isaac likes getting girls for himself! He’s read the book on how to pick up women and he’ll hit on 99 women and maybe, just maybe, he’ll land on the hundredth one. At the end of the day, he’s always on it,” he grins.
If Isaac shirks most of his responsibilities, his coworker at the Presage paper plant, Nathan, takes his to heart. Nathan, played by Arlen Escarpeta, is a hard-working employee who has to balance being part of the management staff with overseeing things on the factory floor, not always an easy mix.
“Nathan straddles both the industrial job, where he deals with the union guys on the floor, and being on the management team, who are also his friends,” Escarpeta relates. “He’s also a lot younger than most of the men he’s supervising, so he’s given a lot of flack by one of the veterans, and he’s struggling with how to handle it all without losing his cool.”
Another coworker at Presage is Olivia, a rock n’ roll beauty whose good looks, mixed with edgy confidence, are a winning combination save for one thing: her poor eyesight. Tired of keeping track of her horned-rims, Olivia opts for laser eye surgery, with unforeseen results.
Jacqueline MacInnes Wood says of playing the scene, “It was crazy and a very intense moment for me, so Olivia’s terror was really just a reflection of me freaking out. I’m always up for a challenge – I ride motorcycles, skateboard, you name it – but nothing could have prepared me for this. It was truly frightening.”
“Final Destination” audiences are forever debating which character died the most horrific death, or which kill was the most inventive, but the cast and crew on this fifth installment were of one mind, with Olivia’s circumstances emerging as the clear winner. Quale believes it’s a sequence that will leave audience members thinking twice before opting for 20/20 vision.
“That kind of surgery is so commonplace now, but the emotion Jacqui brought to her scene actually made watching it hard to take for those of us on set. She won hands-down for the most fingernail-on-the-chalkboard, bloodcurdling moment for me.”
The boss at Presage, Dennis, is portrayed by comedic actor David Koechner, who is known by his fans for the wild character he plays on TV, at another fictional paper company. As in many real-life situations, there’s not always a lot of love coming from Dennis’ employees, which adds some comic relief to the mayhem. Koechner, who up until then had never seen a ‘Final Destination’ movie, had a few chuckles himself when first considering the role.
“I’m kind of a scaredy-cat,” he confesses, “so I wasn’t really sure what I was getting into. Then they showed me a compilation reel of all the deaths throughout all of the movies, and I thought they were hysterical.”
“David Koechner is one of the funniest people I’ve ever met, and he’s a terrific comedic actor,” comments Perry. “He injected humor and energy to the movie, while bringing a surprising dramatic undercurrent that really gives his character more weight and credibility.”
Perhaps the most credible character in the film is the super-serious Agent Block, the FBI investigator looking into the deaths. He is played by Courtney B. Vance.
“What more can you say about Courtney?” asks Perry. “He’s got a magnificent presence and every scene that he’s in is anchored with the emotional gravitas he brings.”
For Vance, it was an opportunity to explore a genre that is new to his long list of acting credits. “Horror films scare me, but when I found out Steve Quale was going to direct, I thought, ‘I’ve never done anything like this, and I know I’m going to be in great hands,’ so I had to give it a try.”
Also circling in the background of each crime scene is the mysterious Bludworth, played by the series’ iconic Tony Todd.
“Tony is such an imposing man,” D’Agosto says. “He can give you one look that totally shuts you down, but working with him is so much fun. You couldn’t find a nicer and more personable man.”
Genre fans lit up when they heard Todd was appearing in the latest installment. “After a brief absence, Tony is back and we are thrilled,” says Perry of the franchise’s only three-film veteran. “Everyone who loves these movies will also be happy to hear that Tony doesn’t just appear in a brief cameo, he’s in multiple scenes. And he delivers in every one. The fans are going to love it.”
Todd provides a sneak peek at his recurring role. “Who is Bludworth? You tell me. Maybe he’s a representative or a sales agent of some sort. He has his own secrets that he can’t reveal…but I guess there’s a reason he keeps showing up.”
“The bridge is gonna collapse – we’re all gonna die!”
“Final Destination 5″ rolled into production at the beginning of September 2010 in Vancouver, British Columbia, the same location where the first three movies were shot, the first over 10 years before.
“It felt like a high school reunion,” Perry laughs. “One of the tremendous benefits of coming back to Vancouver is that there’s a wealth of great crew here who have worked on the previous films. These movies are really hard to pull off. They require an awful lot of technical know-how, and having people who have gone through the experience once or twice before makes it a lot easier. In fact, it made it the easiest shoot of the franchise.”
Key department heads like special effects coordinator Rory Cutler, visual effects supervisor Ariel Velasco Shaw, special effects make-up designer Toby Lindala and stunt coordinator J.J. Makaro all returned. Perry found himself having multiple deja vu moments complete with memorabilia – a background extra showed up at set one day holding her original call sheet from the first “Final Destination.”
Quale agreed that having the veteran crew was invaluable. “It was fantastic to have them on board because I’m new to the franchise, so to have their experience and sensibilities was incredibly helpful. We had a phenomenal team with Rory, Ariel, J.J. and Toby. And David Sandefur, our production designer, did an amazing job elevating the look and the reality of the film, down to the smallest detail.”
The director continues, “Rory and Ariel worked really well together, which was very important because on this kind of film, we needed digital to go where it’s physically impossible to go. I think we were able to succeed with a hybrid of all the approaches – visual effects, special effects and make-up. Whenever possible, we didn’t rely on CGI or a lot of tricks; we went for the practical as much as we could and luckily we succeeded. J.J.’s stunt team worked hard to make all the action sequences feel real and provided our actors a great support system.”
Making sure the deaths were rendered in all their gory splendor was make-up head Lindala, who also led the blood charge on “Final Destination 3.”
“My team and I were so excited to be involved in another ‘Final Destination’ movie, because it’s a make-up effects dream project. This is where we really get to show our stuff,” he says.
With the state-of-the-art 3D cameras intensifying every detail, blood became a new challenge. Lindala’s team spent countless hours testing new appliances and concocting a recipe that would read on screen like the real thing – a recipe that listed chocolate syrup and vodka among the ingredients. “It took time to get the mix right,” Lindala says. “It was a little difficult working with 3D, but I’m glad we did it now and not 10 or 15 years ago, as our work has come a long way. Now we’re also using a lot of silicone and these great bondo transfers and Pros-Aide adhesives, which are so translucent they blend into the skin and provide a real texture match. Without these new pieces, our work could stand out as make-up instead of looking like actual forensic injuries.”
Working with the groundbreaking film director James Cameron for 20 years, Steven Quale not only “grew up” with the development of 3D but also actively played a part in its technical and cinematic evolution. Along with Cameron’s theatrical films, Quale worked with his mentor on documentaries and IMAX projects, giving him a vast array of experience using 3D in all sorts of mediums and environments.
“I learned early on what to do and what not to do in 3D,” Quale comments. “I learned how to use it as a storytelling tool and not as a gimmick, and I don’t use 3D shots unless they serve the story because ultimately the story and the characters are what hold a movie together, not just the cool shots.”
In addition to the 3D element, the filmmakers photographed the movie using the “Alexa” Hi-Def digital camera made by Arriflex. Director of photography Brian Pearson says, “In preproduction, Steve and I had long talks about the look of the movie. We wanted this installment to move in a different direction, to have more 3D-enhancing dramatic shots and incorporate wide-angle as well as longer lenses for select scenes, something which is not usually considered for 3D production. We wanted a lot of contrast in the frame in terms of dynamic range and also in terms of color and we worked to build not only a 3D-depth arc but also a color arc through the film. We used a lot of warm tones, golds, ambers and fire-light but incorporated cool tones at certain times to distinguish and enhance the dramatic scenes.”
What has become synonymous with ‘Final Destination’ movies, and what sets them apart from other horror franchises, are the death-defying opening sequences. The filmmakers are confident that the catastrophe that sets this film in motion will fully satisfy even the most diehard fans, who think they’ve seen it all.
Writer Eric Heisserer offers, “The idea for the suspension bridge collapse was the result of a long creative session with Craig Perry and Sheila Hanahan Taylor. We began by looking online for videos of natural or man-made disasters, searching for a sequence that would work for the movie. Craig shared a video of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge falling, and I became obsessed with it. We began listing all the things that could go wrong on a bridge. Just when we thought we’d exhausted all our ideas, someone would think of an element to add to it. Finally, after three months of planning, brainstorming, writing and rewriting, I had a sequence that felt like a legitimate ‘Final Destination’ opening. But the best thing to happen to the bridge collapse was Steve Quale, because he took the opening we’d all been imagining for months and elevated it to a kinetic, cinematic experience in ways that we never thought possible.”
But turning what was on paper into reality for the big 3D screen became an intense and intricate process involved using four separate locations: the real Lions Gate Bridge in Vancouver, the Brunswick Pit set, an elevated bridge deck built in an outdoor parking lot, and the construction of a massive 80,000-pound gimbal bridge deck that spanned 60 feet by 50 feet, and was housed in the nearby Mammoth Sound Stages.
“To accomplish what we wanted, we had to be really creative in how we used our resources,” Quale notes. “In broad strokes, all the scenes leading up to the bridge collapsing involve the Lions Gate Bridge. We took aerial shots, and we got permission to briefly close one lane of traffic on the bridge early one Sunday morning, but only for four hours. In order to maximize the time, we used four cameras shooting simultaneously to capture the shot.
“We then moved production to the Brunswick Pit location,” he continues, “where we had a section of deck constructed. This location was incredible because it had this wonderful vista that matches the panorama seascape off the Lions Gate Bridge, so we could seamlessly interweave the real thing with this constructed section. We called our third location the elevated bridge deck, and there we hoisted a section of it 30 feet into the air so we could shoot looking up and down. That’s also where we had our actors falling off the bridge and hanging onto the broken railings. Lastly, once the bridge starts collapsing, we moved into the soundstage, where we had a long section of the bridge deck on hydraulic gimbals. That’s where we accomplished the bulk of the green screen work.”
In conceptualizing the bridge sequence, production designer David R. Sandefur relied on his past architectural experience to draw up the complex blueprints. Heavy excavation of the surrounding hillside at Brunswick Pit was needed in order to prepare a site that could handle the scope of production – a set that included 50-foot-high scaffolding with green screens, two massive 40-foot by 60-foot white screens flying overhead, and no fewer than 12 cranes.
“We found the Brunswick Pit location just three weeks before production began, and we had a huge amount of infrastructure to complete,” Sandefur remarks. “We definitely altered the topography of the land not only by leveling the ground in some places, but also by building up the ground in other areas to support the base for the asphalt bridge deck and surrounding perimeter. We also had to address safety and environmental concerns by building proper run-off, so there wouldn’t be any landslides washing our set down the mountainside. Once the bridge starts to collapse, Steve needed to shoot above and below it, and I knew we’d never find a stage tall enough to handle those shots. So we thought, ‘Why not take a piece of the asphalt, drag it outside and stack on some containers?’ So that’s how we created the elevated bridge deck.”
Perry states, “We were very lucky to have David Sandefur. Not only did he and his team create terrific sets for every scene in the film, but they did an unbelievable job capturing the structure of a full-size suspension bridge and duplicating it in so many different forms in order to make a truly mind-blowing ‘Final Destination’ opening sequence.”
“You were supposed to die on that bridge – you’re
not supposed to be here. You shorted Death.”
With Death waiting at every street corner, lurking in restaurants and even hovering around the office water cooler, the filmmakers hope “Final Destination 5″ will be the most heart-pounding installment to date.
Craig Perry, veteran of all five films, states, “That’s what makes this franchise work – the anticipation of the most horrible things imaginable happening with just the simplest, most everyday elements. It sounds a little crazy to sit back and wonder, ‘How do you kill people? What can we do to cause grievous bodily harm in a way we haven’t done it before?’ But I think audiences will agree that we’ve managed to top ourselves once again.”
Steven Quale is excited to be able to bring “Final Destination 5″ to life on the big screen and in 3D, and is confident the legions of fans will be rewarded for their loyalty to the franchise. “I think they are going to eat this up, because it delivers everything that makes this a great horror/thriller movie: compelling characters, some of the best deaths that have ever been conceived for a ‘Final Destination’ movie, and incredible and totally unexpected twists they won’t see coming. It’s a major adrenaline rush.”
New Line Cinema presents, a Practical Pictures/Zide Pictures production, “Final Destination 5.” The film will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.
The film has been rated R for strong violent/gruesome accidents, and some language.