Directed by Dito Montiel, Starring Shia LaBeouf, Jai Mara and Gary Oldman, soon to be released “Man Down” is a tale of a former U.S. Marine Gabriel Drummer searching desperately for the whereabouts of his son in a post-apocalyptic America.

Consort News had the pleasure of interviewing Producer, Patrick Hibler of M-Power Pictures (www.mpowerpictures.com) about the making of the movie.

What inspired you to make this movie?
Patrick – I have always believed in the script. I think it’s incredibly unique in its structure, genre and message. It brings to light a very real problem in our society that is being ignored. The brilliance of this story is that it allows the audience to experience, see and understand the world through Gabriel’s eyes. Really understanding PTSD is crucial when trying to address it. I also liked how this film has so many messages you can take away from it, but at the end of the day it’s about a father trying to find his son. The subject matter and story is huge, but incredibly intimate at the same time.

Patrick Hibler 2How long from the initial idea did it take until the cameras were rolling?
It was in development for a little over two years. Once Dito came on board, we were shooting within 6 months.

What were the hardest challenges of making the film?
I think when you really care about something you only want perfection. If you want perfection, everything becomes challenging. There were no slackers on this film. Everyone who worked on this movie believed in the material, story and message.

Man Down Movie (5)

What were your most memorably/ enjoyable part of this film?
For me, it would be production. Seeing the cast breathe life into these characters that we had lived with for so long was really special.

For many independent film-makers, attaching a star name can be the hardest part of the process. Is there any advice you could give a future director, using your own experiences and examples.
Attaching a star is usually one of the hardest elements. I’ve learned that relationships are the most valuable thing in this industry. In our case, attaching Shia and Kate was actually pretty easy once we had Dito. Dito knew them, he sent them the script and they both immediately said yes.

Man Down Movie (6)

What is your favorite scene/ part or aspect in Man Down?
I love Shia’s recollection of the incident. That’s the moment that we have been building towards and that’s the reason for everything we see in the film. I think the way Dito handled that scene between the music, the editing choices, the cinematography and of course the acting on Shia’s part was perfect and so heartbreaking. I never get tired of watching that scene.

As a producer, you have a lot of the financial pressures. What were the most challenging? What surprises or problems did you encounter? What would be the best piece of advice you could give a hopeful film producer?
I think producing is all “surprises and problems”. There certainly were a lot on this film, but I think that’s true of any film. It’s all about having an A, B, C, D and E plan. Know for a fact that something will go wrong and be prepared to adapt and change.

Man Down Movie (13)

What were your most enjoyable and surprising parts of Venice Film Festival?
Having lived with the script for so long, I was extremely biased. I had no idea how people would react to the film as it is quite different from anything I’ve seen. It breaks a lot of rules. Getting a 7minute long standing ovation from a theater with 1600+ people was unbelievably moving. All of us teared up. We made this film for the audience and in that moment, we knew that it resonated with the audience. That moment is all that matters.

Man Down Movie (10)

For many people, attending a Film Festival can be daunting at first. What do you think are the most important reasons for attending a Film Festival (whether that is Venice or Cannes). And what tips would you give some-one who was planning their first trip to a festival?
I think attending film festivals is important to have the chance to get your film out in front of an objective audience before it is released. You’re going to find out whether it works or not. The people that attend festivals are there because they love cinema. What better people to test your film? There’s always the daunting element of critics and reviews, but some movies are meant for the masses and some are meant for a niche group. If you’re lucky, your film resonates with both.

For more details on Man Down please check out http://www.mpowerpictures.com/mandown/

Man Down Movie (2)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.