I recently got the chance to talk to Tyler Bryan about his role in ‘Shark Night 3D’. Here, Tyler talks about how he got involved in the project in the first place and his thoughts on the use of 3D in film-making…
Hey Tyler. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me about your new film ‘Shark Night 3D‘.
What’s the general plotline surrounding the film?
The movie is about a group of friends, college kids, who go to a remote lake house for the weekend to cut loose. While playing on the water one of their friends is attacked by a shark. It leaves them with the question, “How did a shark end up in a lake?”. As they struggled to get their injured friend from the secluded island to a hospital where he can get the help he needs, things start to go awry, leading them to believe something foul may be afoot.
Tell us about the character you play in the movie?
I play Kyle. He is friends with Gordon, played with panache by the inimitable Joel David Moore. I’m a gamer with a knack for trash talk.
How did you get involved with the project in the first place?
I was originally hired to do an opening title sequence in which I was a college student, who was a bit obsessed with sharks and shark attacks, watching shark attack videos online and doodling shark drawings in my notebook. The sequence didn’t actually make the final cut, but the day I was on set they were also shooting Kelly Sry’s scenes. He played Wonsuk, the other gamer playing video games against Gordon. I was there getting ready to shoot my stuff, and David (Ellis), the director, asked if I would shoot some ad-libbed stuff, trash talking and play against Gordon. Those are the scenes you see in the movie.
Obviously, we should mention that this film is in 3D – what are your thoughts on production companies using this sort of technology? How would you say 3D benefits this movie?
3D is a really interesting development in film-making. I think it can be used to great effect, pulling the viewer further into the film. I think that because it’s fairly new – (well in this incarnation anyhow) production companies are trying to release as many 3D movies as possible before the bubble pops. The result is a slew of films that are shot in two dimensions getting the 3D treatment in post in order to make a few extra bucks at the box office. However when a film really grasps what the benefits can be – (‘Avatar’, ‘Shark Night 3D’) it can really enrich the viewing experience. I was amazed when I saw the final cut of ‘Shark Night 3D’. The underwater scenes are really claustrophobic and terrifying. It truly feels like you are at the bottom of a murky lake, straining to see if a finned assailant is about to come through the gloom.
The film stars Sara Paxton, Dustin Milligan, Chris Carmack, Katharine McPhee, Chris Zylka and Alyssa Diaz – with David R. Ellis onboard as director – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set?
The cast is great. It really is a phenomenal collection of young, talented actors all of whom seem to be poised to break through to that next level. That truly elite level within the industry. Unfortunately for me principal photography was wrapped by the time I came on board, so I didn’t have the privilege of working with them face to face. The scenes I’m in, I’m playing video games against Joel David Moore’s character, but I’m playing over Skype so I wasn’t actually in the room. We shot the scenes with just me alone in a room, and through movie magic they put me on the screens in Gordon’s dorm room. I did however get to work with David R. Ellis and it was really a great experience. He’s a man of few words, but he has a commanding presence. He was very complimentary and I would love the opportunity to work with him again in the future.
Let’s talk a bit about you Tyler. What made you want to get into acting in the first place?
There is nothing like bringing written words to life. Putting a piece of yourself in them and making them real. I grew up in southern California. My father does special effects costuming and puppeteering so I grew up surrounded by the industry. I started doing theatre when I was about 6, and continued throughout high school. In my teens my friends and I started making films, and I grew to love the nuance necessary to film acting. I have always loved performance and there is nothing as thrilling as the challenge of such small specific work.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get into the industry?
Be prepared for it to be a grind. There is no such thing as an overnight success. A wise friend of mine once said, ‘However much time you have to spend at work every week, you must also spend that much time on your career if you expect to make it go anywhere’.
If you could have a dinner with three historical guests, living or dead – who would they be and why?
My goodness…how about Benjamin Franklin, The Marquis De Sade, and Charles Bukowski. Just think of the conversation. A revolutionary intellectual, a revolutionary pervert, and a revolutionary drunk, and all three with a gift for words…
What is currently on your I-Pod right now?
I listen to everything. From indie stuff like The Arcade Fire and The Black Keys, to metal like Slipknot and Tool, to RnB, Rihanna and Bruno Mars, folk/country, The Low Anthem and Ray LaMontaigne, to underground Hip-Hop like Why? or Astronautalis. Lately I’ve been listening to the cast recording of ‘The Book Of Mormon’ a lot too, that’s a great show!
What the most interesting/funny piece of news you’ve heard in the last month or so?
I just heard that there’s proof that aliens visited the Mayans, so that’s pretty cool. I don’t know how much stock I put in it, but it’d be neat if it was true.
What’s coming up for you in 2011/12?
I just shot a film written and directed by Joseph Martinez called ‘Fresh Start’. The movie was produced by Tom Malloy who wrote and produced ‘The Alphabet Killer’ and ‘Love And Dancing’. It was a really challenging part and I got to work with some incredible people. The DP Salvador Lleo is an absolute genius and the cast was great. Olivia Dawn York and Andrew Miller are both super talented. It should be out on the festival circuit early next year, so keep your eyes peeled.
Thanks for the interview!