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HomeentertainmentMovie NewsHow Parker Finn's 'Smile' Went From Streaming to Drama Overnight

How Parker Finn's 'Smile' Went From Streaming to Drama Overnight

[This article contains spoilers Smile .]

Nobody smiles better than these Day film producer Parker Finn .

Finn is well aware that his directorial debut Smile has already hit the ground running. Originally greenlit as a Paramount+ exclusive, the horror flick starring Sosie Bacon follows a woman who reveals herself in the form of a smile The curse of overcoming the odds every time and finally getting nearly $250 box office million dollars – million budget. The decision to ditch Paramount+ and release the film in theaters was largely made after a first test screening three months into post-production.

They always warn you in advance that horror movies usually score lower than other genres, and horror movies average Keynote thinks Smile scored even lower than that, so they’re going to look at it through that lens,” Finn told Hollywood Reporter

.

Unlike most modern blockbusters, which are exhaustively covered by the media throughout their production, there is no sense of a ready-made movie, which means The reaction of the test audience will be pure.

“This is a500 – man, the show in Burbank was sold out, and when the movie started playing, you could feel the electricity in the air,” recalls Finn. “The audience was screaming at the screen, so obviously the public setting and the nature of it is unbelievable. Kudos to Paramount for recognizing that and supporting the film in such an amazing way.”

In a recent conversation with THR, Finn also discussed potential Smile sequel, and why it doesn’t take the obvious approach.

Is there anything in Paramount’s water right now? Isn’t it Top Gun: Maverick and all Sunset, their other first movie of the year?

(laughing at .) Good question for them . Paramount has truly had a stellar year and I’m so excited Smile to be a part of it.

Director Parker Finn (left) and Sosie Bacon on the set of Smile by Barbara Nitke/Paramount Provided by the film industry
Sosie Bacon stars in Paramount Pictures Presents in Association with Paramount Players A Temple Hill Production

Smile was supposed to go to Paramount+ until the first screening. What happened from there?

Yes, we got the green light, budget and plan to be a Paramount+ movie, I’m excited for the opportunity to make one with the studio A film for a first-time filmmaker. My first film gave me a ton of resources and we set out to make the best film we could. Then we had our first test screening which was about 13 or48 After a few weeks, they always warn you ahead of time that horror movies usually score lower than other genres. And those horror movies that Smile rated even lower, so they’re going to look at it through that lens.

At first test screening, there was no [existing] marketing or knowledge of what the film was about. This is a 87-person, A sold-out showing in Burbank, you could feel the electricity in the air when the movie started playing. The audience is screaming at the screen, and it’s clear that the public setting and its nature are unbelievable. Kudos to Paramount for acknowledging this and supporting the film in spectacular fashion by planning this brilliant marketing campaign. They really gave it their all and it was surreal to see what this movie did.

Who do you think is credited with brilliant viral marketing that has creepy smilers at baseball games and whatnot?

All of Paramount’s divisions are amazing experts at what they do, they’re really good at thinking outside the box. Marc Weinstock is the top chairman of Paramount’s marketing department, and he’s sitting there for a reason. Brian Pianko is the head of the creative advertising department, so all the professionals who work there are great. When the idea of ​​a smiley face at a baseball game came up, we probably talked about it five or six weeks before it happened. And I just love that they want to really guerrilla instead of putting their thumbs on the scale. They were like, “If people are popular, they’re going to be popular. If they don’t, no harm, no foul. It won’t cost a lot of money to do it.” When we were in Austin for the premiere of Fantastic Fest When the smiley face first appeared, it was incredible, gratifying and exciting to watch it go viral.

So for the rest of Sosie Bacon’s life, complete strangers will give her the most disturbing smiles on the street. How much guilt or responsibility do you have?

(laughing.) Guilty? Maybe a little bit. Maybe a little responsible. Sosie has been a really good partner through all of this, so I think she’ll take it in stride. [Author’s note: Sosie previously told THR when asked this question, “Honestly, I don’t mind. I just don’t want anyone to Yelling and smiling. Women are told enough.”]

Sosie Bacon stars in Paramount Pictures Presents in Association with Paramount Players A Temple Hill Production

Caitlin Stacey of Paramount Pictures presents “SMILE,” produced by Temple Hill, in partnership with Paramount Pictures. by Barbara Courtesy of Nitek/Paramount Pictures Caitlin Stasey in Paramount Pictures Presents in Association with Paramount Players A Temple Hill Production Sosie Bacon stars in Paramount Pictures Presents in Association with Paramount Players A Temple Hill Production

Socie also told me you didn’t let people show their best in the casting process Creepy smile. is that true?

Well, none of the smiles in the movie are from one-off characters. So the casting is all about who can pull the show off, but for some supporting roles, we do ask for smiles. I know a smile is something we can dial in later, but more than anything, I need to make sure the show is what they need.

Sosie’s performance speaks for itself. She didn’t just win the role, but her last name has nothing to do with how strong her work is. But does a part of you appreciate that she has a horror pedigree?

As a horror fan and her parent, I certainly love it all, but it wasn’t part of Sosie’s casting at all. I’ve seen what she’s capable of as a performer; I’m a big fan of Mare of Easttown and I just watched it before casting. But that’s also what she brought us into the conversation when we first met, and her thoughts on scripts and characters and the challenges she was really eager to take on as an artist. As a performer, she was always looking for something that would scare her.

So she’s right in everything she says and I know she’s the right person for the role. She’s been an incredible partner throughout the process, and she’s had to do the near-impossible. The places she had to go were so extreme, those levels of tension and anxiety and fear and melodrama. She is in almost every scene. Our transformation is basically her transformation. So it was a tough role, and she took it on with such aplomb, and I couldn’t be more proud of what she’s accomplished.

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Sosie Bacon in Smile Barbara Nitke/Courtesy of Paramount Pictures
Caitlin Stasey in Paramount Pictures Presents in Association with Paramount Players A Temple Hill Production

You gave us the last girl ending until you didn’t. Did you try on a size at first and just couldn’t feel it, so swerved?

From very early on when I was developing the script, I have a strong sense of bringing this movie to its worst logical conclusion Appeal. It’s fitting for the story I’m telling, and I hope it feels deserved. So I knew early on that we were always moving towards where we eventually got to, but how we got there changed a few times along the way. I want to do things that the audience doesn’t want to happen, but it’s also important to me to be able to reach that catharsis before we get to that really dark turn. So I kind of wish I could have my cake and eat it. Most crew?

( laughing ). In fact, most of it was achieved. Sure, it’s a little post-sweetened, but on the spot, having both

very interesting version’s Kal Penn looks like a version of Kal Penn with no face. ( laughing .) There were many photos that day that we took photos with both of them at the same time. It’s really exciting to use practical effects and do something on set that’s over the top. It’s always one of those moments when the entire crew gathers to watch the monitors. Ripping out a famous actor’s face isn’t something you often do on set, so it was a lot of fun. So once you put the movie together, it’s really tense and scary, but on that day, it kind of exploded.

How much do you think about the Joel (Kyle Gallner) led sequel?

I do think there are many interesting things to explore in the world of Smile). There must have been some stones that I left on purpose. Then there are other things that I wanted to put in the movie at one point, but for whatever reason, they didn’t end up in the movie. So those things are still exciting to me, but if Smile has more to do, I never want to repeat myself or repeat the same mistakes. I wanted to make sure there was a new, exciting, fresh way that the audience wasn’t expecting. I also wanted to find some new way to scare them and make them feel uneasy. But in terms of how it connects to the first one, if we’re going to do that, I want it to be surprising as well.

Well, Parker Finn, congratulations SmileSuccess, I will see you in a year or two Smile$ .

(laughs.) I love it. thanks.

12352324401000 smile, now available on numbers Use, will be released on Blu-ray/4K in December 13th.

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