A few weekends back the University Of Michigan played host to a 35mm screening of Scream, and an extensive q&a session with Wes Craven afterward. The transcript has popped up today via Bloody Disgusting. The director delved into subjects like cinema violence, strong heroines, My Soul To Take – and Scream 4 of course.
We’ve excerpted some highlights below but must remind you that for their proper context, read the full Q&A session.
Marking the differences between an instant death and a prolonged one, Craven mentioned the filming of a kill the prior night, in uncharacteristic detail, but nothing we consider a spoiler if he himself didn’t: “But literally I had a scene where somebody was going to be killed and it was described as, well, an incidence; he’s pinned to a seat, he’s in a car. That’s it? That’s what happens to a character I’ve been watching for 45 minutes? So I just really ask myself, all the time, “Have I seen this before? If not, what would be really fascinating and different? And would it be something that I would want to see? Would it grip me? Make me scream, or laugh, or something like that.”
Craven confirms a return to a theme strongly present in Scream and Scream 2… Scream 3 not so much (in our opinions). “‘Scream 4′ is very much about of analyzing the culture of violence and film. It’s been basically 10 years since a ‘Scream’, so that part of it, the Meta part, that standing off and looking at the culture, sort of analyzing it, that’s the subtext of ‘Scream 4′, among other things”
On Saw-style “torture porn” and if audiences are now too used to it: “No, I feel like the audience is bored, like they’ve had enough of it. Like, “Is that all you’ve got?” In fact, that’s one of the things I guard myself against, is never trying to emulate. The few times that I’ve tried to do this have been quite disastrous [laughs]. I personally don’t like the “torture porn” stuff. I watched ‘Saw 1′ and, okay, that was kind of interesting, but it’s just not my cup of tea, so I don’t try to emulate it. Not to say that they’re bad films or anything, unless they get into the 7th and 8th and 10th iteration, then maybe.” [laughter] “Look, we’re doing ‘Scream 4′, so…” [laughs] [laughter] “As long as you keep it fresh!” But Scream 4 won’t be like that? “No. But ‘Scream 4′ is unique. I can’t think of another film that is a tracking of three central characters over a span of 16 years now, with the same actors. You’re literally watching someone go from high school age to full adulthood, with Neve Campbell for instance.”
In Scream 2, Randy said “sequels suck”, a sign the film was issuing itself a challenge to prove him wrong. It succeeded. Scream 3 carried automatic cred as a trilogy-closer. So whether Scream 4 is just another sequel or not, Craven said “Well, the biggest thing about it is that’s exactly what it talks about. We’re all sick of sequels and what is the new genre of cinema and horror going to be? Of course, the plot is wrapping itself around what it will hopefully be, in the vision of Kevin (Williamson). It takes that on head-on; it’s all about that. Where do films go from here in the genre? What will make them different and not just more sequels or remakes?”