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by Indiewire Staff
March 5, 2012 11:00 AM
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Meet the 2012 SXSW Filmmakers #14: Nir Paniry, 'Extracted'

"Extracted" director Nir Paniry says, "When we love [films], we love them with all our heart. They seep into our hard-wiring like an old friend." Paniry has been working as a storyboard and comic artist for seven years, while moonlighting as a short filmmaker and screenwriter when time allowed. "Extracted" is his feature debut.

What it's about: "Extracted" is a science fiction thriller about a man trapped in another man's past. Thomas Jacobs invents a way to watch people's memories from the inside. Going against his morals, he accepts an offer to enter a heroin addict's memories to literally see if he committed a crime. However, a malfunction causes his consciousness to become trapped inside the criminal's mind. Pulled from life and family, he remains a prisoner in the addict's memories for more than four years until he discovers the possibility of escape.

Director Paniry says: "I feel that from the beginning and well into development, we constantly made sure that our characters were always changing as they kept up with our story. I think sometimes when creating a thriller it’s very easy to get lost in the intricacies and twists and turns of your plot and put the characters in the backseat, as opposed to letting them dictate where the story goes.

"We made sure that the attention to our characters and their relationships with each other, and the way they solve the insurmountable, made you forget that you were watching a genre film. We also want the audience to continually be asking, 'How do we solve the next step?' Nothing is worse to me than being able to predict a movie. It pulls you of the narrative and severs the emotional bond. We tried to be one step ahead of the audience at each point."

What were the biggest challenges? "Location, location, location. But seriously, when dealing with filming anything under the constraints of a budget, especially a micro budget, you are forced to take a very creative approach to the way you structure your filming. You want to give yourself and your actors the freedom the play, without looking at a clock. One thing that this movie has taught me is there are no easy days, and if you think you're going to need 7 hours, you're really going to need at least 9, and you will always, without fail never get the amount of coverage you think you need."

Indiewire invited SXSW Film Festival directors to tell us about their films, including what inspired them, the challenges they faced and what they're doing next. We'll be publishing their responses leading up to the 2012 festival.

Keep checking HERE every day up to the launch for the latest profiles.

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3 Comments

  • eskabar | March 7, 2012 12:27 AMReply

    I disagree somewhat. A thriller does not have to be completely dictated by its plot as long as the characters make specific decisions to move the plot along. A protag in a thriller deciding to get revenge on his wife's killer is moving the plot along with his own actions, as opposed to those killers lets say, chasing him down, forcing him to fight back. The characters dictating plot does not automatically turn it into a pyschological thriller.

  • Kyle | March 6, 2012 5:34 AMReply

    "I think sometimes when creating a thriller it’s very easy to get lost in the intricacies and twists and turns of your plot and put the characters in the backseat, as opposed to letting them dictate where the story goes." - A thriller is dictated by the plot. A psychological thriller is less dictated by the plot then it is by the characters. So in effect, it's more of psychological thriller than a standard thriller.

  • eskabar | March 7, 2012 12:28 AM

    I disagree somewhat. A thriller does not have to be completely dictated by its plot as long as the characters make specific decisions to move the plot along. A protag in a thriller deciding to get revenge on his wife's killer is moving the plot along with his own actions, as opposed to those killers lets say, chasing him down, forcing him to fight back. The characters dictating plot does not automatically turn it into a pyschological thriller.