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Springboard: Max Nichols on Battling Hurricane Sandy for ‘Two Night Stand’ & How Internet Dating is Changing Love

Springboard: Max Nichols on Battling Hurricane Sandy for 'Two Night Stand' & How Internet Dating is Changing Love

“Making a small budget film in 19 days in New York City is challenging enough without throwing in a natural disaster, so I don’t encourage anyone else to stack the decks against themselves quite to that degree. [Hurricane Sandy] was wild. We were in a situation where all production in New York went down for a couple days — I think we were one of the first productions to go back up. It was a crazy thing where public transportation was down, so it was really difficult for people to get to set. People may remember that there were crazy gas shortages in the region at the time, so it was a question of whether we could even get gas for our generators or our trucks. We were losing locations because huge parts of Manhattan were blocked out for weeks afterwards. It was this wild thing as a lifetime New Yorker to see my city transformed by this completely singular happening and at the same time be desperate to get back to work on shooting the movie. Going forward, I will have to work with a trainer or something…. I was pretty much ready to collapse at the end.”

I can’t quite imagine how we would’ve pulled it off if we hadn’t found such a great location. A huge part of our film takes place at Alec’s apartment, so it was key for us to find a space where we could set up camp because we were going to be there for so long and we were doing something so quick that you couldn’t be racing all over town for equipment or wardrobe or art. So we found an amazing loft in Brooklyn and cut it in half with a false wall: one half became our set and the other half became our home base for our production. The mood or the vibe that we strived to create with the movie was reminiscent of when you’re first falling for someone and you stay up all night together for the first time and you’re in this bubble and you feel like the rest of the world has melted away. Then dawn comes and sort of pops the bubble and you can’t believe that it ever happened. Everyone’s been through a version of that. Whether we were down for two days or back up to work, the city was anything but business as usual. Everyone was basically retuning to their little bubbles at the end of the night. It was extremely helpful for the cast and the crew to maintain that mindset. The crazy thing is that where Miles [Teller] and Analeigh [Tipton] were staying, they were without power. They were basically having a candle-lit campout every night. There was no TV, no internet, so they had no choice but to keep each other company and entertain each other. I couldn’t have asked for anything better.”

“My experience in music videos really informed the material I was drawn to. The opportunity to make a movie that I knew was going to feature so much music was really intriguing and exciting to me. And, for sequences like, for example, when Megan and Alec are dancing in the fort, that immediately leapt off the page to me as something that would be a little contained version of a music video style within the film, which felt like an opportunity to put a little bit of myself and my experience in it. But then also there’s a tremendous comparison to the super-intensive guerrilla filmmaking required to make music videos and the ‘squeeze the most out of all your resources and get it done well, but also fast and cheap’ that is required of indie filmmaking. Music videos were a fantastic boot camp for that. [Although music videos] are fantastic places to work creatively, making the transition to feature films in a career sense can be a tricky gap to bridge.”

“The rules of courtship change for any generation. Whether it was the sexual revolution or the entwining of technology and romance, there’s always something. I can imagine there’s that feeling now of, you know, ‘Man, even the basics of this are mystifying to me, and now there’s all this new stuff I need to deal with.’ It’s a really interesting time. With romance and dating and courtship, among many things, sure, there’s an opportunity for people to get to know each other and figure out if they’re emotionally compatible, but also it used to be that that was required by society in order to have sex. Now that we’re at a point where there’s an opportunity to participate in a ‘click here for hook-up’ scenario, it’s really natural to be asking ourselves, ‘How does that impact how and where we find love? At what stage of that process does it come?’ I couldn’t say for sure that ‘sleep together first, get to know each other after’ is necessarily a less reliable means of long-term compatibility than the other way around. I think we’ll find out over the next couple decades.”

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