Scott Man Interview Part 2 Final Score
Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report and Action-Flix.com readers, as promised here is part two of the massive 2 part interview with director Scott Mann. Scott shares his thoughts in depth about Final Score, I know that my readers have probably read other interviews with Scott about this film, but I hope that this one gives a fresh perspective on his thinking behind the action, not just the main characters. Scott is really interesting to talk to thus I went long in our interview with the PR person gently reminding me he had other interviews scheduled, our call lasted 30 minutes not the assigned 15, sorry folks, I feel that if a person has a lot to say I give them the opportunity. Get ready to chat with the MAN! Scott Mann!!
DT: Transitioning to Final Score, you have a very strong female character in this movie who is a Villianess and she has a really good stunt double also.
SM: She does, wow I was thinking the same thing, I recently looked at the film myself and thought yeah she is amazing.
DT: Yes, not only is she a good stunt double but the stunts she has to perform are not typical stunts a female performer has to work on.
SM: I agree, when we do things we try not to draw a line and say that stunt is for a woman or that stunt or part is for a man, there is certain kind of physical attributes you have to factor in. There are certain ways which people with less physical mass can attack to gain an edge and put their opponent at a disadvantage. We try to venture away from the old fashion attributes of action and fighting. Don't divide it what is the point, woman or man, the roles and action can be balanced and fluid. We do not like to draw the lines between characters.
You noticed that I see that Alexandra Dinu had a really amazing role and of course her stunt double Rubie Planson.
DT: Yes sir Scott! I did notice they are a great combination of acting and action! In fact my buddy Lee Charles who is also in your film was going to try to contact her for me. I really loved her work.
SM: Yes the sheer amount of stuff she was pulling off fighting a big guy, the physicality of it, she made it work, back to the other film I did with Dave (Bautista) had Gina Carono in it. You have to consider these things and it is interesting to watch the process of dynamic action unfold. Using stress offense coupled with speed and agility make the fights between her and a larger opponent look believable and engaging. Back to Final Score, that is the way I envisioned the character of Tatiana portrayed by Alexandra Dinu to be agile and full of fight, but also diverse enough to handle the different situations she was put in from Motorcycle chases to fighting to gun play.
Alexandra the actress is very beautiful and talented, but I thought of her as a man, in this film we stripped away Alexandra's femininity and with her portrayal we see the raw character she embodies! It was a conscious thing that rides throughout the movie. Alexandra embraced that, and if you look at the transformation she worked on it is quite astonishing, how her character took shape, Before and after, the regular actor and her as the villainous Tatiana! Alot of it was getting into that character, that spirit. It also was down to our great make-up artist Jemma (Harwood) she did an incredible job to help create the character.
Yes when you are writing the idea is to give the characters places to go physically and emotionally to convey a dynamic story. Dave Bautista does you are right Danny get into a more emotional state and the bad guys do get more reckless as the film progresses. It is hard as you only have very limited amount of screen time to develop the characters, so it is a hard balance between the action and the story. Hats off to the people who always seem to pull this off. They are the ones who make the characters come to life. I do think that they did a great job on that.
DT: Did you storyboard the action?
SM: We kind of mapped it out ourselves, and worked it out. The sequences, we mapped out. We were using the stadium for real, so we had the opportunity to do it on a big scale not in front of a green screen. We tried to come up with the details about what we could do. With an action film such as Final Score we wanted to stray away from traditional set pieces. Now on the motorbike chase around the concourse we did do an initial storyboard pass, we went through it and mapped out where we could go. I think we did that for a couple of the other sequences as well. It is good to start out with a template but I personally like to leave a lot of headroom for the reality of stuff. I like the visceral real action. I want to do as much as possible on set in camera.
DT: I thought the action sequences that the team crafted were open ended, is that your view Scott?
SM: Yes I never cared for action sequences that are too stylized and set in a rigid framework. It distracts from some of the fun you would have in capturing a spectacle. Dave Judge the stunt rider, is amazing and he did actually drive on the roof of the stadium! Yes that was a real stunt! He had a safety cable, but still that was an amazing hair raising stunt and one that was so hard to pull. Rob de Groot also did an incredible job for doubling Dave. As a director I really wanted to capture that. It is not like the HK style of films where there is a lot of previz and every fight is choreographed down to the minuscule detail. I collaborated with the stunt coordinators to keep it free enough so the movements were fluid. I want to never force the action, I want the characters to be in the moment. I am a fan of action like that and for this film I felt it was tied to the fabric of the characters and their development.
DT: Chat about the character deaths of the various villains and good guys in the film?
This film more than any other I have been involved in there is an intense period of writing, as we were writing the film as we were making it, crafting the action. This has the consequence of the freedom to do things that you will find along the way, and along the path of the story. It can also be scary as we had to come to a conclusion of the action, the culmination To keep the film flowing. We would have a sketch of how things would go and how things would play out, but not complete story boarding. It was movable, as I am a fan of adventure in any script. Yes the fight on the lift between Lee and Dave, in the lift (elevator) it was a small space. It was interesting to see that type of fight between two huge guys in that compact space. I never did a fight in that type of space before so we were trying to be inventive. As a director, I am always looking to what is fun for me to watch and hopefully the viewers as well. There is times when you can do what you want to do, and there is times when you have a specific idea in mind, we usually have a decent idea in mind going into it but very much we like the dynamic
A good example of this is the kitchen fight where the actor gets his hands in the fryer That actually was not in the scene with the knife in the fryer and it was not even in the scene until Dave and the stunt guys worked through it together and came up with the idea. I thought it was a really nice moment in the film. Between the back and forth of making things work, you get little bits of magic. I am really pleased on how all if that turned out. The worst thing you can do on a low budget movie is to constrain yourself to be to conscribed to one way of thinking. Like the action, the electric wires, you can spend a fortune on something that is not really important. We try to work with things inside the set to our advantage, to use the moments we have on set to get into the action and don't worry about the other tings you did not get either due to budget or shot concerns. In Final Score it is about embracing things you have to live with, and trying to make the most out of it. I feel we pulled a lot off in very constrained circumstances.
DT: How long was the shoot, principal photography?
SM: We had 4 weeks in the stadium and two weeks in London. So 6 weeks, I thought it was a bit too short for a movie of this scale, but it is always a balance. The truth is while it is nice to have a budget there is less room in bigger budget stuff for do something interesting all the time. The moments in the original scripts, probably never would have been allowed in a studio film. The fact we were a realivily small independent. It does not have to have a sequel or be a remake, Final Score was its own original idea and a sequel of course is not needed, the film stands alone, this allowed us the freedom to explore the finality of things, in a stand alone original movie.
DT: Do you have any new films in the works?
I have another film that I plan to shoot in 2019 which is an action thriller set in Chicago, that should be happening this year, but I have been doing a lot of TV. I have been dipping my toes in the television roles as it were hah, which I have been enjoying. I enjoy doing a lot of things, actually Final Score came out of the blue. Like in Final Score, it came up as hey we have the stadium lets do this! So we had only 3 weeks to get it together ha, what a ride!!
DT: Thanks again for the interview Scott I know we went several minutes over our time.
SM: Yes no worries, I had fun thanks.
DT: I really enjoyed the film Scott thanks again for going in depth for Dan's Movie Report and Action-Flix!
SM: Thanks to you for taking the time to explore the film, and show it in a new light. Def reach out to Pete as well if you want to find out more about the action! Thanks again mate, cheers, have a great day.
That is it! As always never sharing news, but dropping 2,000 word interviews! Dan's Movie Report has new interviews and of course to be happy to collaborate with the best action site on the planet Action-Flix, we share the same philosophies on films, we buy them! We enjoy them and support those individuals who we feel share our passion. As 2019 roles on look for more exclusives on both sites! Final Score is now out on DVD for purchase or rental!