The Killing Gene The origin of the film

2022-07-11 15:56
"w Delta z" is Vertigo Films' first film set in the United States. The script was inspired by the calculation formula of American population geneticists. Director Tom Shacklen and screenwriter Cliff met and worked closely together in 1997. And talk about casting and the concept of special makeup.
'w Delta z' screenwriter Cliff Bradley said: 'Sometimes I have some sudden inspiration, I read a lot of popular science articles, and came across this book on evolution, the subject of is a mathematical formula: WδZ or W△Z. This is the formula deduced by the American population geneticist George Price (born 1922, died 1975), in theory, to prove that there is no real altruism in nature, there is no such thing as selflessness. Price felt very uneasy himself after discovering the theory, and spent the rest of his life desperately trying to prove his theory wrong. In the end, he gave all his fortune to the poor and ended up homeless, committing suicide with nail clippers in a run-down house in London. '
Bradley added: 'I discovered that the whole concept of the formula was related to a fascination with primitive animal behavior. Price didn't want to believe that the world was so cruel, and finally died tragically to refute this theory. I want to highlight his theory in the discussion of emotions, which should be an excellent basic structure for a thriller. I like the combination of this type of film with social elements and discussing related issues, such as the best example of the "film noir" genre. "w Delta z" was originally a film noir, using the horrific choices its characters were forced to face to express some extreme ideas.
The first person to see the script of 'w Delta z' was director Tom Shacklen. Bradley said: 'We met at the National Film Academy in 1997 and found out that we had common interests, and we both learned When it comes to the dark side of the film, the perception of chaotic emotions is far more than the skill of filming. We worked closely together for five years on this script, and Tom was very particular about the descriptions of some of the characters, he was very sensitive to details, and he knew how to meet the expectations of the audience. There has been a spate of murderous murders, and it's all well-founded. Tom's greatest contribution is to emphasize the level of violence, allowing violence to create a greater impact. '
Tom Shacklen said: 'When Clive and I were in film school, we created a horror short called 'Shadow' and developed a close partnership, so when he asked me to watch w Delta z' When the script was written, it was titled "The Devil's Algebra," and I really liked his original concept. Behind the plot twists of violence and sex is a clever exploration of human nature. I was moved by the idea of ​​Clive sneaking a touching and twisting love story into a dark, brutal horror thriller. My role in script development is to make sure that themes and characters are explored on both the visual and theatrical level, that touches and challenges the audience of the thriller, and at the same time stimulates their thinking, or you can say less chatter, More chasing and torture scenes.
After the script was in place, Shacklen and Bradley began pitching to potential producers, Shacklen said: 'But the people who paid for it weren't very interested, because at the time I didn't think the script had caught on. This was the age of romantic comedies and British gangster movies, and then Asian extremist movies suddenly turned into arthouses, and Saw and Horror Hotel swept the global box office, and our scripts became interesting all of a sudden It's commercialized again, from "No, we will never make that kind of serial torture movie" to "What is that interesting and original idea again?" If we push this film, it might be bad It's like, "This is when Saw meets The Wire !" It's been a long journey with Clive and we really need to find a few allies who also love the subject matter. '
Vertigo Films producers James Richardson and Alan Nibullo also joined the ranks. James Richardson said: 'Tom Shacklen's agent, sent us the script and I took it with me on my honeymoon. It's not ideal to read this kind of script in that place, I admit it! But after watching it, I was so scared that I couldn't sleep that night. The next day I called my production partner Aaron Niblo and told him to watch it too. It was definitely suitable for our filming, and he really did After watching it, I was as excited as I was after watching it. '
Helen Wescal is played by Melissa George. She grows with each version, and from the audience's point of view at the beginning, belongs to the darker side of the story and is the one around Eddie. Mystery characters, Shacklen added: 'Because Eddie is one of the main mysteries in the whole intricate story, the audience needs a safe place to calmly observe all the events, so we're looking for someone less complicated , such a narrative point of view will not overwhelm the main axis of the story. Helen's mentality and temperament are the best way to let the audience integrate into the story and slowly discover the scary facts. 'Adding the new role of Dr. Jerber is because 'We feel that we need to humanize the equation of W△Z, Dr. Jerber is our spokesperson George Price, from articles found by the police on the Internet, or It is too boring to let the audience know this equation from some graphic research report put forward by experts. During the progress of the story, through the character of Dr. Gerber, I learned this equation, watching him use the python and Different breeds of monkeys, doing horror research on altruism, that's how fun. '
Perhaps the biggest change in the story was the decision to move the filming location from London to New York, with James Richardson saying: 'I always felt claustrophobic would be easier to create in the US than in the UK. The Big Apple has a "Death Wish" vibe, and it also means we can bring together a more international cast to make w Delta z our first American-based film, and we all lead the way look forward to. '
Tom Shacklen recalled: 'Clive was writing a story set in London.but we knew that the theme was everywhere and the story could happen anywhere, especially the themes of selfishness and exploitation, in the American setting Both are more resonant. We and Vertigo have a collaborative relationship, they are ambitious and sincere about the film, and we welcome their proposal to move the location. The most important thing to me is that the city in the story reflects the character's fear and isolation. '
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Extended Reading

The Killing Gene quotes

  • Helen Westcott: I was warned you are an asshole!

  • Gelb: [explaining the W Delta Z equation] The selfish gene...

    Helen Westcott: Go on.

    Gelb: You think a bird will sacrifice itself for the flock, or a bee will sting a predator and die for the hive? How noble. How heroic.

    Helen Westcott: And it isn't true?

    Gelb: No, it isn't true. Suppose you put a snake into the cage and one of the monkeys is a hero - yeah, lures it away, lets it eat him. But it's not heroism. It's not selflessness. Forget the bees. Forget the monkey. The monkey's nothing. Just think what the monkey's made of.

    Helen Westcott: What's that?

    Gelb: Genes. The monkey is just the gene's way of making copies of itself. All these monkeys, they're all related. They all share their genes. So the monkey dies. What do the genes care? That's what Price proved. There's no altruism in nature. It's just genes looking after themselves. Ha.

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