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Interview with Andrew Traucki - The Reef

The Reef is a 2010 Australian thriller written and directed by Andrew Traucki. The Reef marks Andrew Traucki's second feature film. The Reef is about of a group of friends who capsize while sailing to Indonesia. The group decides that their best bet for survival is to swim to a nearby island, but find themselves stalked by a Great White Shark. With The Reef, Andrew Traucki was able to create an air of tension throughout the film and then paid that off with suspenseful vignettes. The Reef is also noteworthy for its realistic atmosphere that Andrew Traucki vividly brought to life. With The Reef, Andrew Traucki has shown that he is a director who is able to translate his vision to the screen with successful results. We caught up with the up and coming director to find out what it was like working on The Reef. Here's what Andrew Traucki had to say. 

Tell us about your latest film The Reef?

The Reef is what I call a survival thriller. It is based on a true event that occurred off the coast of Queensland in Australia in the mid 80s. People tell me it’s a very scary film!

Andrew Traucki
What was the inspiration behind The Reef? 

I read the true account many, many years ago in a book and it stayed with me. The fact that the story stayed with me for so long told me that it had something. 

Did it ever worry you that people would compare this to Open Water or might label it a ripoff?

Nah, I really enjoyed Open Water, but I did think it was a little low in the shark tension stakes. The Reef is based on a true event and that event involves a very big man eating shark stalking some swimmers.

The film takes place in the middle of the ocean. Did you use a combination of a pools and the ocean? How did you approach filming The Reef?

No tanks. It was all shoot on locarion. I like my films to feel real!

I heard real life sharks were used in the film, what was it life for you using real life sharks?

Yep! Not a fake shark in the film. If anyone tells you its CGI or animatronic, they have got it wrong. It was amazing working with these wonderful creatures, but also pretty scary. I surf so it was freaky being so close to the man in the grey suit!

How did the cast react to them?

How do you think you’d react to a 15 foot great white shark?

How do you go about directing a shark or making sure you got the takes you needed?

You don’t direct them. You’re just extremely grateful if they turn up and allow you to get the shots. Wildlife filming requires extreme patience.

What do you think using real sharks brought to your film?

Authenicity, nothing worst than a crap “monster”

Since the film takes place in a limited setting with a limited amont of characters, how did you go about keeping things interesting?

It’s all about tension. If you get that right, the film has a natural engine driving it forward. It doesn't matter where you are if you can build tension and anticipation.

Looking back on it all, what was your favorite memory or part about making The Reef?

Getting out of the water!

...And then the worst?

Being in the water! We were in the water 6 days a week, 10 hours a day for 4 weeks. It was very, very demanding.

What's going to make The Reef unique and different? Why should people be looking forward to it?

Because it feels very really and you get that thing of asking yourself, what would I do in a survival situation. If you can believe the folks on The Reef Facebook page- it's really scary.

The rate at which you've been directing new films has been infrequent. Any plans to step up your directing career?

I’m a late starter, but I am just getting up to speed.

What's next for you?

I don’t talk about future projects till the money is in the bank. I will say I would like to make another “monster” movie so I have a triology

Any final comments?

Keep up with what’s happening with The Reef at http://www.facebook.com/thereefmovie


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