Starring: Teresa Palmer, Michiel Huisman, Sam Reid
Director: Paul Currie
Writer: Todd Stein, Nathan Parker
Australia's Teresa Palmer (Hacksaw Ridge, Warm Bodies) stars alongside Game of Thrones' Michiel Huisman in a story of a love that will not die and lovers who may not survive.
Air traffic controller Dylan (Huisman) lives his life each day with consistent precision, but nevertheless senses something is missing. An ominous pattern of events becomes evident as it starts to repeat itself in exactly the same manner, at exactly 2:22pm every day. When he crosses paths with the beautiful Sarah (Palmer) they both feel a sense of connection, but little do they know they share a bond that transcends time itself.
2:22 in Cinemas 22nd Febrary 2018
COUNTDOWN TO 2:22
US based Australian director and producer Paul Currie's first encounter with the bewitching riddle of 2:22 came in the form of a bold, visionary script written by Todd Stein.
'Todd Stein had this wonderful karmic view of life", recalls Currie. 'When he first conceived of the story Todd had some medical issues, which put him into a really interesting frame of mind to write such a story. As soon as I read his script I thought, -This is something that's in my DNA as a director'. Todd's script was dark, but I felt that inside the thriller was an idea, a concept around time and love
through time, that was expansive."
The script was well thought of in Hollywood. It had previously been set up at a major studio and was likely going to move to another major studio, but Currie was determined to give it a different type of life. 'I said to Todd: -We don't have the money that a studio may be able to offer you up front, but I deeply connect to the themes and ideas of this movie and I will dedicate myself to getting this movie
made, no matter what it takes.' That was how the journey began."
Currie continues, 'From the moment I first read the script, I realised that 2:22 was one of those rare commercial projects that appealed on many levels. I pitched Todd my take on how I saw the film from a director's perspective, which in a nutshell, was to make an intelligent high-concept romantic thriller; a film that is highly cinematic, visceral and mysterious, offering viewers a compelling and
thrilling ride from the first frame to the last."
'Co-writer Nathan Parker also came in at an important moment in our development to help us refine the characters and some of the nuances of the plot. Nathan is a very talented writer with a proven track record writing fantastic independent films like MOON. Nathan was instrumental in helping with the ultimate structure of the story and working the air traffic control sequences into the screenplay. From a director's and writer's perspective, I've felt blessed to be working with two such passionate and talented craftspeople."
Towards the end of 2013, Steve Hutensky, who'd acted as a consultant on the film when Currie was trying to set it up through a US based financier, came on board as a partner producer. Like Currie, Hutensky felt the pull of 2:22 and its mysterious, unique universe.
The financing structure that worked eventually came from a combination of government subsidies in Australia, equity from Screen Australia and Screen New South Wales, presales secured by international sales agent Good Universe, UK based financer Ingenious, as well as lead private equity investors 2929 Productions and Flywheel Entertainment.
Filming would take place in Australia, with some location filming in New York. Hutensky says, 'For us, it had always been about not necessarily letting the tax structure or the financing drive where we shot the film, but figuring out where we could make the highest quality film within our budget range. It all just came into place naturally in Australia " Paul being an Australian director and producer,
actress Teresa Palmer being Australian, having access to amazing crews, realizing we could convincingly double Sydney for New York " the creative pieces gelled so that it made sense to shoot in Sydney."
Jodi Matterson soon came on board as an Australian based producer. Hutensky says, 'In terms of an Australian producing partner, Jodi was the first name on my list. Luckily she loved the script." Matterson recalls, 'When Steve and Paul sent me the script, I loved the idea of doing a thriller that had romance at its core, and that's what I think really set 2:22 apart from other films in the genre. Having these characters whose bond and love is so strong that it transcends time" I thought it was a really interesting concept to build a film around."
The producers knew the challenges they would face making a genre film outside of the Hollywood system. Hutensky says, 'We were going to make, for a modest independent budget, a movie that would aim to compete with $30 to $35 million studio movies. It's very ambitious to do that, and to do that within the time table and budget we needed to work ."
Matterson agrees. 'It was always going to be a film where we wanted to get more up on screen than we had the resources for. We were making a film that competes with genre movies in America with twice our budget. The task was: 'How do we do this in the most clever, out of the box way?" Key to the success of this bold undertaking would be the Australian-based crew. Engaging people like Barbara Gibbs, Line Producer, was crucial. Jodi Matterson explains, 'Making any film in Australia, for me the first call is always Barbara Gibbs, one of the best, if not the best, line producers in the country. With Barbara came the rest of the amazing, world-class crew that we managed to pull into the production. We were incredibly lucky."
Producer Steve Hutensky credits the exceptional Australian crew, the exceptional cast, and believes that core to the cohesion and passion of the team as a whole was the script, which Paul Currie had so carefully shepherded. Hutensky says, 'I think that's what drew the crew, the actors, the financiers. The script resonated with people in a deep way."
Director Paul Currie feels that his promise of persistence to Todd Stein, more than five years earlier, was realised to the best of everyone's ability and resources. 'We have all done our best to create a film that we hope is fresh and original. Everyone has pushed it to the -nth' degree from preproduction right through to the very end of a long and exhausting post production process."
THE ENIGMA OF 2:22
Every day, on the main concourse of Grand Central Terminal, Dylan Branson sees a businessman at the ticket counter reading a newspaper, a couple kissing, six school children, and a pregnant woman standing under the famous clock. It's not always the same businessman, but it's always the same pattern.
Earlier in the day, other patterns play out and haunt Dylan – a plane flies overhead, glass shatters, a car screeches. It becomes clear to Dylan and to Dylan alone, that these supposed random series of events, in this busy, noisy city, are not so random.
This is the enigma of 2:22.
For director Paul Currie, 'the film is a mysterious love story, a romantic thriller about a guy who has a particular gift that could be considered part genius or insanity. A gift that involves a dangerous secret that has to be unravelled in order to stop a devastating karmic pattern from continually repeating itself."
'2:22 is about the fear of love. It's also about the past that can secretly haunt us all. It's a story about a guy who is trying to protect his girl at all costs, against time itself. Time is both Dylan's ally, and his enemy."