We’ve got the inside scoop straight from the author & director!
I’ve always been a fan of books turned into movies. Twilight, The Notebook, and Dear John to name a few of my personal faves, and Charlie St. Cloud did not disappoint! It’s always intriguing to watch a director’s interpretation of a book. Getting to hear the story behind this book and learn how the book came alive in the movie was almost…almost…as cool as meeting Zac Efron ! So I thought I’d share a few tidbits from Burr Steers (director) and Ben Sherwood (writer)from the movie to help us get a whole new perspective of the big screen.
Behind the scenes of the movie with Burr:
Q: What was one of the most challenging scenes of the movie to direct?
A: The sailing race. There was hardly any wind on the day of the shoot, so tow boats had to help pull the boats. A lot of editing helped turn bad sailing weather into an awesome scene at the beginning of the movie.
Q: How did they shoot Zac’s underwater rescue scene?
A: Even though none of would be surprised if Zac really did swim through dangerous waters to save his love, the scene in the movie was actually shot on a set in a large tank. Unsurprisingly, the underwater technician that trained him said he was the best he ever worked with.
Q: Why did you choose to have one of the characters, Florio, alive in the movie when he was dead in the book?
A: Burr went back and forth with this decision, but Florio’s role in the movie needed to be more immediate since his character did not need to explain things throughout the story like the character in the book.
Q: Why was the boy that worked for Charlie in the movie younger than in the book?
A: Burr made him younger because he was working for Charlie, so it felt more realistic that a younger person played that role. Also, just for fun and color, Burr made him a Russian immigrant. Interesting interpretation if you ask me…
We also got a chance to talk to Ben, the writer of Charlie St. Cloud, and I have to admit that his interview was definitely my favorite. Ben is such a genuine guy, and he seemed awe-struck that his book was getting so much publicity. I could’ve listened to him talk about his book all day. Unfortunately, we only had 20 minutes with him, so I pulled out some of the good stuff to share with you.
Q: What does it do to you to have a book turned into a movie?
A: “I don’t know. I wish I knew the answer. I ask my wife that question all the time what’s gonna happen and we don’t know.”
Q: Why is Charlie much younger in the movie than the book?
A: Charlie in the book is an older, depressed guy that lost a lot. Charlie in the movie still has time and still has hope. It’s not too late for him.
Q: What do you think about Zac playing Charlie?
A: I heart Zac! (So do we, Ben!) Zac in real life embodies Charlie. They both have so much hope and potential.
Q: Were you surprised that Florio was alive in the movie but dead in the book?
A: Florio being alive in the movie helped maked the story more contemporary, but Ben told us that he and his wife didn’t know about that change in the plot until they watched the screening!
Q: How did you research for this book?
A: It sounds crazy, but Ben actually worked in a cemetery and helped dig graves for an entire week to understand Charlie’s job in the book. He also went on site to a sail loft to become familiar with the sport. Who knows what’s next for this guy. Whatever it is, you betcha he’ll be on the scene doing some hands-on research to help make his next story come to life.