[Video interview] ‘1917’ cast, crew unpack the process of their one-shot war drama

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Preston Barta // Features Editor

Opening on Christmas Day is the much-buzzed-about World War I film 1917, directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Sam Mendes (SkyfallAmerican Beauty).

The drama, which was recently named the best film of 2019 by the members of the Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association, is made to appear as one continuous shot to further put audiences in the real-time experience. Viewers will be going through the trenches and fields as active participants.

In Mendes’ film — which he co-wrote alongside Krysty Wilson-Cairns (Edgar Wright’s upcoming horror-thriller Last Night in Soho) — two young British soldiers (Captain Fantastic’s George MacKay and Game of Thrones’ Dean-Charles Chapman) embark on a seemingly impossible mission. In a race against time, they must travel through enemy territory to deliver a message that could save hundreds of lives.

Fresh Fiction sat down with filmmakers Mendes and Cairns and actors MacKay and Chapman to discuss their upcoming war drama. The talents share what it was like to fashion such an intimate and intense experience and how they see this storytelling method changing the way their process going forward.

  • 0:01-5:55 | co-writer/director Sam Mendes
  • 5:55-12:03 | actors George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman
  • 12:03-18:15 | co-writer Krysty Wilson-Cairns

1917 opens in select markets on December 25, 2019 – and it expands nationwide on January 10, 2020.

About author

Preston Barta

I have been working as a film journalist since 2010, dividing the first four years between radio broadcasting and entertainment writing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In 2014, I entered Fresh Fiction (FreshFiction.tv) as the features editor. The following year, I stepped into the film critic position at the Denton Record-Chronicle, a daily North Texas print publication. My time is dedicated to writing theatrical film reviews, at-home entertainment columns, and conducting interviews with on-screen talent and filmmakers, as well as hosting a podcast devoted to genre filmmaking (called My Bloody Podcast). I've been married for seven happy years, and I have one son who is all about dinosaurs just like his dad.