Director Jason Eisener has only made one feature film, 2011’s Rutger Hauer-starring, ’80s action movie-homaging Hobo with a Shotgun. But the Canadian is one of the most admired figures in the community of young genre filmmakers. So, when director Adam Wingard (You’re Next, the V/H/S horror anthology franchise) was looking to fill the crucial position of second unit director on his Netflix horror-thriller Death Note (out Aug. 25), it was Eisener who got the call.
“We’d worked together on V/H/S and he and I were actually in a writers’ room kind-of-thing for Fear Street, a movie series based on the R.L. Stine books,” says Wingard. “I knew on this film there was going to be a lot of second unit in terms of the kill scenes, specifically. I was really afraid that we were going to end up with some jaded second unit director who just shows up, and does whatever, and isn’t putting a lot of personality into it. But because Jason and I are very similar types — were both obsessed with the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, things like that — we both really understand each other. For me, it was less about being like, I’m going to hire a second unit guy and give him storyboards and tell him what I want; it was more like, I wanted Jason to come on and actually do his own thing. I wanted him to treat these almost music video-style sequences in a way where he was going to bring something different to it than I would. So, for instance, even with the chase scene at the end there’s a portion of that, periodically through it, that Jason shot. I was always pushing more and more stuff towards them, because Jason is not afraid to do more controlled sloppiness in terms of the camerawork, so it was really great to be able to give him things that I knew I wanted to be a little bit more like that. I don’t know how I would have done it without him. He was so instrumental in everything and fantastic to work with. It was really cool.”
Watch a trailer for Hobo with a Shotgun below and one for Death Note, above.
Death Note will premiere Aug. 25 on Netflix.