The Plot.• Chatroom is a film directed by Hideo Nakata, which was released in 2010. It is about the lives of five teenagers: William, Jim, Emily, Eva and Mo.• They meet on an online chatroom and soon become close, divulging personal information with each other, which proves to be deadly for Jim.• He tells them that he is depressed, which William latches on to and uses it against him to try and make him kill himself. William is more than slightly messed up in the head.
Whose idea was the film? Did the idea start with the writer, or were writersbrought in to develop a preconceived idea?• The idea for the film came from the execs at Ruby Films and Film4, who had seen the original play, written by Enda Walsh.• They saw the potential of it and realised how it related to teenagers today, so employed Enda to write a screenplay based on his play.
What are the issues with the genre of the film?• This film is a psychological thriller, which presents many problems to any filmmaker, but especially Hideo Nakata, as he is mainly a horror director. There is a fine line between psychological thriller and horror, and it is easy to cross that line.• Psychological thrillers have to seem realistic, or they will not affect the audience in any way. If it is too over the top, then people will lose interest and think it too over the top.• With the internet side of the film, they had to think about how they were going to make the chatroom a reality. They had to make the choice as to whether they would have people sitting at their computers, or whether to bring them to live, and if so, how to do it.
Where did the idea come from?• The film is based on a 2005 play of the same name, written by Enda Walsh. Enda Walsh says he got his inspiration from the movies of his childhood, such as The Breakfast Club, as he wanted to make ‘something for 15 year olds today’.
Who wrote the original script? Did other people become involved in the writing as the project progressed?• Enda Walsh wrote the original screenplay, and nobody else was brought in to change it. Hideo Nakata gave Walsh direction when he thought something needed to be changed, but Walsh was the sole writer of the script.
How easy was it to arrange the financial backing to make the film?Who were the financial backers? Why?• The crew of Chatroom were awarded £700 000 for production and £39 860 for development by the UK Film Council’s Lottery Award.• Revolver, the company that distributed the film, was awarded £200 000 for doing so.• It was relatively easy for them to arrange backing, as Film4 has worked closely with the UK Film Council many times in making films (28 Days Later, for example). They just had to apply, which can be done online, and then wait for the company to assess their case.
Who were cast in the main roles and why? What other films featured thestars? What were the associations they brought with them?• Aaron Johnson – William.• Matthew Beard – Jim.• Daniel Kayuula – Mo.• Imogen Poots – Eva.• Hannah Murray – Emily.Each were chosen because of their childhood actingbackgrounds, commitment to the film and becausethey have shown skill in acting across the board(TV, film, stage etc).
Aaron Johnson• Aaron Johnson has been acting since he was a child.• He has been in many things, including The Illusionist, Kick Ass, Macbeth, All My Sons and Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging.
Matthew Beard• Matthew Beard has been acting since he was a child.• He has been in many things including And When Did You Last See Your Father?, Sons and Lovers, An Angel For May and The Royal.
Daniel Kayuula• Daniel Kayuula has been in Skins, The Fades, Psychoville and has appeared as a guest star in many things, including Doctor Who, Silent Witness and Lewis.
Imogen Poots• Imogen Poots has been in Bouquet of Barbed Wire, 28 Weeks Later, Me & Orson Wells and has guest starred in Casualty.
Hannah Murray• Hannah Murray has been in Skins, In Bruges, Womb and is to star soon in Game of ThronesAll of the actors chosen bring the youthfulassociation with them required to make this filmrealistic. Hannah Murray and Daniel Kayuulaespecially bring this as they have been inSkins, something nearly every young personwatches and can connect with. The fact they havebeen in that also gives them the reputation fordoing what they shouldn’t, which is a huge part in
Who was the producer? How did he or she become involved?• The producers of Chatroom are Laura Hastings-Smith, Alison Owen and Paul Trijbits.• Alison Owen and Paul Trijbits have worked with Ruby Films for many years and were drafted in by them to direct the film.• Laura Hasting-Smith has produced one of Walsh’s other plays, Hunger, so he would have known her style and have been happy with it, so would have wanted her to be involved.
Who was the director? How did he or she become involved?• The director of the film is Hideo Nakata, a famous Japanese horror director.• He was brought in as a result of a meeting between himself, Chatrooms Sales Agent and Eve Schoukroun at WestEnd Films. They thought that he could bring a fresh and international approach to the film.• Hideo himself was very interested in becoming a part of the film, as he was interested in how technology had advanced since Ringu. In Ringu, Nakata took the latest techonology (VCR) and turned it into something evil; something he has done once again in Chatroom.
Who composed the film music and why was he or she chosen?• Kenji Kawai composed the in-film music for Chatroom. He is not a well known artist and there was no official soundtrack released for the film. Kawai is more of a refined taste, but has worked many times before with Hideo Nakata and they work very well together.• The music was not received very well; people said that it was too ‘horror’, which I agree with. He uses too much suspense music, to make it seem like a horror film.• The other music used in the film is fitting as well. They use a track named ‘Disconnected’ by Plastikman, which is appropriate, as the main character feels disconnected. The band is also appropriate, as William makes little plastic men to produce short films.