The Aviary Writer/Directors on cults, influencers and why Chris Messina works as a cult leader [Interview]

I also think it’s a movie I’m really looking forward to watching a second time knowing what happens at the end, because now that I think back there are so many clues stitched through everything that. Is that kind of setup, so to see it again, it gives you a very different feel?

Cullari: I mean, at this point, we’ve seen it a thousand times, so what you’re going to pick up, I’m not sure. I know what to remember, I don’t know who picks it up first, second, third time, because I’ve lost track of it, but it’s particularly in Malin’s stoicism. Her performance on set was amazing. And we were really happy with everything we got, but we had to act fast. We shot it in 14 days. It was a quick shoot. So we were delighted with what we got. But then when we walked into the editing room we had five times as many of the two actually but it was more noticeable to us with Malin because she’s stoic throughout that than when we have started going through all of our cover close-ups, there are so many layers to his performance. And there are layers for the things that she gave at different times that weren’t even conversations that we had that were emotions and stories that she tells with her eyes and with her face, that we made them say, “Oh, what’s going on over there?” Like, “What secret is this?” There are several of them.

Raite: It’s one of my favorite things to watch while I watch again. Especially when the movie tells you “Oh, it’s Blair’s scene, but if you’re watching Jillian”, and vice versa. And I think the other big thing in the re-vision that I would like to think about is that we really wanted to win the ending. And I think building that, and having it all make sense and still feel like a surprise and a reveal was something that we worked really hard on. At least we think it’s very effective.

Yeah I think so. I didn’t see it coming.

Cullari: Good. Well well.

Speaking of which, I’d love to hear your thoughts on Chris Messina and what makes him a good cult leader.

Raite: We joked about it, but we’d all join Chris’ worship. There are several things. I mean, Chris, as a human being, it’s amazing. It’s a small film, we had little time with him and while we were preparing, he was in North Carolina shooting another film and he was like, “I’m busy with this, but what do you think weekends? go on Zoom and work on the weekends?” We were like, “Yeah, absolutely.” And he has so many great story and character thoughts. And I think ultimately what makes Seth so effective that we’ve honed with Chris is that he almost never comes to them in a way where he’s not leading with care and kindness, even though that’s not his real intention. is so successful in manipulation. Even when you watch him do it, and see how women react, I think it’s very effective.