What does a struggling filmmaker do with a budget of $5,000? He writes a 90-minute story about a man in a box. No need for special effects, costumes, location and other actors.
That was the inspiration for scriptwriter Chris Sparling. "I wish I had a cool answer," said the scribe at the press conference for "Buried." He had hoped to direct the film himself with that minuscule budget. "I thought of a small movie about a guy in a box."
Fortunately for Sparling, the film was made for $2 million after some big names got attached. The script made the rounds in Hollywood and found its way to Spanish director Roderigo Cortes. "A guy in the box for 90 minutes? I said, I'm interested," Cortes said.
"Buried," is a riveting horror-thriller real-time saga of a truck driver who finds himself buried alive. However, it's not just about the confinement to a box; the real story is the corporate malfunction and the government malfeasance, said the writer.
Ryan Reynolds, who signed on as the lead, initially thought it would be impossible to make this film. "It posed a narrative and technical challenge," said the actor. But then he thought, rehearsal was not an option. He was ready to jump in. "I sad, let's get inside the box."
Several boxes were built for the 17-day shoot in Barcelona. Reynolds said the role was emotionally and physically exhausting. And it's not just isolation in the box; there's also a bit of action in that confined space. There's a snake in a corner, who seemed just as afraid as the terrified Canadian was.
Did the producers want to change the ending? "There were suggestions," responds Sparling. "And as a struggling filmmaker, you say yes. But Ryan and Roderigo loved my ending and wanted to keep it that way."