“Chronicle” conceived in the era of YouTube



There’s a new kind of high in the movie “Chronicle” among three best friends  Andrew, Matt and Steve set in a very familiar American landscape –  high school students in a campus where each fraction of a teen  either  make themselves seen or invisible.   Directed by first time feature film director Josh Trank, James Dehaan, Alex Russell and Michael B. Jordan play the lead roles in this edgy teen movie where they pit on each other’s newly acquired superpowers.
           
Andrew (Dehaan) coming from a poor family with a rough background has always been the subject of bullying, Matt (Russell) is Andrew’s cousin in his senior year and has applied a nihilistic approach through his high school years and Steve (Jordan) is the most popular guy in their school whose congenial personality made him friends with even the most introvert kid in the campus.  Together, they bonded in one wild night of partying when they discovered something unnatural in the woods.  Naturally brash, they head deep down into the strange phenomenon to get up close – Andrew, who recently decided to document each day of his life brings his camera underground to record.

           
Upon close encounter, the three became frantic and suddenly the only light coming from Andrew’s camera went kaput.  After surviving a deafening silence in darkness, days after the unexplained, the three became almost inseparable testing their newfound powers.  It presented Andrew a plethora of opportunities to get even to those who’ve hurt and insulted him.  Unbeknownst to Matt and Steve, Andrew is becoming stronger than them focusing on harnessing his power each day.  
           
As Andrew’s motives becomes apparent, Matt and Steve try to help him cope with power and anger.  Reinventing a whole new approach between (teen) hero and antagonist, Josh Trank presents “Chronicle” throwing out any preconceptions on superhero movie by starting afresh with a core group of well-realized characters.   “I didn’t want to be too obsessed with making an homage or  in making the movie a certain way,” Trank explains. “The whole mantra of “Chronicle” is just to go the opposite and make it as relatable as possible. Max and I, in characterizing these kids, wanted to make sure they were as normal and close to us as possible, but set them in middle class suburbia.”

The style of shooting helps make the tale all the more relatable. “The bar is that it has to feel real,” argues executive producer Dodson. “It has to feel like we were on YouTube, we were surfing around and we found a video – that this real thing happened and some cameraman caught it.” But Trank was keen not to deliver another nausea-inducing shaky-cam experience to his audience.

In the era of YouTube, the idea of teens documenting every aspect of their lives on videotape is no longer unprecedented. As good quality cameras get ever cheaper and the ability to upload and share footage with friends gets ever easier, young people are increasingly sharing their experiences with one another through a visual medium.

Says DeHaan: “I think a lot of scenes in this movie could become viral hits if they were just two minutes on YouTube. But they've taken all these moments and made a very thorough narrative out of them. It really does blend the modern question of what’s become of video with the old-school superhero film.”

“This generation in high school is the most self-photographed generation ever because every single person has a camera on them now,” says Trank. “It’s exciting because we can create this new style of shooting things – fictional stories about people – without having to do it in the way everybody’s been doing it for the last hundred years.”

Uncontrolled teen powers unleash when “Chronicle” opens in cinemas on February 2 nationwide from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.
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