No Exit: Shooting a Film That Takes Place in a Blizzard in the Summer

No Exit is dropping on Hulu this week and is based on a book of the same name. A group of people gets stranded in the mountains heading west from Sacramento during a blizzard, and while there, our protagonist finds that someone she is stuck with has kidnapped a young girl, and there isn't any cell service, wifi, or a landline to call for help. If you've ever been in a snowstorm in this area, they can get really nasty, and even more so if you don't know how to deal with them. So this is something that is believable, which is what makes it all the more amusing when you find out that not only did they not shoot on location, they didn't shoot during the winter at all, and all of the snow that we're seeing in this film is fake. During the virtual press conference, director Damien Power explained that they actually shot this entire film in a studio in the dead of summer in New Zealand.

"No, there was no real snow," Power explained. "So we filmed the entire film in a studio in Auckland in New Zealand in the summer. So we had a lot of fake snow, which was not without its own hazards, as Havana [Rose] can tell you. She got totally hosed by a snow tornado on day one, which was pretty painful. And we had to dial the snow back somewhat. So we had some fake snow on set, and then we added a lot of digital snow. I think every time you're looking at some snow, there's a digital element in there somewhere."

No Exit: Shooting a Movie That Takes Place in a Blizzard During the Summer
Havana Rose Liu as Darby in 20th Century Studios' NO EXIT, exclusively on Hulu. Photo by Kirsty Griffin. ©2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Star Havana Rose, the person who probably spends the most time in the fake snow out of the entire cast, explained that this studio, in particular, was very warm.

"It was also very hot; it was very warm on set," she said. "It was summer in New Zealand. So the shivering actually comes from heat exhaustion."

No Exit was shot during the COVID-19 pandemic, and several of the stars cited the two-week quarantine they needed to do when they got to New Zealand and how that helped them get into the mindset of isolation that all of these characters are feeling.

"Well, I think a big portion of that actually affected so much of-of going in and throwing down was the two weeks that we all had in quarantine in New Zealand, " Danny Ramirez explained. "So for two weeks, all the source material that Damien had sent me, and everything we had talked about was basically just, like, ruminating in my stomach, and just kind of, like, cooking up. So then by the time that we-we went to go film, it would just, like, it all came out."

No Exit: Shooting a Film That Takes Place in a Blizzard in the Summer

As more and more movies are coming out that were shot during COVID, it's interesting to hear how the changes in production actually impacted the performances that actors gave. Most of the actors on Old last year also cited the need for social distancing and quarantines and how it helped them get into the mindset of isolation as well. No Exit is kind of the perfect movie to be shot during COVID, a small cast in a small space where the whole point is isolation.

In No Exit, Havana Rose Liu (Mayday) makes her feature film leading role debut as Darby, a young woman en route to a family emergency who is stranded by a blizzard and forced to find shelter at a highway rest area with a group of strangers. When she stumbles across an abducted girl in a van in the parking lot, it sets her on a terrifying life-or-death struggle to discover who among them is the kidnapper. Directed by Damien Power (Killing Ground) from a screenplay by Andrew Barrer & Gabriel Ferrari (Ant-Man and the Wasp) based on Taylor Adams' 2017 novel and produced by PGA Award winner Scott Frank (The Queen's Gambit), the film stars Havana Rose Liu, Danny Ramirez (The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Top Gun: Maverick), David Rysdahl (Nine Days), Dale Dickey (Winter's Bone), Mila Harris (Young Dylan) and Dennis Haysbert (Breakthrough).

No Exit will debut on February 25 exclusively as a Hulu Original in the U.S. and internationally as an Original on Disney+ under the Star banner and Star+ in Latin America.

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About Kaitlyn Booth

Kaitlyn is the Editor-in-Chief at Bleeding Cool. She loves movies, television, and comics. She's a member of the UFCA and the GALECA. Feminist. Writer. Nerd. Follow her on Twitter @katiesmovies and @safaiagem on Instagram.
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