This episode we're talking to Neasa Hardiman, writer/director of the new film Sea Fever, due out April 10 from Gunpowder & Sky/Dust. Sea Fever tells the story of Siobhan, a marine biologist (Hermione Corfield) doing research aboard a fishing trawler captained by Freya (Wonder Woman's Connie Nielsen) when the ship is stopped by what appears to be a luminescent, enormous sea creature. Soon the crew find themselves victim to a parasite that the creature passes to them.
Hardiman talks about the effort she put into writing the film—she deeply researched marine biology, life aboard fishing vessels, and the mysteries of the sea. She says her goal was to create a film where everything is real except the one element that makes it science fiction. Of course, as we discuss, with the fear of contagion foremost in everyone's mind, the film's parasite storyline is even more salient than when Hardiman wrote it.
We also talked about what it takes to effectively shoot a film that takes place aboard a fishing vessel—in this case, the exterior shots were done on a real trawler, while the set designer recreated the interior of the trawler on a sound stage. On the set version of the vessel, the actors could be arranged in the cramped space while the camera sat in the place of the wall, with the crew "outside" and out of the way.
Hardiman tells us that one of the things inspiring her to make the film is her realization that we know "more about the surface of the moon than we do about the ocean." Sea Fever is a remarkable and confident debut.
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Jason Henderson is the host of the Castle of Horror and Castle Talk Podcasts, the editor of the Castle of Horror Anthology series, and the author of Quest for the Nautilus: Young Captain Nemo from Macmillan Children's Books.