So when they said “A Quiet Place” was being sent to Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes, we had zero expectations. Our heads started spinning as our agents relayed the latest: “Bay is calling up the head of Paramount, telling them to make this movie.” Days later we would receive one of the best calls of our lives. We dove into a rewrite based on the studios notes, which were the antithesis of corporate creative groupthink – they wanted to preserve the fabric of this odd script.
Surely this submission would be a blip in everybody’s radar. It became clear that Paramount was treating this project with care.
We began discussing low-budget ideas; something that, worst case scenario, could be shot back in Iowa for ,000.
“A Quiet Place” was a film born out of passion with modest beginnings, and it is an understatement to say we have been humbled by this incredible journey.We had wrapped our directorial debut, “Nightlight,” which was released on only a handful of screens without much of an audience.While we were proud of the finished product, the film’s muted reception had us seriously wondering if we would ever get another project produced.— became loaded with an abundance of sonic potential.Our first pass of the script clocked in at 67 pages with only one line of dialogue.We wondered if perhaps they were right and we shelved our work.But in 2014, our passion for “A Quiet Place” was reignited by an unlikely roadblock.When spec scripts go out to the town, usually they don’t sell.At best, you get a general meeting at a studio or production company to talk about your other projects (aka anything but the spec).That’s when we realized: “A Quiet Place” wasn’t just a fun concept.It’s a metaphor for the breakdown of family communication.We were deep in conversation with Michael Bay when it hit us: How did our failures bring us here?The film we had written and executive produced had just premiered to a wildly energized opening night audience at SXSW, and Bay was already discussing what we could work on next. These filmmakers were masters of visual storytelling, needing not one line of dialogue to communicate character, emotion, or intent. But having been raised on a healthy dose of “Alien,” “Jaws,” and dozens of Hitchcock films, we wondered if you could fold the silent visual techniques of the early 20th century into the context of a modern-day genre film. The conceit behind “A Quiet Place” is simple: if you make a sound, you die.Make no mistake; we knew this was a weird screenplay. We figured most producers would laugh off the project by the shallow page count.