‘The Mist': Frank Darabont, Thomas Jane on film’s ensemble [video]

May 17, 2013 | 11:07 a.m.
hcff darabont2 The Mist: Frank Darabont, Thomas Jane on films ensemble [video]

"The Mist" writer-director Frank Darabont is seen at work on "The Walking Dead" in September 2010. He also made "The Shawshank Redemption" and "The Green Mile," which, like "The Mist," are adapted from Stephen King stories. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

hcff darabont The Mist: Frank Darabont, Thomas Jane on films ensemble [video]

Frank Darabont speaks during PaleyFest in Beverly Hills in 2011. (Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images)

With his 2007 horror film “The Mist,” writer-director Frank Darabont, adapting a 1980 Stephen King novella, charts what happens to a group of people trapped in a shopping market after a mist envelopes their town. As they learn of the presence of deadly, unearthly creatures outside, the debate over what to do splinters the survivors, with camps organizing around Thomas Jane’s character, artist and father David Drayton, and Mrs. Carmody (Marcia Gay Harden), a doom-prophesying religious fanatic.

The humans prove as fearsome as the beasts and face terrible, heartbreaking choices.

At the fourth annual Hero Complex Film Festival, Darabont and the film’s star Jane took the stage following a screening of “The Mist” to talk about the process of making the movie, which famously concludes with what Darabont described as “an angry, bleak ending.”

Darabont and Jane said improvisation played an important part during the shoot, and they also discussed the way the ensemble of actors came together to support one another while filming.

“It’s like watching a great team passing the ball, and suddenly one guy or one gal will own the scene for a while,” Darabont said. “The other actors pass the ball off to that actor and let that actor slam dunk that…”

“By the way, that’s so rare,” Jane said. “It was a great feeling shooting that movie because all the actors just let that wash over them. The fact that everybody was playing as an ensemble, that’s really rare in film. In theater you get it more often.”

Hosted by Hero Complex editor Gina McIntyre at the Chinese 6 Theatres in Hollywood, the festival started Friday night with a John Carpenter double feature and discussion. Saturday night featured a double feature from Guillermo del Toro, “The Devil’s Backbone” and “Pan’s Labyrinth,” and a conversation with the writer-director.

Sunday afternoon featured a screening of “Independence Day” and a conversation with director Roland Emmerich, producer Dean Devlin, star Jeff Goldblum and effects wizard Volker Engel. That was followed in the evening by a 20th anniversary tribute to “The X-Files” with creator Chris Carter and two of the series’ writers, Glen Morgan and Darin Morgan, and showings of three fan-picked episodes.

Check back in the coming days for video of discussions with the festival’s special guests.

– Blake Hennon and Gina McIntyre

Follow us on Twitter: @LATHeroComplex

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