Director Randall Miller scored an independent victory this past summer when his wine harvest comedy Bottle Shock posted modest box office returns. Bottle premiered at the Sundance Film Festival to positive reviews and Miller decided to release the film independently, ignoring studios and doing everything himself.
The success of
gave Miller the courage to do the same thing with
Nobel Son, an ensemble thriller.
Nobel Son is a kidnapping story of mistaken identity that reunites Miller with some of his cast from Bottle Shock including Alan Rickman, Bill Pullman and Eliza Dushku. However, Nobel Son was actually shot prior to Bottle Shock.
As Miller describes it, the great working relationship he established with his cast on Nobel Son led to the success of Bottle Shock. Still, in terms of releasing the two films, it made more sense to release Bottle Shock first to capitalize on the wine harvest season.
“I said, 'Let’s do
in the harvest time and
in the winter,'" Miller told
OXOFFICE. "Plus, we knew with
we were going to go a little bit wider so we thought we’ll learn from
and apply all that knowledge to
By working with a lot of the same actors back-to-back, Miller was able to run a loose ship, accepting notes, suggestions and keeping things casual.
“We sort of run it like it’s an off-Broadway play," said Miller. "Everyone comes to the project for the love of the movie or we say this may not be for them when it comes to the casting. Which is fine, we had a few of those big actors we were going to use and it doesn’t work out because we realize that they’re not going to be down for the game. But everyone works together, everyone works for scale, everyone’s ideas are really collaborative. We can address anything, notes, thoughts on the movie. Because we’re not a studio we can adapt and change however we want.”
Nobel Son is now playing in select theatres nationwide.
to listen to our entire interview with Randall Miller.