Kings-of-Summer-6

When I sat down with The Kings of Summer director Jordan Vogt-Roberts to discuss his movie I expected to have the typical fifteen to twenty-minute block of time. We ended up talking for far longer than that. As a result, our Q&A turned into more of a talk than an interview.

I’m not going to present the whole thing, but what follows is a lightly edited transcript of the bulk of our conversation. The director goes into great detail about his ambitions for the film, which follows three high school kids as they run away from home and spend a summer building their own home in the woods.

We talked about his view of where the film industry stands now, and quite a lot about the use of music in the movie, and why the soundtrack ranges from classic rock to modern hip-hop to the influence of 8-bit video game sounds. And Vogt-Roberts explained just how he designed the house these kids build as something people could conceivably construct in real life.

Vogt-Roberts also detailed some of the happy accidents that ended up being defining moments for the film. The great “playing on the pipe” sequence released as the teaser trailer, for example, was something they just fell into shooting on a day off. As a filmmaker, Jordan appears to be organized and able to plan, but also able to seize a moment and properly work it into the film. Sounds easy, but it’s something that people don’t always do well. Our talk about some of those instances gives a good insight into the birth of this film.

The Kings of Summer is in theaters now, and it’s a great feature debut. Check out the long-read interview below.

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