The Finest Hours

Jack RyanStar Trek, and now Wonder Woman star Chris Pine is no stranger to hero roles, but there’s something a little different about his next one. The Finest Hours stars Pine as real-life figure Bernie Webber, who on a bitterly cold winter day in 1952 led one of the greatest rescues in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard. And that’s without the aid of sci-fi gadgets, superpowered buddies, or a novelist’s imagination, mind you.

Webber is an old-fashioned kind of leading man in an old-fashioned kind of movie — one that, according to Pine, rejects modern cynicism in favor of simple, decent earnestness. The new Finest Hours trailer aims to highlight these men’s brave deeds, while keeping them grounded in a relatable sort of humanity. Check out the new Finest Hours trailer — and then read our on-set interviews with Pine and director Craig Gillespie — after the jump.

Disney shared the new The Finest Hours trailer online.

The Finest Hours chronicles the events of February 18, 1952, when a brutal nor’easter struck New England. The storm ripped through an oil tanker called the SS Pendleton, literally breaking it in half with over 30 men trapped inside. When word of the disaster reaches the U.S. Coast Guard in Chatham, Massachusetts, Webber and three other men set out on a small lifeboat to save the stranded sailors. The film arrives January 29, 2016 — just a few weeks short of the rescue’s 64th anniversary.

Shooting on The Finest Hours took place last fall in Massachusetts, and in November 2014 Disney invited me and a few other journalists to visit the set and speak with Pine and Gillespie. We caught them between takes of a scene set in that humble lifeboat, which was getting slammed by water in a giant tank in a nondescript warehouse. Below, read our interviews with The Finest Hours‘ director and leading man.

The Finest Hours

Craig Gillespie Interview

What’s it like directing with so much sound? How are you able to communicate with them up there?

[Laughs.] Did you see the last take?

I did, which is why I’m a little curious.

It’s good to talk to them before we roll camera and go through what we need. When we’re really into some long scenes, a lot of the times I’ll be in there with them. But for the stunt stuff, yeah, we’ll shoot it from 75 feet away.

So how wet are you getting? Are you getting any of this water on you?

When we’re doing the longer scenes, I’ll sort of gear up and get out there with them.

How tough is it to make such a small, personal story on such a big, epic production?

It’s interesting. What I’m really excited about with this is that they’re such idiosyncratic characters. Like, Bernie’s really an unusual underdog. He’s one of those antiheroes, the reluctant guy, the last person you expect to be that fellow. And the same is going on with [Ray] Sybert, Casey Affleck’s role, as well. That character hates authority, doesn’t want to be the guy in charge and then ends up being that guy, ironically. So they get to play with some really interesting character traits, which has been fun. And the backdrop is just, it’s huge but it’s secondary to what’s going on. The great part of it is that they’re staying in character for all of this, and this whole situation is a catalyst for Bernie, Chris’ character, to grow, and the same with Sybert’s character. I mean, just the enormity of what they’re up against and how that makes them have to step out of their comfort zone.

Can you talk about shooting this movie but knowing that it’s going be converted to 3D? Has that affected some of your directing choices?

It does. We’re doing a lot of longer takes. I like in 3D that you get to sit in these moves, we’re doing these big 50-foot techno moves that come around and get you in the space and you can sort of be there and watch it all and feel a part of it. It’s not as fast and, you know, as cut-y as I would do it if it wasn’t 3D. I feel it’s a better fit for that experience to really feel like you’re in the environment. So that’s why you see these longer 10-, 12-second moves we’re doing with this gimbal so you can really be in their world.

Is this your first 3D feature?

I did Fright Night, which was natural, but this one we’re gonna convert.

Is there anything you’re looking to as a reference point for post-conversion?

What do you mean?

Like a movie that you looked at that was post-converted and you were like, “Like this.”

No, I did Fright Night with the same DP and we have a certain style we like for 3D and we’re doing it that way, same lenses.


On the next page, Chris Pine talks about the real-life inspiration behind his character and reveals what the cast has been listening to to get through those cold, wet days on set. Plus, check out a new poster.

Continue Reading ‘The Finest Hours’ Set Visit >>


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