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UNBREAKABLE

The Shyamalan Style

Despite being only 30 years old, Shyamalan is able to direct with a sense of clarity and confidence that is rarely seen from a young filmmaker. With each new film, the writer/director grows closer to defining a unique style that is clearly all his own.

"As both a writer/director, Night has been able to create a very defined style that give his films a very particular stamp," says Mendel. "While his stories delve beyond the immediate rational realm of reality, they are still very character driven and tap into very deep, real emotions that audiences relate to in a personal way."

"Night's style is one of strong storytelling, strong characters and strong performances," adds Sam Mercer. "He's not going for the ‘MTV' style with a lot of cuts to have that kind of high gloss … he's going for the emotional reactions so that when you are sitting in a theatre, you almost feel like you are sitting in the driver's seat, having the same experiences as those on screen."

"It [the film] has to be very real … with supernatural subjects done as if they were real … and treated with that same kind of respect and importance," says Shyamalan. "I don't like artifice. More and more I am pulling artifice out of the movie as if I were making a documentary."

Shooting the film in continuity and with very little coverage were two rarely used filmmaking techniques Shyamalan implemented in making "Unbreakable" in order to give the film the sense of realism he desired. "Shooting in continuity is extremely rare due to the challenges it can present in terms of scheduling the locations needed and the timing of the actor's schedules," explains Sam Mercer. "But it was very important to Night in this case because he wanted the actors to go on the same emotional journey as the characters and experience their feelings truthfully as the story was unfolding. Although it was not always easy to execute from a logistical standpoint, it has definitely been beneficial in terms of helping to deliver incredibly strong performances from our entire cast."

"It has been very helpful to shoot in continuity," says Samuel L. Jackson. "It enables you to know from day to day what's happened before and to know what is going to happen next. It allows you to prepare yourself in a whole new way so that the character develops naturally over the period of the shoot."

Shooting with a confidence that he describes as "high-risk, high-reward," Shyamalan has shot "Unbreakable" with very little coverage that allows the audience an almost voyeuristic point-of-view of the scene. "All of the scenes are being done in one shot instead of using traditional coverage," explains Shyamalan, "so that the movie is actually more like theatre with longer scenes and fewer cuts to make it much more realistic for the viewer … as if they were right there watching something that is actually taking place in real life and not on a movie screen.

"Every shot has serious meaning when I am designing the look of the film," continues Shyamalan, "which is not always easy because even if it's a cool shot, if it doesn't have meaning, I throw it out. Brick Mason, my storyboard artist, and I always used to joke whenever either one of us would say ‘that's a cool shot' because that always meant it's not going in the movie."

"That is his belief, that you don't need t

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