Breezy Mama was able to get a back stage pass, courtesy of Relativity Media, of the upcoming Earth to Echo movie, to be released in theaters July 2nd. During our amazing experience, we were able to sit down with Dave Green (Director), Henry Gayden (Screenwriter/Co-Story Writer) and Andrew Panay (Producer/Co-Story Writer) to get a inside look to the movie. –Alex
I vividly remember going to see E.T. in the movie theater. I remember eating my popcorn, sitting next to my parents and brother, laughing, crying, feeling sad for Elliot, and so, so, so excited when E.T. was finally able to go home. After the movie, we talked about it, analyzing what we would’ve done, what Elliot should have done—the whole nine yards. Then came Stand by Me—another awesome movie about a group of kids and their friendship. I still ask my kids, “If Mickey is a mouse, and Pluto is a dog, what is Goofy?” And don’t get me started on the soundtrack—I played that record until it was worn thin. I made a tape from it and listened to it on my walkman at the beach, on the bus to field trips, I LOVED that movie. And don’t forget about the Goonies. Were you smiling as broadly as I was when the two teens finally kissed? When the kids came ashore with all the money to save the town? It was heroic.
So what happened to those feel-good, family movies of today? You don’t see them much. Dave Green, Henry Gayden and Andrew Panay wanted to bring them back. The three men grew up watching those same movies—movies that the whole family enjoyed. Feel good movies. So, they did exactly that with Earth to Echo. Says Andrew Panay, producer/co-story writer of Earth to Echo, “You know, the whole point of the movie is to speak to the next generation of kids, and for parents, to hearken back to some of the movies that we used to see when we were growing up.”
Earth to Echo is about three best friends who have to move away from one another as a result of their town having a highway built over it. On their last days together, their phones all start to receive weird messages. They figure out that the message is a map, and on their last night together, decide to see what the map leads to. Yep, you guessed it—they find Echo, and that’s where their real adventure starts.
Today’s world is full of “selfies” and teens filming every step they make. Earth to Echo is done the same way. Character “Tuck” is the primary filmmaker, and he documents the three friend’s adventures which lead to Echo, and beyond. Picture Blair Witch Project, but (obviously) not scary.
When creating the film, Panay explained, “. . . what we wanted to do is create as much authentic feel as possible ’cause of the style of the movie and how would Goonies be done today.”
As a result, today’s kids will feel in touch with the characters right away. For example, when the friends figure out that the message is a map, they go straight to the computer. Henry Gayden, screenwriter/co-story writer fills us in on the background, “Well, technically it’s [the movie] made by a 13-year-old. You know, he shot, directed, edited technically, wrote and all that stuff. So, we wanted to show how a 13 year old interacts with his friends. They’re not going to go to a library and take out a map like an Indiana Jones movie. You know, they’re going to Google it and find it and send it to each other over iChat . . .”
But don’t think this movie is all about feeling good, and life is cake with the icing. Emotions are felt, pain is seen, fights happen—because as Panay explained, life isn’t always good.
“I wouldn’t call this movie a kids’ movie. I think it’s unfair. I think the movie’s a family movie, and I think every family has moments where the door gets shut and your daughter or son is crying, and that’s just the bottom line.”
But with that being said, the writers also wanted to kids to have the take away that you can do anything; just because you’re a kid, doesn’t mean you can’t reach your goals. Panay tells us, “You just can’t fly. But, you can accomplish giant things in your life. It doesn’t matter how old you are, and you should aspire for big dreams. And that’s what these kids do. That’s what the movie is about. The movie’s about it does take superhuman strength to say goodbye or overcome . . . if you’re small, you can overcome something so big.
And as Gayden says, “We had this moment in the beginning [of the movie], where Tuck says, “What can you do? You’re just a kid.” And that’s how we open the movie. And then, we end the movie with him looking at camera and being like, “We just did that.” And, like, that’s how we wanted to build, to that moment, where these kids—feel that they can do anything.”
Not a bad message to be promoting to our kids, right?
Check out the Earth to Echo trailer below!