“The Hollow” tells the story of a team of FBI agents investigating the mysterious death of a U.S. Congressman’s daughter. The death takes place in a fictitious town in Mississippi, where a “shadowy figure” seems to be pulling all the strings from his mansion on the edge of the town. In an exclusive interview with International Business Times, director Miles Doleac spoke about his approach to the movie.
“I knew when I sat down to write the script; what I wanted to create [was] a gritty, southern-noir crime drama, a sort of southern-noir 'western' in way. I wanted to write something set squarely in my home state of Mississippi,” Doleac said. The director explained that unlike his previous movie “The Historian” he wanted a “very specific sense of place” in this project.
“The Historian” began with its characters, Doleac explained, but “The Hollow” really begins with the place – Mississippi. The director wanted to focus on the culture, geography and the climate of Mississippi in this movie. “A lot of technical decisions, from the camera, to the vintage lenses we shot on, to the lighting and locations, were made in service to this specific kind of thing we were aiming for,” he said.
“The Hollow” was filmed in Hattiesburg, Hot Coffee, Lumberton, Seminary and Sumrall in Mississippi. The filming locations show different parts of a fictitious town called Cutler County. There are also some Washington D.C. scenes in the movie. “The locales we were able to shoot are so lush and dirty and eccentric and beautiful. I was so pleased with every one of them and how they turned out in the film,” Doleac said.
The director also praised the cast of the movie for their efforts. “We were incredibly fortunate with this cast, to be able to work with [William] Sadler a second time was a real joy. James Callis, Christiane Seidel, William Forsythe, Jeff Fahey, David Warshofsky ... Absolute pros, each of them,” he said. The director added that each of the cast members “invested” in their characters every day on the set and believed in the story that they were trying to tell.
“There's a lot of passion, vulnerability and grit in the performances in this film. My cast left it all on the field and not just the names mentioned above. There's some stellar work done by actors whom most audience members will be seeing for the first (but I bet not the last) time,” he said.
Apart from directing “The Hollow,” Doleac has also been busy working in the forthcoming Western “The Magnificent Seven.” When asked to tease something about the movie, Doleac said that he couldn’t reveal much because of the confidentiality agreement. “I can say that it has one hell of a cast. And Chris Pratt is an absolutely swell guy,” he said.