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Look out for more coverage of
Open Water in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Open Water

THE STARS:
Blanchard Ryan • Daniel Travis • Chris Kentis
DIRECTOR: Chris Kentis

Are you sure this is a good idea? THE CONCEPT:
Think Jaws meets The Blair Witch Project. Based on true events, the movie follows a young couple, Daniel and Susan (Travis and Ryan), as they go scuba diving. Due to a series of miscommunications the boat returns to shore leaving them stranded in shark-infested waters. With no special effects or stuntmen, the two actors spent 120 hours in the water along with real life sharks, giving the film its chilling authenticity.

U.S. RELEASE: August 6 2004, Limited • Rated: R

THE COMMENTS:

BLANCHARD RYAN:
“My agent called me and said, ‘I have this audition for you. It’s a really cool story. I’ve heard great things about the director, and you may have to be in the water with a shark. ‘ I’m a diver, so I’d been in the water with sharks before. But I didn’t really think there would be 50 of them banging into me and swarming all around for two days straight!”

DANIELTRAVIS:
“I’d heard about the project from a friend of mine who was auditioning for Blanchard’s role. Based on the scenario alone I was fascinated and I called them and said, ‘Please can I come in and audition?’ The most daunting aspect for me [wasn’t the sharks] it was that there would be only two characters and we would be responsible for carrying the film.”

CHRIS KENTIS:
“I once went on a dive with a group of people and I surfaced and there was no boat. I wasn’t the least bit panicked whatsoever. I thought, ‘Great, I can snorkel around some more until the boat gets here.’ And after five or ten minutes I thought, ‘I’m going to miss lunch, and I paid a lot of money for this vacation.’ In my case, luckily, the boat showed up.”

LAURA LAU (Producer, Cinematographer):
“I’ve had a couple of instances where I was in the water not too far from the boat and, because the current was so strong, and I couldn’t swim to it. In those moments you just really realize how arrogant you are, thinking that I could just jump into the ocean and be totally fine. Literally, I was helped by a strong swimmer back to the boat.”

TRAVIS:
“We were never far away enough from the boat where it was going to be dangerous. If there got to be a situation where it got out of control we could have been out of the water very quickly. The wetsuits are an odd sensation to sharks as they don’t like the way they feel, and we smell funny to them, and the fact that we weren’t making any sudden splashing movements to appear to look like food, we were as safe as we could have been.”

RYAN:
“But once Daniel and I were in the water, if they wanted the sharks closer, they would throw a chunk of tuna close to us and the shark would swim towards us.”

KENTIS:
“We take pride in the fact that this is about as independent a movie as you could get. Laura and I are the crew. And here we are getting this ridiculous commercial release, which blows our minds.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official Open Water site
Images above © Lions Gate Films
Feature © 2004 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #646, July 2004 cover

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