TIFF Exclusive Video Interview: Barry Levinson on The Bay


It’s not that often that you see an Oscar-winning filmmaker tackle the horror genre so well into their career, but that’s exactly what Barry Levinson, the man behind movies like Bugsy, Rain Man and Diner, has done with his latest movie The Bay.

It’s the 4th of July in the small Chesapeake Bay community of Claridge, Maryland and people are starting to die as news reporter Donna Thompson (Kether Donohue) recounts the horrifying details of a viral outbreak as they unfold. As she narrates her story, we see video of the events happening using the now-standard “found footage” format, which is less surprising when you realize The Bay is produced by Jason Blum (Paranormal Activity) and the Strause Brothers (Skyline). Even so, it’s still quite mind-boggling to see Levinson at the helm since the closest he’s come to the horror genre in his extensive career was the movie Sphere, which is not exactly considered a classic.

Shock Till You Drop sat down with Levinson late in the Toronto International Film Festival, the day after his movie premiered in the “Midnight Madness” section, which was definitely another first for the esteemed filmmaker. Besides talking about the decision to make a horror movie and the technical aspects of making one using this format, we also spoke to him about the long-delayed Gotti: In the Shadow of My Father, which he took over directing duties, the already-filmed HBO Phil Spector Biopic, starring Al Pacino, and another HBO movie he’s directing about silent actor Fatty Arbuckle, called The Day the Laughter Stopped.

The Bay will be released by Roadside Attractions in select cities on November 2nd, as well as on various VOD platforms. Before that, it will be playing the 50th Annual New York Film Festival on September 29th, as part of their new Midnight Movies track.

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