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WonderCon 2015: Five Things We Learned at the SAN ANDREAS Panel

The second half of the Warner Brother panel brought us some clips and fun stories about another summer blockbuster: San Andreas! Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was not in attendance, but we did see Brad Payton, the director, as well as co-stars Carla Gungino and Alexandra Daddario! Below you will find out a few things that we learned at this action packed panel!

1. San Andreas isn’t just all action

One of the things that was discussed at length in this film is the level of emotion. The panel was consistent in claiming that while there is a ton of action, this is also a family story with a ton of emotion.

Gungino: “When I read the script I wasn’t just taken by how huge it was going to be, epic. What took me into the script was the emotion and rawness of the characters. I asked Brad: do you want this emotion and he said yes.

2. The effects aren’t all green screens

Another talking point throughout the panel was the attempt to keep it as realistic as possible. While there are naturally some special effects to build up the action, there is also a ton of practical stunt work that puts the actors in the thick of the natural disaster.

Payton: “The first time Paul Giamatti came in was when Alex was trapped in a car. He walked in and asked “where are all the green screens? ” When he realized how piratical most of the movie was, he said “Ok I need to go to the gym”. Carla added: “Alex did a ton of underwater work. We got to react to real circumstances very often. Brad was constantly getting character reaction its a family under attack.”

3. Brad Payton has worked with The Rock before

This isn’t the first time that Brad Payton has worked with the Hollywood juggernaut Dwayne Johnson. The two teamed up on Journey to the Center of the Earth 2, and the experience from that film helped the two out with this movie. Payton told us a story from the set.

“I was lucky having worked with Dwayne before there was a level of trust there. I had a couple talks with him before we started filming, and I told him there’s a scene where someone dies there’s a moment where you need to say a prayer. Start thinking about what you want to say I don’t want to know what it is. He responded, “We’re going into some deep terriorty” I wanted to peel it back and get as much honesty from him. There’s a fractured family everyone was game and there was a lot of trust and what they were gonna go through. This is the best I’ve ever seen Dwayne.”

4. All of the stuff in the movie could actually happen in real life

Brad Payton told the crowd that they did extensive research about the movie. They wanted to make sure that everything was happening in the movie could actually happen in real life, regardless of how small of a chance there was. The realism of the subject was important to Payton and his crew.

“We did a lot of research people from UCLA and Cal Tech what we asked was here’s the script is it all possible. Are all the fault lines correct? Techncial stuff. There’s a fault line that runs right through Downtown LA. If it went, would this one go. etc. Paul’s character is speaking very real information. The largest earthquake ever recorded was around 9.1 in Chile and it caused a Tsunami that leveled Hawaii 8,000 miles away. They would really feel this on the East Coast if this happened.

5. The actors did most of their own stunts

We mentioned earlier how realistic the movie’s natural effects were. The actors talked about how much they wanted to do their own stunts to once again add a sense of realism to it. Carly in particular did most of her own work, earning an honorary medal from the stunt team.

Carly: “I had so much fun doing these stunts and did a fair amount of wire work. My character drops several floors and I was determined it should be me. I’m falling onto the ground and hit it face first. I had to stand and if there was anything slightly off I was in trouble. They gave me a honorary stunt thing. Anything that’s exciting should be challenging so that it’s worth it. I did more stunts then I ever have.”

Alex Daddario added: “I think I like doing active roles and playing these tough characters. I mostly have a lot of fun and if you are physically active and not getting sleep you could have a tough day. I used to go and look underwater and you’d have a whole crew setting it all up. I don’t know if I’ll have an opportunity to do something like this again.”

That wraps up our thoughts on the San Andreas panel. Are you excited for this movie? Let us know in the comments!

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The Author

Kevin Taylor

Kevin Taylor

I grew up in the south, raised watching TV, Movies, and Sports. Entertainment is my life, and I can't imagine what my life would be like without it. I'm a USC grad, and proud to be a Trojan for life! Some of my favorite shows include South Park, Always Sunny, Dexter, and How I Met Your Mother, which I write a weekly recap of here. I also play and report on poker for a living. Its a hard way to make an easy living!