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Low Budget, Little Time? No Problem for 'Reasonable Doubt'

17 Jan, 2014 By: Chris Tribbey

The indie thriller Reasonable Doubt sure doesn’t look like it was shot in less than a month with a production budget of about $8 million. That’s a fact of which actor Dominic Cooper (Captain America: The First Avenger) is fiercely proud.

“We achieved so much in such a short period of time, and managed to make it look pretty damn good,” he said. “I’m really pleased with it. You don’t know when you start shooting how it will look when it’s over, what the style and result will be. It does look like an expensive piece of work.”

The film — which received a day-and-date theatrical and VOD release Jan. 17 — has Cooper as a hot-shot attorney who flees a hit and run, and then has to manipulate the ensuing criminal case when someone else is blamed for his crime. Yet the man who he frees could be guilty of far, far worse than a hit and run.

It’s dark, suspenseful and throws in a twist or two to keep the audience guessing. And having Samuel L. Jackson as the “not guilty” party playing opposite Cooper doesn’t hurt a bit either.

The film was shot in the early winter in 2012 in the streets of two less-than-sunny locales: Chicago and Winnipeg. However, the cold and the short shooting schedule weren’t challenges, Cooper said. They were opportunities.

“When you’re pushed to make instinctive decisions over a short period of time, you end up coming up with some of your best work, really,” Cooper said. “And being out in that cold setting, instead of a static courtroom, made it more like a revenge thriller, almost. Though it was absolutely, perishingly cold.”
Screenwriter Peter A. Dowling (Flightplan) wrote the script, which leaves the viewer wondering more than once for whom exactly they should be rooting.

“That’s what made this so dynamic, with the audience not knowing who to back, who to believe in,” Cooper said. “You can relate to and sort of understand how they’ve both gotten themselves into this situation, see them in that moment of choice. [My character] makes the wrong decision, a couple of times, and you see the consequences of those decisions.

“In the end, he tries to fix them.”

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