Joe Cornish Talks 'Attack the Block' on Disc31 Oct, 2011 By: Billy Gil
Writer-director Joe Cornish takes the kids ‘n’ aliens sci-fi genre and gives it a decidedly modern and British twist in Attack the Block, which Sony Pictures Home Entertainment released Oct. 25 on DVD ($30.99) and Blu-ray ($35.99). The discs come with five featurettes and three commentaries. We took a minute to talk to Cornish about the film and its home video release.
IndieFile: What films influenced you in making Attack the Block?
Cornish: Attack The Block was influenced by all the great American creature features I loved when I was growing up. Movies like E.T, Critters and Gremlins. I loved the way movies like that were set in a recognisable world, but then added a dash of pure fantasy. I'd never seen a story like that set where I lived and grew up, in South London.
IndieFile: I've heard people here refer to it as like a British version of Super 8, which came out here around the same time. Do you think that's a fair comparison?
Cornish: I guess both movies are about a group of kids dealing with an outer-space visitor, and both are inspired by eighties fantasy movies, but I think that's about where the comparison ends. I'm a big fan of Super 8 and of JJ Abrams, but I think Attack The Block is a very different film.
IndieFile: How do you explain the popularity of the sorts of British TV shows and movies here in the states suddenly that you've been involved with? All of them seem to have a cult following here, from “Little Britain” to Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead.
Cornish: I don't know what makes British fantasy shows so popular in the U.S. I guess maybe because they're pretty good? America produces some incredibly high quality TV comedy and drama too, but I guess sometimes British stuff can afford to be a little more out-there, unusual and inventive.
IndieFile: Why did you include three commentaries on the disc of Attack the Block, and what can we expect from those?
Cornish: Audio commentaries are a good bet because they don't take up much space on the disc, but they can give you a lot of value if you're interested. Attack The Block has one commentary track with the young cast, another with the adult cast, and a third with myself and executive producer Edgar Wright. We've tried hard to make the commentaries more like fun podcasts than the usual boring commentary on what's happening on screen.
IndieFile: Can you tell me a little bit about the other featurettes on the disc?
Cornish: There's a great hour-long making-of on the disc, as well as a 10-minute piece about how we did the creature effects. There are profiles of all the cast members, plus a great little bonus extra where they display their freestyle skills - which are pretty impressive. I'm a big home cinema enthusiast, so it was very important to me to make this a great disc, in terms of technical quality and bonus content.
IndieFile: How did you come up with the concept for Attack the Block? On the press materials it says "Inner city vs. outter space," which I love, was that sort of thing a guiding principle in your writing?
Cornish: Attack The Block is about a gang of teenagers defending their housing project from an alien invasion, so 'inner city versus outer space' was always the premise. It's a crazy, fun-packed, scary chase movie. But it's also a looking at teenagers who've had to grow up in a tough environment, and shows how the skills they've had to build up could one day be the key to saving the world.