FAQ for The Mill and the Mountain
A CineCoup Film by Sean Horlor, Steve Adams, and Sean Cox
1) Is The Mill and the Mountain based on a book?
No. The Mill and the Mountain is based on a story developed by directors Sean Horlor and Steve Adams and an original screenplay written by Sean Horlor.
The script is inspired by two, true British Columbia events: accused, serial-killer Cody Legebokoff’s fourth murder along the Highway of Tears and a “Mr. Nobody” amnesia-case that took place in Vancouver in 2005.
2) How closely is the script shaped by these two stories?
When Steve Adams was in middle school, he occasionally babysat Cody Legebokoff and his brother over the course of a year-and-a-half in Fort St. James back in the 1990s.
Sean Horlor originally developed the 2005 Vancouver “Mr. Nobody” amnesia case as a novel then adjusted it into a screenplay in 2011.
Horlor and Adams felt that the combination of these two stories would result in a fresh, unique screenplay that would appeal to Canadian and international audiences.
Although these real life events inspired The Mill and the Mountain, its primary conflicts and storyline are fictional and completely independent of the Legebokoff case and Vancouver Mr. Nobody case.
3) What does the title of your movie mean and what’s with the red-eye photos in your movie poster?
The title is a reference to an actual mill and mountain located outside Fort St. James in British Columbia. The red geometric shape included on our movie poster and project marketing is part of the corporate logo for a fictional logging corporation.
4) Beyond its murder-mystery tappings, what do you want your audience take away from The Mill and the Mountain?
At it’s core, The Mill and the Mountain is a story about redemption, one that explores how three very different characters try to come to terms with the choices they’ve made over the course of their lives. Another key element to our movie is how memory can ultimately define who we are and what we become. We have one character who is trying to remember his past, a character who is trying to forget his past, and one character who can’t forget her past no matter how hard she tries. This is the source of much of the conflict in The Mill and the Mountain and if there’s one thing every great story needs it’s an abundance of conflict.
5) Why do you think Canadian audiences will connect with your film?
As filmmakers who love independent mystery thrillers, we’ve spent the last few years wondering why there aren’t more movies set in Canada like Fargo (USA) or Headhunters (Norway) or the original The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Sweden). Why aren’t there more Canadian indie thrillers with broad commercial appeal? We feel that Canada (and the world) are ready for a great thriller set in Canada. Our story is worthy of a $1M production budget and a 2014 release in Cineplex theaters.
6) Why are you participating in the CineCoup film accelerator?
We see ourselves as equal parts entrepreneurs and storytellers, which is why the Cinecoup Film Accelerator is so appealing. Sean Horlor and Steve Adams are the founders and owners of Steamy Window Productions and regularly work with tech industry clients on commercial projects. Sean Cox is the founder and owner of Pink Light Films.
Our experience building successful production companies with nothing but sweat equity and saavy social media strategies has prepared us for Cinecoup. We want to test and prove our concept with Canadian audiences and wouldn’t want to make a film any other way.
7) Have you made a feature film before?
This is the first feature film project for Sean Horlor, Steve Adams, and Sean Cox. The three partners have previously worked together on commercial projects. Horlor and Adams have previously produced and directed a short film. Sean Cox has produced, directed and worked as a cinematographer on numerous music videos and short films.
8) Who are your influences?
Sean Horlor: Christopher Nolan’s early work made me want to become a director and his more recent work has made me realize it’s time to get my shit together. I’m also a huge fan of Lana and Andy Wachowski’s work and their collaborative approach to filmmaking.
Steve Adams: David Fincher’s work has always had a great effect on me. Tarantino’s storytelling abilities have always pushed me to think bigger and I will always have a special place in my heart for anything Spielberg has ever touched.
Sean Cox: I’m inspired by cinematographer’s like Roger Deakins, Conrad Hall, and Wally Pfister because of how well they are able to consistently create beautifully lit and composed images while creating an emotion through visual storytelling.