Storyline from IMdD:
After a man's family dies in what appears to be a murder, he gets a phone call from one of the dead, his niece. He's not sure if she's a ghost or if he's going mad, but as it turns out, he's not.
So, get to know the creative director and screenwriter of this movie, Mr. Jacob Estes, and see why Don't Let Go should be the movie to seek for your entertainment this weekend.
1. First off, list three adjectives to describe Don’t Let Go?
Emotional and stressful. You will have to go see it and name the third adjective for me because I can’t think of one.
2. How did you come up with the story for Don’t Let Go?
The idea that a grieving man could receive a phone call from a member of his dead family struck a very hopeful note for me. I read that idea in a screenplay that was otherwise a horror movie about monsters and ghosts. I didn’t want to do a horror movie about monster and ghosts, but I found that idea to be very beautiful and worth fighting for. So I wrote about it.
3. Were there other titles you came up with before Don’t Let Go? If so what were they?
The original title of the screenplay was Only You, because the character Ashley, who eventually would be played by Storm Reid, made a music video to the song Only You by Yaz, from Upstairs at Erics. Ultimately, when I cast Storm, I changed the song to be by a band culturally specific to her family, a song not called Only You by a band called ESG. So the title Only You ceased to make sense. Then I went on a long, winding journey to finally decide on the name Don’t Let Go — which speaks to the idea that David Oyelowo’s character can not allow his niece Storm Reid who, over the course of the film is dead but somehow able to speak to David by phone from a few days before she died, he can not allow her die again.
4. On average, how many draft scripts do you find yourself writing until you are happy and satisfied with your work?
I am never happy or satisfied with my work. And I just keep writing constantly from the moment I begin, until the last day of production and, later in the edit room, that too is a lot like writing. There is no way to count drafts. There are hundreds of changes being made all the time from the moment the idea is conceived until the moment you lock picture.
5. Do you ever get writer’s block? What do you do to get back on track?
Writers block is about anxiety. Or fear. I have anxiety and fear. I do whatever it takes to find focus and write. Sometimes exercise helps. Sometimes talking to friends helps. Sometimes deciding not to write for a while helps.
6. What was your writing schedule when you wrote Don’t Let Go?
I spent hundreds of hours plotting the movie with one of my producers, Jay Martin. Then I wrote the script for about ten weeks straight, from 6am to 3pm every day. Before bed I would imagine what I wanted to attempt to do the next morning. Then I would start that process up again at dawn, after coffee.
7. What is your favorite line from Don’t Let Go?
“The answer to all your questions is in that jar of bubble gum.”
8. Which filmmakers did you admire growing up?
Sidney Lumet. Wim Wenders. David Cronenberg. Martin Scorsese. David Lynch. Woody Allen. Stanley Kubrick. John Carpenter. Carl Reiner…
9. Could you give a fun fact about your experience working with David Oyelowo, Storm Reid, Bryon Mann, and/or Brian Tyree Henry?
What about Alfred Molina and Mykelti Williamson? They’re both in my movie and full of fun facts. Alfred Molina, for instance, does not like to be called Alfred. He prefers to be called Fred. And Mykelti likes to be called T.
10. Do you recall the very first short film you ever did? What lessons did you learned from it?
I made a music video of myself dancing to Aha’s Take on Me and the biggest lesson I learned was not to leave a very embarrassing videotape of yourself dancing to a pop song laying around or the people who watch it may tease you mercilessly.
11. If a self-published author is seeking a screenwriter or director, how would one get you or any expert to read his or her story to see if it would make a compelling movie?
I would write them a very compelling letter and mail it to them in the mail so it could not be electronically ignored. If I could not find the director’s mailing address, I would send the letter to his or her agent.
12. You have adapted a novel into a screenplay before (Nearing Grace), how did you discover Scott Sommer’s novel?
The director Rick Rosenthal (Bad Boys) asked me to adapt it for him.
13. What advice do you wish someone had given to you when you were younger about the industry?
Take your time and figure out exactly what you want to do and say, then do and say those things methodically and careful. Do not rush. It matters not how fast you do your work, what matters is you do your work well.
14. What is the one thing everyone should eat or drink if one should visit California?
15. Last question, if you could pick a day to relive over and over again, what day would it be and why?
I wouldn’t relive a single day over and over again. I would always prefer a new day.
I just wanted to thank Mr. Jacob Estes for answering those questions. I hope you guys would check out this thrilling film. It's also a time travel movie for those who love movies with time traveling plot( I sure do). The movie release date is Aug. 30th which is today. Take care and I hope you have a wonderful day and especially a great movie experience with Don't Let Go.