“I was really beginning to question if I’d ever catch my proverbial big break. I drifted away from film work and started applying for police jobs.”
Chris Sparling, Buried screenwriter
“(Chris Sparling) went directly from struggling indie director to successful Hollywood scribe when the screenplay for his horror thriller Buried was picked up, cast with a major up-and-coming star, and thrown before the cameras in just six months. And now it’s receiving its U.S. première at the Sundance Film Festival.
Filmmaker Magazine Winter 2010
You can’t get more minimalistic than Buried (2010). And while it was shot over 21 days with Rodrigo Cortés directing— it could have been shot in a 1 to 4 days. Granted it wouldn’t have been as good, but it could have been.
And from interviews back around the time Buried was purchased between three and four million, it sounded like an ultra low-budget film was what screenwriter Chris Sparling was originally after. (He had little success in distrubuting his short films and one low-budget indie film.)
“Stealing a page from Hitchcock’s playbook, I decided on writing a story that takes place entirely in one small location. In my case, this was inside an old, wooden coffin.”
Sparling was asked in an interview with Carson Reeves at Script Shadow, “How many scripts had you written before Buried? Which script did you realize that maybe you were getting the hang of it?” Sparling said, “Before Buried, I think I’d written about nine or ten features and two TV specs. Truth be told, it didn’t start to click for me until about my seventh feature script.”
Ryan Reynolds plays a U.S. contract driver in Iraq who is attacked and placed in a coffin with a flashlight, a cell phone and a lighter and must find someone to pay a million dollar ransom or he’ll soon die. A primal survival story reminiscent of low-budget success stories of past years; The Blair Witch Project, Open Water and Paranormal Activity.