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Elston Gunn interviews Sylvain White, director of I'LL ALWAYS KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. I don't know why Elston interviewed the director the direct to video I'LL ALWAYS KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER, but he did. And now you can read that here. Enjoy!!!

Sylvain White is the helmer behind the third installment of the I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER franchise, which is out on DVD Tuesday. White was raised mostly in France and came to America where he studied film and worked at Propaganda Films alongside Michel Gondry and Spike Jonze. After a series of commercials, music videos and short films, including QUIET which Grand Jury Prize at the WorldFest International Film Festival 2002 and aired extensively on HBO White is applying is visual talents to features. Once ...LAST SUMMER was finished White went on to direct the dance drama STOMP THE YARD (formerly titled STEPPIN'), currently in post-production. White took a few moments from editing dance sequences to answer our quick Q & A via email.

[Elston Gunn]: Having grown up mostly in Paris, were you drawn more to U.S. films than French? What did you absorb the most from French cinema?

[Sylvain White]: Growing up I was definitely more drawn to U.S. films. French films were generally more adult-themed and didn't seriously catch my interest until film school. At that point Truffaut, Godard, but also more recent filmmakers like Jeunet, Kassovitz, and Kounen were heavy influences on me.

[EG]: Why did you choose to study film in the U.S. rather than France?

[SW]: My father is American and I always wanted to come study in the U.S., I like the system better here. But I originally came to study journalism. It wasn't until the end of my sophomore year that I decided to double major in both Journalism and Film Production.

[EG]: You used to work for Propaganda with Jonze and Gondry while you were still a student. What did you learn while working there?

[SW]: It was my first time on a set, my first time writing concepts for music videos for various directors, etc. But getting to spend some creative time with Gondry was probably the most valuable facet. He really encouraged me to follow the directing path.


[SW]: Well, I simply got a last minute call as someone was fired and they needed a new director shortly. There were only two weeks of prep left, but I enjoy the horror genre and thought it would be a good opportunity to show my potential. And so I jumped in, re-cast, re-prepped all the locations and shooting schedule within those couple of weeks. Think that the average prep time for a small movie is about ten weeks. It was tough, but I had a blast.

[EG]: What did you want to do differently with the franchise?

[SW]: The material was very much in the same tone and feel as the franchise, so I just wanted to come in and edge the visual quality and energy of the film. I also wanted the gore to feel more real than in the previous two.

[EG]: I read you didn't use any CG effects in the pic for the entire film in favor of practical.

[SW]: That is correct. When it came to the murders and the gore, I wanted to go all practical. I just hate CG gore because it always just looks like CG and it takes you out of the horror of the moment.

[EG]: How come the switch to the mountains of Colorado from the North Carolina fishing town?

[SW]: It's taking the myth from the original films and starting over with a new group of kids years later. The fisherman is not the same guy as in the original, but you have to watch the film to figure it out.

[EG]: Are you happy with the final product?

[SW]: I think it's a fun popcorn film, with cool visuals, good scares, and hype music. So, yes, it's a fun rental or DVD purchase. It's the kind of film you can have fun watching with your friends and jump at the scares.

[EG]: What did you learn about horror filmmaking that you'll apply to future projects?

[SW]: Well, it's the perfect school for creating suspensful moments and building up tension and angst in scenes.

[EG]: So, how do you go from filming a slasher film to the dance drama STOMP THE YARD?

[SW]: You just dive from one world to another. Making films is often very much like watching them. You can rent a comedy, then dim the lights and watch a horror film later on.

[EG]: Is this a musical where people break out into song?

[SW]: No, it's an actual drama where the characters take part in intercollegiate "step-dance" conpetitions. I actually treated it more like a sports drama.

[EG]: From Fred Astaire to THE RED SHOES and SINGIN' IN THE RAIN to Bob Fosse's work, I've always thought dance really lent itself to the nature of cinema. It's about as visual as you can get even if the camera is kept still. What do you think sets STOMP THE YARD apart from other dance films? How did you shoot it?

[SW]: I really went to work on the dance scenes. It's hard to summarize but I applied tailored shooting techniques to each dance sequence. I studied everything that had been done up till now, starting with the classics, and really tried to break new ground. I also studied how some classic Hong Kong films shot fight sequences and re-adapted the techinique to dance. The result is quite impressive, if I may say.

[EG]: Why do you think a lot of dance films today do not connect with the audience?

[SW]: Well, they often feel artificial and the dancing contrived. But in this case you'll almost feel like you are watching a documentary.

[EG]: Was it hard not using dance doubles? How did you work around that?

[SW]: Not using any dance doubles was my prerogative from the earliest stages of my involvement with the project. I just cast the most amazing actor/dancers there are and the rest went pretty smooth. Columbus Short, the lead, is an astonishingly gifted dancer and he carries this movie with the ease of a true acting star.

[EG]: What's next for you? Any future plans to return to the horror genre? You also directed the horror short QUIET a couple of years ago written by your cousin, Chris White. Do you have plans to collaborate again?

[SW]: Absolutely. We have two screenplays in development. LAST STOP (, for example, caters to the darkest of horror with a fresh and original tone. Ever thought about falling asleep on the subway and waking up alone at the last stop at 1am, not knowing where you are and missing a kidney?

[EG]: What films did you look to for inspiration on both ...LAST SUMMER and STOMP THE YARD?



Elston Gunn

Readers Talkback
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  • Aug. 12, 2006, 2:37 a.m. CST

    That title makes no sense

    by eg4190

    Sure, people made the same point when "I Still Know..." came out, but it's now been many many summers since they pulled that hit and run. Very silly title.

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 2:46 a.m. CST


    by OldBoy

    Yeah, I can't say one way or another. Popcorn film? I'm sure it'll be decent at least, but worth ten bucks? I doubt it. I didn't realize that Hollywood was in the business of reviving dead franchises. I thought they were only doing subpar remakes these days.

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 3:01 a.m. CST

    ....3D, Final, In Space

    by veritasses

    You know those movies are coming...

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 3:11 a.m. CST

    I'll Always Know That I Reviewed This Last June

    by Vern

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 3:13 a.m. CST

    the title

    by Vern

    By the way, this is about a different group of kids who did a different thing. So what they did they in fact did last summer. And even in the future when they did it many summers ago, he will still know what it was that they did. That's what the title means.

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 3:19 a.m. CST

    Too soon

    by Badger999 there really a market for stuff like this? I'm a pretty forgiving movie-watcher, but I wouldn't even pick up the box at Blockbuster.

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 3:45 a.m. CST

    What a very polite interview! All things considering...

    by The Wrong Guy

    Haven't seen IK3 and I don't plan to, though.

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 4:27 a.m. CST

    No Love Hewitt - No love here !

    by RobinP

    Let me get this straight, different fisherman, different kids, different town....same concept ? One word for ya...PASS !!!

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 5:13 a.m. CST

    I Will Always Know What You Did The Summer of '42

    by BannedOnTheRun

    Oscy's Revenge

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 5:36 a.m. CST

    i'll go to sleep on that crap

    by reckni

    wish i cared more about this than nicki . . .

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 6:08 a.m. CST

    TOO SOON IS NOT FUNNY ANYMORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    by thatpeterguy

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 6:49 a.m. CST

    Correction, Too Soon Was Never Funny In The First Place

    by flamingrunt

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 6:52 a.m. CST

    There was only two reasons to see the first two

    by Deep Cover

    ...and they're sitting on Jennifer Love Hewitt's chest. No jiggle, no movie.

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 8:23 a.m. CST

    Pretty cool Interview

    by Chase2006

    That was a cool interview, guy sounds like he has some talent even though I LOATHED I know what you did last summer 1-2. Being he ran with Gondry and Jonze I'll give this a Netflix just to see what skills he learned. The Dance flick sound spretty cool hopefully wont come off gay but from the sounds of it sounds pretty kick ass. I checked out the stuff on that Last stop site, that looked interesting as hell!

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 9:12 a.m. CST

    Another wrong-side-of-the-tracks dance movie?

    by CreasyBear


  • Aug. 12, 2006, 9:20 a.m. CST

    And they should phoneticize the title of the series:

    by CreasyBear

    IKWYDLS - 3 = "Ick-widdles 3!"

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 9:22 a.m. CST


    by Chase2006

    I think its a tad different, we shall see!

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 9:36 a.m. CST

    This reminds me of the Onion headline:

    by Mgmax

    "Land Before Time VII Released Direct To Landfill."

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 9:37 a.m. CST

    by Cosmik Debris

    The problem is that the title of the FIRST movie was stupid. All the sequels were hobbled right out of the gate.

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 9:45 a.m. CST

    just saw QUIET short film

    by DeadPulse

    Went here to read up more on Last stop and saw they had that Quiet short on there. Definetly some nice work there. IAWKWYDLS may not be a waste after all, but then again it is I know what you did last summer.

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 9:49 a.m. CST

    . . . . .Uh SO.

    by Darth Kaos

    I don't care about some French director making a third rate sequel when the first one sucked! Man, AICN is hard up for movie news.

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 10:20 a.m. CST

    Potential titles for the fourth flick

    by performingmonkey

    D'you know, I'm so bored I can't think of What You Did Last Summer. They should do a I Know Who You Ass-Raped Last Summer reboot. I Didn't Do What You Thought I Was Gonna Say Last Summer. Or I Know What You Did Last Summer Trip. I Was A Numb Cunt Last Summer. I Know What You're Doing This Summer Because I've Put A Camera In Your Room. I Know What You're Doing Next Summer - Watching The Fifth Harry Potter Flick. I Had A Date With You Last Summer You Didn't Show Up So I Killed Your Dog. I'll NEVER KNOW WHAT YOU DID BECAUSE I'M NEVER GOING TO WATCH THIS CUNT OF A DVD MOVIE.

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 10:28 a.m. CST


    by IAmJack'sUserID

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 10:29 a.m. CST

    Its too soon for "too soon"!!!!

    by IAmJack'sUserID

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 1:16 p.m. CST

    Next one "I know what you did next summer"

    by Archduke_Chocula

    and he comes back in time to kill them before they commit a horrendous act of some kind.

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 1:18 p.m. CST

    truffaut, godard and I KNOW WHAT YOU DID?!!!

    by Spacesheik

    i do see an homage to the 400 BLOWS in I KNOW WHAT YOU DID III - brilliant cinema

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 1:24 p.m. CST

    for some reason while reading this...

    by keyserSOZE

    i was picturing this dude as Henri from "Cheers" and i kept expecting him to interject, "But Elston...I'm going to steal your girlfriend!"

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 1:54 p.m. CST


    by Doc_Strange

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 1:55 p.m. CST

    Bay's Transformers

    by Doc_Strange

    If this is what the characters are going to look like, this movie is really FUCKED:

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 2:17 p.m. CST

    I know what you di'in't do las' summa...

    by tango fett

    the blaxploitation version?

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 3:17 p.m. CST

    I'm not reading this

    by INWOsuxRED

    I didn't read the interview or the talkback, so maybe someone already covered this, or maybe the whole "story" is just a big joke that I missed out on. I just wanted to say, you don't interview the director of "I STILL KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER", you punch them in the balls.

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 3:57 p.m. CST

    Why wouldn't he know?

    by I Dunno

    Being hit by a car and having a bunch of teens try to kill you to cover it up isn't the sort of thing one forgets. Now for the third one, it's a different cast of characters so it should be, "I, like that other guy who knew what an entirely different collection of assholes did last summer, also know what you did last summer and I still have unresolved issues with it. I also know what you do in the bathroom and that's between you and a vengeful God"....Coming straight to Betamax the day after editing.

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 3:59 p.m. CST

    Too Soon to Stop Too Soon

    by Doggus47

    It can be funny at the right moments. I'm not giving up on it yet.

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 5:01 p.m. CST

    Completely Fed Up

    by peter skellen

    With the post-modern horror genre.

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 5:11 p.m. CST

    Seriously, this trend of straight to DVD sequels

    by I Dunno

    is enough already. They take a successful film or franchise that is either finished telling its story or wore out its welcome (American Pie, Road House, Carlito's Way, Bring it On, The Cutting Edge, every Disney movie, I Still Know...), use its name and maybe one loser from the original and hope to make a buck on video on name recognition alone. Does this actually work? It's like all the DVDs I see in the store now that are pirate movies that look like "Pirates of the Carribean". Do people really fall for this shit? If so, the money is in straight to home video because people will eat up anything if they're buying this shit.

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 5:41 p.m. CST

    Ever thought about falling asleep on the subway and wak

    by ldm882

    Not only have I thought about it, but I've done it, except I wasn't missing a kidney. Instead I was missing a hundred bucks I'd blown at the bar earlier that night and (in theory at least) half of my kidneys and a sizeable chunk of my liver from alcohol-induced atrophy.

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 5:48 p.m. CST


    by Nexus-6

    You don't punch the director in the balls, he's just trying to launch a career and saw a chance here. It's besides the point if he's a shitty director. Someone needs to punch the producers and executives who thought this was a good idea in the balls.

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 5:59 p.m. CST

    Yeah really.

    by I Dunno

    You have to break through somewhere. There isn't a premise that can't be turned into a good movie with some talent and vision. A movie about the last days of the son of God can turn out to be a pointless gorefest with no context and a movie about motherfucking snakes on a motherfucking plane can turn out to be a masterpiece. It's all in how it's executed. But no, I'm not going to be renting this one but my point stands.

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 6:19 p.m. CST

    Here is some clues....

    by misterWINKIE

    on why this movie will fail (1)quote "Well, I simply got a last minute call as someone was fired and they needed a new director shortly" (uh oh...sounds like trouble from the start...also sounds like they looked at the bottom of the barrel...I dunno) (2)No CGI....well...CGI ~is not~ important in any movie..story is...but I can imagine this is a very below marginal movie -let alone DTV (3)The fisherman is not the same guy as in the original, but you have to watch the film to figure it out. (let me guess it is some how connected TO the fisherman or they wouldn't keep it within the franchise..ala Scream. (4)Are you happy with the final product? [SW]: I think it's a fun popcorn film, with cool visuals, good scares, and hype music. So, yes, it's a fun rental or DVD purchase. It's the kind of film you can have fun watching with your friends and jump at the scares. (ok...i don't think I have ever recalled a director or maybe an actor..during the peak of a release stating "no...this movie is utter shit"....obvious answer for an otherwise stale question. (5) did I mention this will most likely fail becuase it is DTV? Anyone have their ~favorite~ DTV movie. I am sure I have one..but I can not recall one ofF hand.

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 6:44 p.m. CST

    I know what you did Last Christmas

    by Mr Funktastic

    Starring Wham

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 7:28 p.m. CST

    I forgot what you did last summer

    by midwat

    Alzheimer's-themed chick flick

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 7:58 p.m. CST

    This is cool news?

    by zacdilone

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 7:59 p.m. CST

    I Know What You Did Last Starfighter

    by zacdilone

    You have been recruited by the Star League to defend us from crappy sequels.

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 8:55 p.m. CST


    by veritasses

    If your talking weaponless combat, kicking will cause more damage then punching. The producers and executives need to be kicked in the balls. Twice each if possible.

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 9:59 p.m. CST

    Actually, his pitch for Last Stop sounds pretty sweet

    by Lance Rock

    Think After Hours meets Seven!...or something.

  • Aug. 12, 2006, 10:08 p.m. CST

    Last Stop

    by DeadPulse

    Check the demo clip or trailer or whatever it was on the site under short film gallery. Looked pretty cool to me!

  • Aug. 13, 2006, 12:19 a.m. CST


    by Nexus-6

    Okay, how about a swift kick, followed by a few hundred boxer-style speedbag punches? To the balls, of course.

  • Aug. 13, 2006, 4:43 a.m. CST


    by DocPazuzu

    Death Blossom those bitches!

  • Aug. 13, 2006, 7:44 a.m. CST

    Seriously, this trend of straight to cereal

    by BannedOnTheRun

    ...has got to stop. Sure, C3POs was bad, but does anyone else remember seeing "Prince of Thieves" cereal on the shelves after Kevin Costner's movie came out? I do. I'm totally serial.

  • Aug. 13, 2006, 8:46 a.m. CST

    What do we do?

    by zacdilone

    We die.

  • Aug. 13, 2006, 10:30 a.m. CST

    I'm sure STOMP THE YARD will re-invent cinema!

    by Thunderballs

    Is this guy kidding me. If I had the unfortunate position of wanting to direct but having no talent, I would not do interviews, simply because I'd look like a first rate douchebag, which this guy most certainly is. Stomp the motherfucking yard, I can't believe it. Doesn't he know it is just as bad as any other stupid dancing flick? Why even waste time watching other movies when you know your film is pure ass? Doesn't this guy want to make good movies? I'd rather shine shoes than have my name on crap like this. Where have all the artists gone?

  • Aug. 13, 2006, 11:35 a.m. CST

    hey ThunderBalls

    by HaterBuster

    Hey Thunderballs, those are some pretty strong words since you've never seen any of Sylvain's work. He's shot nuemrous commericals one even getting an award, numerous big budget music videos including CRAZY which was up for best video at MTV video Awards. Try watching his work and then making that statement. He was given a oppurtnutity to shoot a film that is based on a popular franchise, he didnt write the shit he was hired 2 weeks prior to shooting becuase they fired the other director. Hollywood is hard enough and sometimes you can't always choose the projects you want to do but you do the best you can with the material and hopefully give it something fresh. sure I Know 3 isnt going to be the next Citzen Kane of film but shit give the guy a hand for at least giving it 100% and doing something instead of sitting back critizing work he's never seen. Also Stop the YArd is a huge flick through SCREEN GEMS think Drumeline but with the BLACK FRAT STEP DANCERS. Go check out QUIET on the website mentioned above and you can see his skills from like 4 years ago, his shit has only gotten better. And if you are wondering if I am Sylvain I'm not but I am someone who knows of his work and knows him personally. Trust me when you STOMP comes out its gonna be a huge hit then he'll have the projects he really wants to do like THrillers and horror. So easy for people who don't do anything with their lives to always down others who are trying their best to make things happen!

  • Aug. 13, 2006, 11:44 a.m. CST

    way way way way

    by KnightEternal

    too soon

  • Aug. 13, 2006, 11:51 a.m. CST


    by veritasses

    I can see your point. Punching will probably get the feelings of frustration out of your system better then kicking. Though a Bruce Lee Eagle-Claw, grab (the nuts), rip and stomp-grind can be mighty satisfying as well. I'd be curious to see which technique you end up using the most.

  • Aug. 13, 2006, 12:30 p.m. CST

    I Don't Give a Crap WHAT You Did Last Spring, Summer,

    by Zeke25:17

    or Fall, For That Matter!

  • Aug. 13, 2006, 3:08 p.m. CST

    TOO SOON is indeed funny..

    by Cotton McKnight

    I laughed when I saw someone say "its not funny anymore!" so there you have it.

  • Aug. 13, 2006, 8:49 p.m. CST

    I Cant Believe It's Not Butter Last Summer

    by The Ender

    Fabio stars in this tragic and often horrifying tale about a long lost love and a need for redemption via ass reaming with frozen butter bars. You've read the outline, NOW YOU DECIDE THE DETAILS!

  • Aug. 14, 2006, 8:10 a.m. CST

    "Ever thought about falling asleep on the subway..."

    by raw_bean

    "Ever thought about falling asleep on the subway and waking up alone at the last stop at 1am, not knowing where you are and missing a kidney?" - This man knows my Secret Fear! AAARRGGGHHHH!!!!....

  • Aug. 14, 2006, 7:32 p.m. CST

    How about "Who Fuckin Cares What You Did Last Summer"

    by Lamerz

    ... not me. Fuuck that shiit.

  • Aug. 14, 2006, 7:34 p.m. CST

    You'll Always Know You Sucked Dick Last Summer

    by Lamerz

    ... and you'll never get over it, flamer.

  • Aug. 14, 2006, 7:36 p.m. CST

    You'll Always Know You Munched Carpet Last Summer

    by Lamerz

    ... for the chicks that "experiment"

  • Aug. 14, 2006, 7:42 p.m. CST

    I Know You Filmed A Shitty Sequel Last Summer

    by Lamerz

    ... for an unneeded and pointless resuscitation of a dead franchise with a low-budget piece of SHIT. ................. What's next? "I'll Always And Forever And Ever Know What You Did Last Summer Because I Can't Get These Shitty Fucking Films Out Of My Head"???

  • Aug. 14, 2006, 7:52 p.m. CST

    Re: "....3D, Final, In Space"

    by Lamerz

    I'll Always Know The Killer Took Up Residence In A Derelict Ship In The Outer Regions Of The Galaxy That Was Stumbled Upon By Some Crew With a Healthy Dose Of Hot Ass Who Happened To Be Guilty Of Landing On A Guy On Planet X ........................ or, I Still Know That This Movie Will Suck Ballz Even In 3-D ........................ or, I Know This Is Not The Final Movie In This Long Dead Zombie Of A Franchise

  • Aug. 14, 2006, 8:19 p.m. CST

    Why not change it up?

    by AyebKraken

    I think I know what you did last winter before summer got here.

  • Aug. 15, 2006, 11:42 a.m. CST

    HaterBuster---whatever you say

    by Thunderballs

    Sure dude, Stomp The Yard is going to take over the country with it's unbelievably original dance numbers, dance numbers that millions of people are thirsting for!! Sylvain is a hack of the highest order. His commercials and music videos are ASS. Chris Cunningham he ain't!! And Chris Cunningham has some sense of art at least, he doesn't just jump at any movie they offer him. Why? CAUSE CHRIS CUNNINGHAM IS AN ACTUAL ARTIST WITH ACTUAL TALENT!!! Sylvain is a typical hack music video director who will direct any movie they throw at him just so he can say he made a movie. He is no different than Jim Sonzero, another hack commercial director who just did Pulse. Fuck off you talentless twat.

  • Aug. 15, 2006, 11:43 a.m. CST

    Drumline? You must be joking.

    by Thunderballs

    Think Drumline? Are you 13 years old? Who in their right mind thought that piece of shit was good? Sylvain is a hack, get used to it!!.

  • Aug. 15, 2006, 1:03 p.m. CST

    I Know What Film I Won't Be Seeing Next Summer

    by JacksParasites