Neal Dodson's 'A Most Violent Year' released on DVD April 7
"A Most Violent Year," a Golden Globe-nominated film co-produced by Central York High School graduate Neal Dodson, was released on DVD and Blue-ray April 7.
Read below for six behind-the-scenes facts about the production of "A Most Violent Year."
Only about 10 people made it to the 3:40 p.m. showing of "A Most Violent Year" in York Tuesday afternoon for a question and answer session with the movie's co-producer Neal Dodson.
But Dodson, a Central York High School graduate, said he almost preferred it that way because it gave him a chance to have a more intimate discussion with people from his hometown.
"Having a small group is really sweet because you get to look people in the eye and actually talk to them," Dodson said. "Hopefully people walk out of here with a feeling like they got more than just a movie."
"A Most Violent Year" is Dodson's first movie to play in the Regal Cinemas theater at the West Manchester Mall. The film, set in 1981, one of the most violent years in New York City's history, tells the story of an immigrant family trying to expand its business during this very tough time. On Jan. 30, the movie was released in 800 theaters across the country, the widest release of any movie Dodson has produced.
Though the movie is also playing in Harrisburg, Douglas Henderson, 28, of Harrisburg, drove to York just for the opportunity to meet Dodson.
"You don't get many opportunities to meet someone at this level of success," Henderson said. "He was a gold mine of information. Combine the film and the lecture, and if you don't get inspired by that, you're not going to get inspired."
During the half-hour Q and A, Dodson discussed everything from shooting the movie to casting to visual effects.
Here are six things you didn't know about "A Most Violent Year."
1. "A Most Violent Year" was filmed in all five boroughs of New York City during the polar vortex last year. Most movies are shot in warmer locations, where they have to create fake snow, Dodson said. But not "A Most Violent Year."
"This is all real snow and real cold breath and really, really cold actors and crew," he said.
2. "A Most Violent Year" came in under budget at $19 million. Dodson said this is because the crew packed up their equipment a lot faster than usual so they could get out of the freezing weather.
3. Dodson's wife, Ashley Williams, played the assistant D.A. in a few scenes.
"We joke that we know how she got the job, but she's actually a professional actress as well," Dodson said. "She earned it and also happened to know some people on the inside."
4. Jessica Chastain, who was nominated for a Golden Globe for her role in the movie, asked Dodson and director J.C. Chandor for the part. Chastain said she loved Dodson and Chandor's previous movie, "All is Lost," and wanted to work with them. They gave her the script for "A Most Violent Year," and a week later, she was on board.
5. Oscar Isaac, who plays the main character Abel Morales, is an immigrant in real life. His mother is from Guatemala, his father is from Cuba, and he grew up in Miami, Dodson said.
6. Since the movie is set in 1981, Dodson and the crew had to digitally remove a few buildings from the New York City landscape shots and digitally add the Twin Towers in some shots as well. But one of the biggest visual effects in the movie, he said, is the subway graffiti.
"New York City spent so much energy and money cleaning off graffiti that they will not allow you to put it back on, even for a movie," Dodson said.
So, all of the graffiti was digitally added with computers. They even contacted a famous graffiti artist from the early '80s to make sure the graffiti was accurate, he said.