Ski Weekend Filmmakers Update on Dream Makers, Scoring and More

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I listened to audiobooks nonstop. Getting ready in the morning, going for a run, driving to work? Audiobook time. However, during the COVID lockdown, I lost that habit. I lived with my family, had a very different daily routine, and had just lost the urge to push the game. Even after moving into my apartment and tapping into my old daily life, I still had a hard time listen to me again. However, that changed as soon as someone recommended ski weekend.

Written by Liani Kotcher write like Rektok Ross, ski weekend is a young adult thriller about what happens when a group of teenagers head to the mountains for a senior ski weekend. On their way, their car crashes into a snowdrift, leaving them stranded with no cell service and dwindling resources. Are they braving the cold and snow to find help? Are they waiting in the hope that someone will find them? Although the incident may seem like a brief ski trip delay initially, the group soon realize that every decision they make is a matter of life and death.

COLLIDER VIDEO OF THE DAY

In San Diego for Comic-Con 2022, Kotcher and producer Miles Koules swung by interview studio Collider to offer an update on the adaptation process. News of their collaboration first broke in April 2022 with Deadline revealing that Miles Koules would team up with his longtime dad. Seen producer Oren Koules, to bring Kotcher’s book to the screen. Much like his father did, Miles Koules is making the transition from professional hockey player to film producer, and Kotcher suspects there’s something about that evolution that makes him both a great support system and ideal collaborators:

“I think there’s something really unique about Miles and Oren, both coming from the world of professional athletes and now producers. I’ve noticed it working together, they really care about – it’s weird calling me talent, but they really care that this person has a say in the story and their involvement and I think that’s is really rare. I have a lot of friends and colleagues who are also writers, young adult authors, adult thriller writers, and it’s like they’re selling the project and then it’s been without intervention. They never hear about it again. I ask them what is going on; ‘I have no idea. Once I sold it, I never heard from them again. Maybe it’s not happening. No matter.’ It’s like they have no skin in the game afterwards, and I feel like it’s been such an amazing experience. I feel like I’m in such good hands. And I don’t know if it comes from being an athlete or from this experience, but they really care about the creator and my contribution.

Not only did Kotcher learn from friends who went through the process of adapting the book to the film, but she also learned a lot while working as a journalist specializing in young adult entertainment. Here’s what she said when asked how working on this side of the business has influenced her own work:

“I would say more of an etiquette thing, and I think it’s also being a lawyer too, it’s, I strongly believe, being nice to people. Be nice. I dealt with a lot of people. Some were very nice, some not so nice, and I just feel like there’s so much to say to just be respectful, nice. Everybody does their job and nobody’s better than anybody, nobody’s bigger than anybody, and so I think I always will, and we talked about that too, I still hope to come with a very attitude kind and humble to everything i do. And I really think that’s important. I think acknowledging that other people are doing their job, doing their best, and I think for me that’s just professionalism and etiquette.

These qualities being a top priority and given how engrossing the book is, the ski weekend The cast and crew could be a very exciting team to join as Kotcher and Koules move forward with the project. The next step in this process? Find a director. Here is what Koules had to say about the research:

“It’s our next step, and it’s something we’ve started talking about. I think that’s one of the most difficult things, but also, the most satisfying when it’s done well, is to make a film contained. And I think obviously, looking back, we’d love to have somebody who’s done a confined movie and done it well. So for me, my vision is obviously to start there and then branch out from there.

Kotcher highlighted a few additional qualities she’d like to see in a director, and the event identified a few names that might be a perfect fit for the role:

“I would love to have someone on board who really appreciates late 80s and 90s horror thrillers. Someone like Leigh Janiak who just did the Fear Street trilogy. I think she’s amazing. I love it. I know they just do TV, but The Duffer Brothers. Someone like that that you can tell has the heart and the passion because I feel like it’s not not horror, but a lot of that love that went into those late 90s movies, that’s kind of what I envision there are a lot of easter eggs, there’s the fun, having fun together while they drive in. I want someone who can film that and can have that feeling on screen.

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When it comes to rounding out the ensemble, Kotcher sees great potential in every role, whether it’s its main character, Sam, or the others involved. She explained:

“It took me about 10 years to write the book, so every character is deeply worked on. They all have a really interesting story, their own points of view, their own experience. I really think, and we talked about it, that each character would be a really good meaty role for someone.

Koules went into more detail while discussing their goals for the casting process:

“It’s so exciting because there are so many young adults, and I mean young adults but also actors in their twenties right now more than ever in Hollywood. We went through the list of people we would like and that’s great because you’ve got a melting pot of six people in a car and I just think that’s really – obviously with any survival story it all depends on what happens and who lives and who dies, but the heart of what makes this story such a great story is their inter-dynamics in the car. So I think definitely one or two big names then, you never know. Maybe we could also bring out a emerging star of this thing.

A question that often comes up with an adaptation of a young adult novel that involves danger and death, what about the rating? Given the likely target audience, PG-13 seems like that should be the goal, but given that ski weekend features quite a few intense scenes, they could run the risk of tipping into R-rated territory. Although Koules is well aware of this possibility, he stressed that the plan is to make ski weekend a PG-13 film; “PG-13 is, of course, the goal, but with the dead always comes that R push, but I think we’re going to do our best to make it PG-13.”

Hurry to know more ski weekend of Kotcher and Koules? Be sure to check out our full conversation, which also includes a brief preview of Kotcher’s upcoming book, in the video interview at the top of this article!


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