Finn Wolfhard struggled to find financing for his directorial debut Hell of a Summer, which he co-directed and co-wrote with Billy Bryk.
The ‘Stranger Things’ star recounted Entertainment Weekly who at the age of 20 was met with skepticism from financiers about his ability to direct a film.
“That’s what everyone said when we were trying to get the money for this movie,” said Wolfhard. “They tell me, ‘You’re a bit young to be directing a film.’ I’m like, ‘Yeah.’”
He added, “Oh my God, they gave money to two kids to make a crazy (film).” Not to minimize it, I’m incredibly proud of it, but it was crazy.
The child star continued, “We would like the film to speak for itself. I don’t think age defines cinema in any way. I think everyone has stories to tell, and if you get the chance to do it, then do it.”
Wolfhard admitted that he and Bryk have “enough self-awareness” to accept there would be snags steering their first film.
“We are very young, we will make a lot of trouble and we will make mistakes. We ride the wave and communicate with everyone as much as possible and make everyone feel part of the team,” said Wolfhard. “He was really educational. I learned more about that set about myself and about other people and how to manage a set and work with different personalities. I learned more in those three weeks than in my entire life.
“Hell of a Summer” centers on an elderly summer camp counselor who becomes the prime suspect in a string of deaths. Wolfhard noted that growing up in the spotlight led him to feel empowered to get behind the camera. Wolfhard and Bryk co-star with Fred Hechinger (“The White Lotus”), D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai (“Reservation Dogs”), Abby Quinn (“Mad About You”) and Pardis Saremi (“Career Opportunities in Homicide and Chaos.”) The film completed post-production earlier this year, but is still seeking a U.S. release.
“Since I was maybe 10 or 11, I’ve watched a lot of movies, I’ve looked behind the scenes of movies, I’d stay after work on set to watch all the directors and learn from them and how sets work,” he said. ‘When you finish saving the world’ actor.” So I felt a little in my element at some points. At one point, I felt completely terrified and like I was shaking, but we had a great cast and crew It was amazing. That was everything, right? It was a little movie in the middle of nowhere in Canada, and it was incredible and exhilarating. It was one of the best experiences of my life.”