Because of the commercial pressures Hollywood places on filmmakers these days, many directors adopt a sort of "one for them, one for me" career strategy that allows them to exercise their creativity while maintaining a degree of viability at the box office. Brad Silberling, despite an array of films that really do run the gamut from intimate character studies to effects-laden opuses, seems to have effectively synthesized the two more and more effectively with each subsequent effort. Starting with straightforward studio fare like Casper, he quickly graduated to meatier projects, including the semi-autobiographical Moonlight Mile, before tackling an adaptation of the first book in Daniel Handler's Lemony Snicket series.
But he seems to have truly captured both his own creative idiosyncrasies and the demands of a summer blockbuster with Land of the Lost, a sprawling, bizarre big-screen reimagining of the Sid and Marty Krofft TV series from the 1970s. The film stars Will Ferrell as a disgraced scientist trying to rebuild his reputation while dodging aliens, dinosaurs, and oversized crabs, and Silberling brilliantly brings the film's fantastic world to life. Cinematical recently spoke to the director via telephone from the film's Los Angeles press day, where he discussed the prospect of making a madcap, foul-mouthed summer movie, explained how (and why) he managed to include an extended homage to "A Chorus Line," and talked about the summer movie that inspired him to become a filmmaker.