Unraveling Matt S. Bells Vision Behind The Requin

The Requin: A New Horror/Thriller to Sink Your Teeth Into

If you’re a fan of survival shark films like “Deep Blue Sea,” “The Shallows,” and “47 Meters Down,” get ready for a new heart-pounding experience with Saban Films’ latest release, “The Requin.” Starring Alicia Silverstone and James Tupper, this horror/thriller promises to take you on a wild ride.

Terror Unleashed in Paradise

The story follows Jaelyn (Silverstone) and Kyle (Tupper) as they embark on a romantic getaway at a remote seaside villa in Vietnam. However, their idyllic vacation turns into a nightmare when a fierce storm hits, reducing their villa to little more than a raft and sweeping the couple out to sea.

As if that wasn’t terrifying enough, they soon discover they are not alone. A school of great white sharks surrounds them, ready to strike. With her husband injured and unable to help, Jaelyn must summon her courage and face these deadly predators alone, making “The Requin” a gripping thriller full of relentless fear.

Setting the Film Apart: Cinematographer’s Perspective

When it comes to shark movies, there’s a lot of competition. So how does a cinematographer go the extra mile to make a film stand out? According to Matt S. Bell, the cinematographer for “The Requin,” seamless transitions and maintaining tension are crucial.

Creating Seamless Transitions

Bell emphasizes the importance of avoiding breaks in tension and keeping the film’s flow continuous. Even when the story takes place over a few days, he strives to maintain a sense of unbroken suspense. This seamless approach heightens the audience’s engagement and ensures an immersive viewing experience.

An Editorial Perspective

Regardless of the genre, Bell believes that a film should feel like one continuous thought or feeling. He cites films like “Birdman” and “Gravity” as excellent examples of this. Drawing from his editorial knowledge, Bell collaborates with directors to choose the right tools and techniques for the job. By understanding the available resources, he can suggest visual approaches that enhance the story.

  • Choosing the Right Tools: Recommending the use of specific equipment, such as Hydroflex, can transition seamlessly between underwater and above-water shots.
  • Adapting to Budget Constraints: In cases where resources are limited, Bell demonstrates flexibility and creativity to achieve the desired visual impact on screen while staying within budget.

Funny Stories Behind the Scenes

Working on a film like “The Requin” surely had its share of interesting moments. Bell shares a humorous anecdote involving an unexpected challenge with an animatronic shark and a collaboration with Full Sail filmmaking school.

A Pact with a Shark

During the production, there was an agreement to work with Full Sail filmmaking school and display the animatronic shark they were using in the film. As shooting progressed, Bell and the crew realized that the shark, made primarily of foam, didn’t behave as anticipated. To salvage the situation, they had to improvise and eventually ended up performing surgery on the shark prop by cutting off its fins.

The experience was bittersweet since a considerable effort had gone into creating the realistic animatronic shark, but it had to be altered to suit the film’s needs. Bell reflects on the commitment made to Full Sail and the disappointment of not being able to present the shark as initially planned.

Working with Le-Van Kiet: A Fantastic Director

Le-Van Kiet, the director of “The Requin,” provided Bell with a positive working experience. As a cinematographer, collaborating with a new director allowed him to explore fresh perspectives and techniques.

An Easy Collaboration

Kiet proved to be an exceptional director who trusted and supported the creative vision of his collaborators. He allowed them to fully dive into their respective roles, ensuring everyone’s talents shined. Kiet’s enthusiasm for the project and appreciation for the work being done enabled the entire team to concentrate on storytelling and actor performances.

Despite having a strong vision, Kiet maintained an open and expansive approach, avoiding micromanagement and nurturing a productive working environment. This freedom allowed the team to deliver their best work while enjoying the process.

The Look of “The Requin”: Frenetic, Gritty, and Exciting

When asked to describe the visual style of “The Requin,” Bell uses a few carefully chosen words to capture the essence of the film.

Visual Adjectives

According to Bell, the film can be summarized as frenetic, gritty, action-packed, and thrilling. These adjectives reflect “The Requin’s” ability to deliver intense suspense and excitement, creating an unforgettable monster movie experience.

Alicia Silverstone: From Clueless to Grittier Horrors

Alicia Silverstone, known for her iconic roles in “Clueless” and “Batman & Robin,” takes on a grittier challenge in “The Requin.” Bell fondly recalls working with Silverstone and highlights her dedication to the craft.

A Versatile and Collaborative Actress

Silverstone brought her talent and versatility to the role, being open to exploring different scenarios and aligning her performance with the camera work. Shooting on water is notoriously challenging, but Silverstone’s willingness to work within the constraints of the environment allowed the team to deliver their best.

Bell also mentions the enjoyable moments bonding with Silverstone behind the scenes. Her love for dogs led to her taking on the role of walker for Bell’s canine companion, Whiskey, during breaks from filming. This unexpected connection fostered an enjoyable dynamic and allowed for conversations about the art of making movies.

Favorite Online Response: Appreciation for Creative Efforts

A cinematographer’s work often receives feedback from audiences and fellow filmmakers. For Bell, the response that stands out is the appreciation for his lighting diagrams and the imagery captured in “The Requin.”

Outside the Comfort Zone

Given that monster movies aren’t Bell’s usual genre, the positive reception towards the visuals was incredibly rewarding. It reinforced the value of bringing one’s creative efforts to unexpected projects and breaking free from self-imposed limitations. The audience’s enthusiasm for the unique imagery showcased Bell’s ability to adapt and excel in different cinematic realms.

The onset photos shared by the cast and crew after the film’s release also brought back fond memories and reminded everyone of the shared experiences during the production.

Upcoming Projects and Future Aspirations

Bell is excited about his current and future endeavors in the world of filmmaking. While reflecting on his recent work, he also shares details about upcoming projects.

New Releases and Future Vision

Bell mentions two recent projects: “Phony,” a film shot entirely on smartphones and recently released on Amazon, and “Half Lives,” an upcoming visually dazzling film that predominantly takes place in an underground bunker.

Looking ahead, Bell expresses his aspiration to try his hand at directing. He reveals that he has some smaller projects in the pipeline, which he plans to explore to further expand his creative horizons.


“The Requin” offers audiences an intense and gripping cinematic experience, enhanced by the collaborative efforts of the cast and crew. From the challenging shooting conditions to the unexpected hurdles encountered behind the scenes, the dedication and creativity poured into the film are evident.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How does “The Requin” differentiate itself from other shark movies?

“The Requin” distinguishes itself by maintaining continuous tension, employing seamless transitions, and creating a sense of one uninterrupted thought or feeling throughout the film. This approach ensures an immersive experience for the audience.