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A dramatic thriller about the disrupted life of one family, set in a contemporary South untouched by time. The lives of two young brothers (Devon Alan and Jamie Bell) in rural Georgia are torn apart by the arrival of their greedy, violent uncle (Josh Lucas). After their father (Dermot Mulroney) is murderded by their uncle, the brothers run away from home with their uncle in pursuit. Co-starring Kristen Stewart. Directed and co-written by David Gordon Green (All the Real Girls, George Washington).


Months of physical preparation go into the pre-production process. I have worked with pretty much the same crew on three movies now: George Washington, All the Real Girls and Undertow. What's great about the collaborative process for me is working with folks I trust both creatively and technically. It's also cool that everybody hangs out after the long day shoot as friends and gets drunk as hell. In the time we've spent together, most of us have developed a short hand in our approach. Often Rick Wright, my Production Designer, knows what I'm going to say before I say it, or Scott "Cocoa" Clackum, my location manager, tells me where I need to shoot before anything's even written. On Undertow, I made a list of things for the various departments to get a sense of what we were gonna get into. It's like a gross poem:

Overall concept: Think as if pirates still existed today. No plaid or denim unless for some reason it is amazing. This is a world where public playgrounds still loom with dangerous metal equipment. Timelessness—folks might even still watch B&W television. Ethnic and foreign influence is fantastic. No billboards, brand names or contemporary media of any sort.

B r a i n   F a r t s   f o r
A r t    D e p t / L o c a t i o n s / W a r d r o b e / M a k e - u p / H a i r

Leather suspenders
Hair slicked back. Wild in the back...up from a nap
Light blue shirt with puffy shoulders/frilly sleeves
Wool military pants with stripe down the leg
Long skinny cigarettes (Misty Lights)
A large mustard-colored sponge sits on a silver tray of water
Wooden crutch with rag cushion
Toe nails painted and chipped red polish
Big beards
Old medicine bottles and tubes
No primary colors
Bamboo fishing poles
Kids. Naked. Poor/filthy/Kool-Aid mouths/Cheetos dust on their fingers
A couple of prehistoric computers, but mostly typewriters
One nostril bigger than the other
Bloody gauze bandage & safety pins
Dried toilet paper spit balls on the walls
Dead Xmas trees
Puke looking sofa with empty wine bottles on it
Awesome knives
Burnt wallets with a horse or somebody's name on it
Man in boots and shorts–boots duct-taped to legs
Stickers that have been peeled off on windows
Brown/dark red stained windows/smears of Vaseline/tar on the sides
Hay smashed down in the mud over large sheets of clear plastic
Big Biblical loaves of burnt bread
Cloth tied around glass jars with gross shit growing in them
Think layers/generations
Broken fine china
Meat left out everywhere. Meat fat from butcher shops
Barrel smoking in the yard/atmosphere
Mostly black church/Some Hell's Angels
Fur in traps in the yard
Silver hoop earrings for boys
Broken basketball goal–home made/particle board
Tones of brown/black/white/dark green/mustard yellow
Large old veterinarian equipment
Feminine touches lost under layers
Old thick swingin' rope
Bricks weigh down aluminum roofing
Rubber bed sheets
Canvas tarps/white with mildew
Bundles of feathers
Rag bed rolls
Old Railroad and Gun magazines
Glued crap on bad paintings
Possums in cages
Leg warmers
Barbed wire/Plow blades
Books. Boys adventure series
A cow's brain sits on a shelf
Someone wears a bikini
Foam acoustic tiles on walls
Birthday cake should look like the mud in the yard
Straight razors
Potato experiment growing in one jar of water–toothpicks
Dead flies
Old upholstery seen through holes of the new
Rusted out piece of junk car...Like acid ate away all the paint, or severely burnt Large wall painting/wall paper scenery bleached by the sun
Pen, ink drawings on skin
Metal flashlights
Shoe string light bulb switches/hanging lights
Distorted glass whenever possible
Plant bottoms wrapped in foil
Reebok thick white high-tops with fat tongues
Chewed up pencils everywhere
Sandbags building walls in the yard/like battlefield
Cute '80s stickers on hard core machinery
Reel to reel tape recorder
Boys wear old lady sunglasses
A small cartoony statue of a bunny
Dryer lint on window sills
Beef stew in tin cup/old metal thermos
Photos of 1950s strong men
Leather shoes w/o socks
Wearing jackets w/o shirts
Fur coats on men
Old-timey maps
Fruit in nets
Meat cleavers
Aviator goggles
Women in sandals/jellies/fanny packs/huge gross purses
Place mats of child birth photos
Children's clay sculptures
Christmas lights
Plastic kiddie pool with gross water
Flowery cloth feminine garden gloves with the fingers cut out
Guts of '60s electronics in the yard
Petrified chewing gum stuck to things
Aquariums with fluorescent lights & dirty water–half full/algae stains
Liquid paper drawing on shoes
Antlers, taxidermy animals
Bags of human hair
Broken down cars/bus/trucks
Weird Christian stuff
Hairy armpits on dark skin w/ white deodorant dust
Meat cleavers
Horse and buggy driver-suit and motorcycle helmet
An anchor
Watch old "Dragnet" episodes/Serpico/"Dukes of Hazzard"/Pixote/Los Olvidados
Hairy arm-pits for girls
Leather boots with the top part cut off and caulk filling in the space