Graveyard Shift Behind-The-Scenes Stories From The Making Of 'Bird Box'  

Jacob Shelton
January 15, 2019 1.4k votes 474 voters 33.2k views 13 items

List Rules Vote up the most interesting stories from the movie's production.

The Netflix movie Bird Box has captured the imagination of audiences and given everyone more reasons to love Sandra Bullock. A book adaptation, this dystopian film depicts a global population in chaos. People are being driven to take their own lives after mysterious creatures show them a visualization of their worst fears. It’s an incredibly dark film that has led to plenty of interesting theories. Judging from behind-the-scenes stories about Bird Box, capturing the concept on screen was almost as difficult as scavenging for supplies while wearing a blindfold. 

Both Bullock and Bird Box director Susanne Bier have spoken at length about the film's production, and how hard it was to emote while simultaneously wearing a blindfold and rafting down a river with two 5-year-olds. Screenwriter Eric Heisserer also contributed to the conversation with his opinion of the creatures and conveying potential physical characterizations of them from the book’s author, Josh Malerman.

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The Cast Received Acting Lessons From A Blind Instructor

The Cast Received Acting Lesso... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Behind-The-Scenes Stories From The Making Of 'Bird Box'
Photo: Saeed Adyani/Courtesy of Netflix

To convey a sense of competency in navigating the world around them blindfolded, the actors did prep work with a blind instructor. "We had a blind man come in and provide some insight [on] how to maneuver around," actor Trevante Rhodes told Syfy. "Once you get comfortable, it was functional. I don't want to say easy, but it was functional."

Rhodes (who plays Tom, Malorie's romantic interest in the film) said he needed almost three weeks to get to the point where he could maneuver around without bumping into everything.

Bullock told People she asked the instructor what he wanted to be represented on the screen about people in the blind community:

He said, "I’d like for us to finally see our abilities rather than our [disabilities]." It’s mind-blowing what abilities they have even though they don’t have their sight.

[We] were able to take away a few lessons like if we were blindfolded, we could walk in this room, we could tell you where the people were, where the walls were if there was an object there. Your body senses things that we just don’t use because we have our sight.

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Sandra Bullock Worked Closely With The Film's Child Actors To Make Traumatic Scenes More Comfortable

Sandra Bullock Worked Closely ... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Behind-The-Scenes Stories From The Making Of 'Bird Box'
Photo: Saeed Adyani/Courtesy of Netflix

The children in the film, Boy (Julian Edwards) and Girl (Vivien Lyra Blair), endure several traumatic experiences. Malorie routinely yells at them, they wind up in a raging river, and they have to escape through a scary forest while an unknown entity is chasing them. 

To ease the tension, Bullock said she worked with the 5-year-old actors before each take, so they knew exactly what to anticipate: "If I had to grab them roughly and drag them around, we always practiced, and they let me know what was comfortable, what wasn't."

Bullock said Julian and Vivien are very talented. She pointed out that Vivien, in particular, got very anxious while filming because she "feels things so deeply. Just the anticipation of something would make her very afraid, and that's what makes her such a great actor."

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The Actors Struggled To Show Emotion While Blindfolded

The Actors Struggled To Show E... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Behind-The-Scenes Stories From The Making Of 'Bird Box'
Photo: Saeed Adyani/Courtesy of Netflix

The Bird Box actors were blindfolded for much of the film, so you would think they had guides, disguised eye holes or transparent fabric to help with navigation. No such luck for these pros. 

According to Reuters, Bullock didn't want help moving around: "It helped give a really jagged feeling to those scenes rather than if I had holes cut in my blindfold and I could see, and I was pretending to stumble and be blind."

Bullock told Deadline she dealt with a few falls and had an unfortunate encounter with a camera. But she said the hardest part of being blindfolded was not bumping into things, but rather showing emotion: "What's the easiest way as an actor to show how you're feeling on camera? It's your eyes. And you realize when that's taken away you don't know how to act."

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Sandra Bullock Learned To Row On Camera

Sandra Bullock Learned To Row ... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Behind-The-Scenes Stories From The Making Of 'Bird Box'
Photo: Courtesy of Netflix

A major plot point of the film involves main character Malorie (Bullock) rowing down a river with her two children. As the film progresses, Malorie's rowing markedly improves because the scenes were shot in sequence. 

Bullock explained her process in a video interview: "When it came to the boat and the rowing, I didn't [train] because [Malorie] wouldn't have the training. With the current and the two children and no eyesight, it's not easy."

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