Hey Reddit! I'm the director and writer behind the UNCHARTED film starring Nathan Fillion, Stephen Lang, Geno Segers, Ernie Reyes Jr and Mircea Monroe. I also directed the Netflix movie GRIDLOCKED. Been getting a lot of requests so here we are!

Watch the film here



PROOF: https://twitter.com/Allan_Ungar/status/1021814605796933632

EDIT: Thanks so much guys! Appreciate the questions and thanks for enjoying the film. We had a blast making it.

Comments: 148 • Responses: 59  • Date: 

cbrian1358 karma

What is it like to work with Nathan Fillion?

Apungar17 karma

Nathan is a great collaborator. He's very focused and very dedicated. To me, he's what every director looks for in an actor.

bloody_lumps41 karma

How many takes did the third person shooter style scene take? I imagine it could've been difficult to get a steady, constant, behind the back shot?

Apungar16 karma

We did 11 takes and ended up using the 7th. We spent a few days rehearsing and choreographing it, but when you throw in effects and blank gunfire it can get really complicated. For instance, Nathan's gun jammed on the first 5 takes and I didn't want to do CGI. Then there would be little hiccups with camera focus. It came down to the 7th take (which we used) and take 11 (which differed only with the way the stuntmen fell).

DETECTIVEGenius39 karma

What did you hope to achieve from directing the UNCHARTED film?

Apungar16 karma

More than anything, I just wanted to create a love letter to the franchise and character. I was doing a film in the fall that got pushed and it left me with a window in my schedule. Rather than jumping onto another random project, I wanted to dedicate my time to something that I could really get behind and feel passionate about.

willbo201328 karma

Have you been contacted by Sony or Naughty Dog since the release of your film?

Apungar16 karma

Need to be careful with how I answer this one.

What I will say is that Naughty Dog's various members - both past and present - have been vocal on their appreciation for the piece. A colleague is friends with Amy Hennig (who wrote and directed the first batch in the series) and she was pretty thrilled. It was really nice to see all of them happy.

spiritualgorila23 karma

What's the process for securing funding for a high quality fan film such as this that can't legally make any money (as far as I'm aware, which isn't very far)? Were most people in the cast and behind the camera doing this pro bono, as a just-for-fun side project?

Apungar13 karma

It's a good question. In this situation, it was something I decided to fund myself. I've been working in the business for a few years and this seemed like something that was worth investing in personally. The crew all worked for scale and the actors were mostly pro bono because of the relationships.

rjsmommy1019 karma

no question, just wanted to say I watched it yesterday and thought it was great!

wait... you going to make more?

Apungar17 karma

Thanks! Appreciate that.

Currently no plans to make more.... but we never say never.

Toastrz18 karma

So... how do you pronounce your name?

Apungar13 karma

Ungar as in Hunger.

Nathan seems to get that a lot, too. He always likes to say Fillion as in Million.

coryrenton14 karma

How do rewrites work differently when you are both writer and director (vs being only writer)?

Apungar9 karma

Just making sure we're talking about the same thing when you say "rewrite."

The only difference is that if you're rewriting as the writer, you need to work with another director and your job can sometimes be done once you hand in the draft. As the director, you're essentially crafting it for yourself.

nohitter2113 karma

Have you played all of the games in the franchise, and if so do you have a favorite?

Apungar18 karma

I've played all except Golden Abyss (but I watched it as one big cutscene on Youtube.)
The first one was certainly influential and the second one raised the bar for video games as a whole, but the fourth is my favorite. Besides the technological feats, the story was incredibly gripping and the set pieces were fantastic. Really loved the relationship between Nathan and Sam as well as Nathan's struggle to balance married life and his longing for adventure.

andantex12 karma

Did Fillion/Lang came right on into your mind when you thought of a Nathan/Sully casting? Who else did you think could play the roles?

Apungar13 karma

Fillion was the one I believed best embodied Drake. I felt that way since I played the first one. That's not to say there aren't other actors out there that could do it. I certainly think Chris Pratt would pull it off in another iteration.

Lang didn't come to mind immediately, but he was someone I thought about when I was writing it. I have no doubt as I scroll down this page I'll be seeing something about Bruce Campbell as well.

britishfury12 karma

Is Fillion as fun to just hang out with as I would think?

Apungar10 karma

He certainly is! Stand up guy.

TastelessCookie11 karma

  1. If an Uncharted movie did come into fruition and you were at the helm, how much would a bigger budget help with your dream?

  2. To add to that question, do you think you would add in the grappling hook in the movie?

  3. What would you rank the Uncharted games?

Apungar13 karma

  1. People tend to get carried away with what a bigger budget can do. An argument is made that when you have a bigger budget, nothing really changes other than time and cast accessibility. I think ultimately in this case, a bigger budget would help execute the scope and scale of UNCHARTED and really make it an international story. Set pieces would obviously be easier to achieve as well. It would also allow all the right tools and the proper amount of time to bring it to life.
  2. Ha! I would 100% add in the grappling hook. There's too many stunt equations to not.
  3. 4, 2, 3, 1

DragonDDark11 karma

Do you think that an adaption to another format should heavily follow the original story line, or it should be its own thing?

Apungar15 karma

This is a tough one. Personally, I think with this game specifically Naughty Dog did such an incredible job bringing those stories and characters to life that it would be a disservice to try and replicate that. That's why we went with a new adventure and treasure.

That being said, with other adaptations I think there is plenty of merit in following the original story, whether it be a book or video game.

Omniscient_Meme11 karma

What are some things you hope to see in the upcoming Tom Holland Uncharted movie?

Apungar12 karma

I just want to see something that can figure out the proper balance in pleasing a mass audience and fans as well. I also really want to see heart. These adaptations never have any heart infused in them and I think that's a big thing that's missing these days. Shawn Levy obviously seems like a fan so I remain confident

Crasty10 karma

Are you worried about using a Sony property to make a movie that Sony is already in the process of making? It seems like they wouldn't be happy about it.

Apungar10 karma

We went ahead and made a short film that was only ever intended to be a digitally released tribute. We aren't trying to make a movie. Ultimately I feel like this was good for them as people are talking about the franchise again and making it current.

Obviously there was an inherent risk in making this film, but we believed in it and our intentions were clear from the outset.

GZBlaze9 karma

How did you get Nathan Fillion to agree to play the part?

Apungar10 karma

Our mutual friend, Alex, was someone I helped get a Producer credit for a couple years back when we were both starting out our careers. He introduced Nathan and I to one another and we had dinner. At dinner, I pitched my take on the material and the character, and essentially laid out what I wanted to do and why. He really took a liking to it and we agreed to do it.

DigitalFeces8 karma

I've got two, if you don't mind.

  • Who is your favorite Uncharted character and why?

  • Conversely, who is your least favorite Uncharted character and why?

Thanks for doing this! As uncertain as I am about how the official film will turn out, I really appreciate you and everyone else's hard work on this fan film!

Apungar7 karma

- Drake is my favorite character as he represents everything we love about heroes. In addition to that, he's flawed and relatable. I love his complex layers. He's not just Indiana Jones or other seminal treasure hunters. He feels like a real human being who sometimes makes shitty decisions. Yet, despite all that we constantly root for him.

- Hmm. Tough one. I wouldn't say I have a least favorite that comes to mind. If I had to choose, though, I'd probably say Lazarevic from the 2nd game. As a villain, he just didn't do much for me.

Thank you!

LopoGames8 karma

Has Naughty Dog reached out to you apart from congratulating on the movie? (future cooperation etc.)

Apungar10 karma

Not yet. I'd certainly be open to it though! I love what they do.

liam_thereal_lb8 karma

What is your favorite uncharted game? Why?

Apungar9 karma

Answered above, but 4.

beautifultomorrows8 karma

Exciting! When is the next one coming out and how can we contribute?

Apungar9 karma

Sadly there is no next one and even if there was, I don't think anyone would be able to contribute. Sony is the copyright holder and they wouldn't be too happy if we collected money for it! But appreciate the fact that you want to help.

MizuhoKanzaki8 karma

With Deadpool, Ryan Reynolds did a proof of concept in the form of a small fan film, is this fan film your proof of concept to show Sony that a faithful adaptation is possible with the actor(Fillion) that most of the fanbase is clamouring for?

Apungar7 karma

It was always intended to function as a tribute rather than a proof of concept. I'd be lying if I said that the thought didn't cross my mind as we were embarking on this journey, but it was really about the tribute aspect. Now that the dust has settled, I do think the movie proves you can make a faithful adaptation that pleases fans and other audiences as well. I'm curious to see what happens.

Hubble-Gum8 karma

What was your biggest problem while filming?

Apungar9 karma

Time. It was an ambitious shoot and we only had so much flexibility. Beyond that though, it went a lot smoother than other films I've been involved in. The crew was a big factor in that; they were wonderful.

pluto_nash7 karma

So obviously you can't make a full-length version since there is already one in the works, but have you thought about creating some kind of Romancing the Stone type movie with Nathan and the same general feeling?

It seems like your team is well suited to that genre and Nathan can certainly sell that kind of character and Stephen Lang was great as well with the gritty old man character all of these types of movies have.

Apungar6 karma

Thanks for the compliment.

I'd love to do something like that with Nathan. I think this proved to the world that he can still kill it as an action/adventure star. Slang and I have always wanted to keep working with one another as well so I'd certainly be open to it. We're all just settling down from the adventure so nothing's been chatted about just yet.


What's your thoughts on Uncharted the lost legacy ?

Apungar9 karma

For what I thought would just be a DLC, I really enjoyed the hell out of it. Beautiful graphics, engaging story, and it was great to see Chloe again. Really enjoyed Nadine as they explored more of her character. She's super complex and intriguing. It proved that the franchise CAN work without Drake - even if we all miss the hell out of him (which I certainly did)

CrouchingTortoise7 karma

Hi Allan!

Out of all the games, which is your favorite?

Loved the film and I’ve been an Uncharted fan since I was a kid! It’s actually part of the reason I began working towards a career in Archaeology. Thanks for making my dream of Nathan Fillion playing Drake a reality. You couldn’t wipe the smile off my face while I watched!

Apungar8 karma

Thanks so much for that! Really nice to hear.

See my answers above.

Mohamad9797 karma

Have you got any calls from sony or any other exc to make a full length uncharted film?

Apungar7 karma

Can't really answer this one!

thehomelessbagel6 karma

Do you have high hopes for this film to become a full length in the future?

Apungar7 karma

Sony is already making a film, so that's tough to say. If this turns into something more that would be icing on the cake. Not something we were trying to do or expecting, so it's all gravy from here.

KAM76 karma

How did all the steps from idea to release go for you?

Apungar7 karma

The actual idea hit me 2-3 years ago, but it only became a reality in January after meeting with Nathan. From there I had to take the treatment and actually make it.

We met end of January. I handed in the script mid February. We shot in May. Finished post the week before we released it online. It was a tight turnaround, especially since I'm used to a 2 year process.

g0ncalox5006 karma

Now that you've made this film are you interested in making one about The Last of Us in the same style? (If you haven't been contacted by Sony yet)

Apungar12 karma

Haha! I loved TLOU, but I don't want to make a habit of being the guy that just makes unauthorized adaptations.

xxxarkhamknightsxxx6 karma

With the masterful directing delivered by you and the phenomenal performance delivered by Nathan Fillion and the others, I’m assuming the crew has played the Uncharted series personally and is thoroughly familiar with it. Just how familiar with the series are you and the actors, and how much time have you folks spent playing it?

And on a different topic, throughout the film we’ve seen Fillion pull many classic Nathan Drake stunts that look like they were taken straight out of the video game franchise. Out of all these moments, which specific scene with Fillion would you say best impersonates and represents the Nathan Drake we all know and love? (in other words, what’s the most Drake-ish thing Fillion does in the film?)

Apungar6 karma

That's kind of you. Some of the crew had played it, but most of the crew didn't know what we were shooting until Nathan was in wardrobe. We had a fake title for the whole production and fake character names. My cinematographer, however, played all of them and was just as familiar with the franchise as I was. I still like to think I played it the most!

Hmm. I think his mannerisms are what feel the most Drake-ish as are his expository history lessons. Drake teaches you history like no other! It's easy to say his physical movements are very similar - and they are - but those aren't the kinds of things that I'd say stand out over anything else. We really wanted to emulate as much as possible without feeling too hokey.

emeliog945 karma

Has Sony reached out?

Apungar4 karma

See above.

VashWolf5 karma

Really enjoyed the movie. My question is for your next movie can I come chill on set and shadow you? Want to break in to the world of directing and see what it's like from your POV. Love from a fellow Canadian.

Apungar8 karma

Thanks so much! That's a question you'd have to ask my reps though. It would depend on where I'm shooting and what it is. I respect your gumption though. That's the only way you'll get anywhere.

jakej10975 karma

Did you play the Uncharted Series as it came out, or did you play them later? How long ago did the idea of making an Uncharted fan film first cross your mind?

Apungar7 karma

Played them in order the day they were all released.

I kind of touched on it above, but it was 2-3 years ago that this idea first entered my mind. I ended up going off and being involved in other projects and it never really entered my mind again until January of this year.

MaximumCameage4 karma

Wait, that’s fucking real?!?!

Apungar4 karma


Bobbyu1234 karma

If given the option would you direct an uncharted film/series?

Apungar6 karma

I think a lot of things would have to come together and the circumstances would need to be right. It's easy for me to just say "hell yeah" but there tend to be a lot of moving parts. I wouldn't be unhappy about being approached, though. Let's put it like that.

dialMARK4acti0n4 karma

Why did you choose to do an Uncharted film over something else?

Apungar3 karma

Uncharted is just something that spoke to me and it's always been on my mind ever since I first played it. It brought back a lot of memories I had as a kid watching Raiders.

Nequam_Asinus4 karma

Will Nathan Fillion be returning to the film world professionally, stay in the fan film world, or was this purely a one-off?

Apungar7 karma

You'd have to ask him that. I know that he just started shooting The Rookie for ABC, which likely will continue for a while.

ComicWriter20204 karma

What encouraged you to make this film? Which game was your favorite? What was your first? And last but most important, what is your favorite Nathan Drake line

Apungar7 karma

See responses above about the games. I played them in order.

As for what encouraged me -- I really just got tired of waiting and I really wanted to see Nate in this role. It was this vision I had since I was in film school and it was always one of my "impossible bucket list" items.

Hmm favorite line. That's so tough. I feel like you can't go wrong with the way he says "Aw, crap!". "Kitty Got Wet" has a special place in my heart as well because....well how much more unique does it get than that?

BoyMeetsWorldBoy4 karma

What was it like making the film? Was it hard, easy or sort of in the middle?

Apungar7 karma

It was a huge undertaking for me because I was wearing multiple hats. I was the one who had to sign all the paperwork, approve line items, budget etc. I've never done that before. I'm usually just the creative. As for the actual physical shooting, it was somewhere in the middle. Wasn't too difficult and not too easy. I'd say that's largely attributed to the fact that we prepped as much as possible and wanted to be ready for anything.

Hungry_Giraffe4 karma

In the fight scene. The camera angle was set up like it is in game, something many video-game inspired films often leave out. Why put something like this in?

Apungar4 karma

Are you referring to the shootout?

I honestly just thought it would be really neat and I had never seen it done before. Truth be told, I don't know that I would do something like that if this was an actual film or series. It really needs to be context driven and make sense so as to not take people out. Knowing that this was more of a fan film, it felt like it would be permissible. That being said, if I could find a way to make it sense in a larger format, I may consider it.

snailgod6664 karma

how did you balance the use of lines from the games and your original dialogue?

Apungar6 karma

There were really only a couple lines taken right from the game, otherwise it's all my dialogue.

You try to be careful with things like that so it doesn't feel like a complete ripoff. I wanted it to feel more like a tip of the hat. Beyond that, it was just about nailing the tone and the way these characters speak. Thankfully I was super familiar with them from having played all the games multiple times and then revisited everything during the writing process.

baronvonweezil4 karma

How is Nathan Fillion as a person? Also, how close is the movie based on the game?

Apungar4 karma

Nathan is what you'd expect. He's very kind, loyal, committed, and funny as hell.

Not sure I understand the second question? If you mean how close is this movie based on the game, I'd say it's as close as we could make it?

swagmonster554 karma

How did you direct your very first film? Was it difficult to achieve that position?

Apungar6 karma

I was relatively young (23) and I met a gentleman who was looking to modernize The Karate Kid. He wanted me to write it, but I told him I only wanted to do it if I could direct. I was really looking to break in.

It was certainly difficult, regardless of age. I had to prove a lot of things to a lot of people. Even once it was done, I still had plenty to prove and plenty to learn.

UnGoddamnCharted3 karma

I found it very interesting that your short-film seems to take place between 2 & 3(since Nate still has Sir Francis Drake's ring). If you would get the chance to create a full length Uncharted film, would that be your direction, telling a new story in the existing universe instead of doing a retelling of the games?

Apungar3 karma

That would depend entirely on who the actor is. I couldn't do post 3 that because I wanted the ring. Now, that being said, you can't really set up a franchise if you have it take place after 4. That's why they want Tom Holland. They want to start something rather than finish it.

I really do love the story that I set up with the Flor de la Mar and Albuquerque/Magellan. Would love to see that play out as I think it's very Uncharted-like. No point retelling something that's already been wonderfully done.

topdog_73 karma

What's your favourite uncharted game and when did you realise Nathan Fillion is Nathan Drake?

Apungar3 karma

See above.

It was as soon as I played the first one back in 2007.

EFCFrost3 karma

Are you going to try to negotiate with Sony and Naughty dog to see if they will give you the rights to make a full feature film for theatrical release? I'd throw all of my money at the movie theatre if that happened.

And please keep Nathan Fillion for the main role. Maybe get him to see a personal trainer to get a little more in shape and then kick some ass!

Apungar6 karma

I appreciate that!

No that is not currently my plan! Ruffling feathers doesn't tend to yield great results. But it would certainly be fun.

EFCFrost4 karma

I was just kinda hoping you’d pull a Deadpool.

That being said if they threw money at you and said “MAKE THIS MOVIE!” How fast would you jump on it?

Apungar4 karma

Haha. There's no saying that it doesn't have that effect, but Sony and Fox are quite different.

It really would have to be the right circumstances for me, though.

djphatjive3 karma

I heard this is kinda how Deadpool was finally made. Are you guys trying to pull a Deadpool by making a short to get the studios interested in making a full movie? If so awesome. Never played the game but even I can see Nathan Fillions resemblance.

Apungar4 karma

That wasn't our intention, no. But the internet is definitely drawing comparisons and I can see why! It's not lost on me.

fabrikated3 karma

Do you have Hungarian roots?

Apungar5 karma

I certainly do. My grandmother was born in Hungary.

the_pylons_u_asked_43 karma

Did you at least try to get Bruce Campbell to play Sully?

Apungar6 karma

Figured it was only a matter of time until someone asked this! We spoke about whether this was a direction we wanted to go. The thing people need to remember is that actors want a challenge. They want something they can sink their teeth into. Bruce essentially played the role of Sully for 7 years on BURN NOTICE. There wouldn't have been much incentive for him. We've already seen Bruce play this role.

Lang, on the other hand, is someone normally cast as a villain. This was the antithesis to what he normally plays and, to me, that's much more interesting.

RosieThisBoyILove3 karma

Have you played through the series? If yes, which one was your favorite?

Apungar2 karma

Yep. See answer above

ImmortalTortoise3 karma

Love the fan film! How did you get actors like Stephen Lang to get involved?

Apungar6 karma

Thanks so much!

Slang is a friend. We worked together a few years ago on my Netflix movie GRIDLOCKED. Everyone else was through a friend or colleague.

dearcrushed3 karma

Hey man, absolutely loved the film!

Here's my question: If budget restraints weren't a thing, which badass setpiece would you most like to recreate from any game in the Uncharted series, or which would you use as inspiration if you were to make your own?

Apungar5 karma

Thank you!

Ohhhh hmm. I love the chase sequence in 4 as well as the plane sequence in 3. But I really think I'd want to create something new that draws inspiration from sequences like that.

stary21c2 karma

Did you saw any reaction videos of your fan film uncharted especially youtubers like Dwayne And Jazz, Tyrone Magnus, Jeremy Jahns, reel rejects and others?

Apungar2 karma

Both Nathan and I were sent a few! They were awesome.

Real-Gucci2 karma

How did you get in touch with the actors and what took them to agree on making the short film?

Apungar3 karma

See above.

They agreed firstly because of the relationships, but mostly because of the passion that was going into it from everyone involved. I think it was refreshing for them.

MattDLR0 karma

Wait is this actually based on the uncharted games?

Apungar6 karma

I'm not much of a betting man, but I'm willing to bet the answer is yes.

bufalosoldier89-3 karma

What is your plan to not make another embarrassment of a video game movie?

Apungar5 karma

My plan is mostly past tense at this point. This movie was meant to show that you can absolutely make an adaptation that both fans and regular people like. I hope it helps the future of video game adaptations because I'd really like to see one I love...

JMJimmy-3 karma

How did you get that fat guy to run and jump? ;)

Apungar1 karma

Not sure if we are watching the same movie, but I certainly wouldn't call anyone in it "fat".

kaelteidiotie-4 karma

Xbox or PS?

Apungar7 karma

PS for life