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Equilibrium Commentary
Kurt Wimmer

10. A Big Mistake

Transcription by  ChronosX

Was it manipulative of me to use the puppy? Well at the end of the day I think that anytime, that every decision a film maker makes is ultimately manipulative because he's trying to get the audience to feel something, otherwise what's the point? He doesn't have any sort of sense of what he's about. So of you end up feeling as designed what he intends for you to feel, then I suppose you've been manipulated. In truth, when I set out to write this film, I wasn’t trying to be calculating at all. I needed to show that he was beginning to feel. I didn't want him to go from zero to infinity in one instance and suddenly embrace his family. So you know, in honesty, what better creature to use than a puppy? I could've used a parakeet, it's true, but I think it would've been silly at the end of the day.

Having said that; truth of the matter is that a puppy as it has many times before, just works. Let's watch.

The elite sweeper here is a fellow named Dan Clark, who you may recognize as Nitro, from American Gladiators. He was very nice, nice enough to come over to Germany and help us out on this. He's a talented actor and a screenwriter as well. Very nice guy; let's watch.

Amazing. That guy was wearing a mask in the middle of the night that had black glass on it, thick leather gloves and he was able to catch those keys with one hand every time. It was amazing. I don't think any professional baseball player could do that.

So this gun fight coming up is worth commenting on in that I actually had an idea that actually worked for once and that was that we would put strobes into the ends of Christian's guns and attach them by wires to all of the squibs in these costumes of the sweepers. In that way every time you pointed a gun and fired at one of these sweepers they would be illuminated by the light and the strobes would go off in perfect concert with his movements. It ended up giving a tremendous visceral nature to the gun fight that you don't usually see because the squibs are often slightly off and you sense it. And I think it's actually the first time it's ever been done, and it worked great.

Now this was manipulative, because I did actually go and cut this back in and I had originally not included it, but the audience always seems to enjoy it.

Dailies were structured in such a way that I think we were three days behind. So it wasn't until three days into shooting that I actually got to see the first days dailies which these were. These were the first dailies here. I was watching them and I remember there were tears in my eyes because I thought they were beautiful, the balance between the black leather and the liquid mercury of the mirror.  I thought it was just absolutely gorgeous. And as I was sitting there watching it, it hit me for the first time, I am making a real movie at last after fifteen years.

My co-producer, Sue Baden-Powell, did an incredible job in stretching our $20 million dollar budget into making it look like, what I think, is signifigantly more. And Jan was the perfect producer; he was there when I needed him and a ghost when I didn't.

This was a municipal building in Berlin. It was perfect for me, except for the floor, we had to cover it with black mats which was a big deal on our budget, and even worse these black mats they had to be moped, they picked up footprints like you wouldn't believe. The same for the black floor in DuPont's office, and it had to be moped between every set-up of every scene, and every shot I should say and it was an incredible time-eater, so keep that in mind first-time directors: Black floor, reflective black floors, they look great, but man, they can kill you. Christian fights underhanded here, he always fights underhanded, that of course is a style of Zatoichi. The blind swordsman.

The old nut sac tap. That's always good for a laugh.