13. Contacting The
This is Brian Connely. He's a very popular
comedian in England. He uh, I believe he had a talk show
over there. Yeah he did. He was kind enough to come over and
help us out for a day.
This set is interesting, uh, an interesting example of
Wolf's talent. I walked on and was ready to walk out. It was a parking
garage. An open air parking garage, but Wolf said no. He said
we'll just put up some flimsy walls here and there and bang. Based on
that ceiling right there, the strength of that low ceiling he saw it
as, what's, you know, a pretty good set I think, and that was his true
talent. He could walk into a space and see it's potential
like no one else, very impressive.
Brian did quite a good job, considering he's a comedian, at
playing this essentially dramatic role here.
You can see the scoring on the back of the plywood
there. I was so worried people would see
that. That's how we broke through the wall.
Rather interesting here, on the other end of this shot,
here. Essentially, there was a scene that I took out, that I
excised, and I, if we ever have a special edition of the DVD, I'll
definitely put in. You'll notice his gun disappears here,
and I was able to do it because I approach uh, coverage with a certain
amount of formalism. A certain thematic consistency, the way
I cover similar scenes, so that I was able to um, you know it was an
added bonus that I hadn't foreseen that I was able to cut two unrelated
scenes together relatively seamlessly.
This is um, the great William Fitchner. I was
also incredibly fortunate to get him. William is one of the few
American actors I've had the privilege of working with who actually
meets or exceeds the abilities of his English counterparts.
Not only that I have to say but he may be the best most spot
on post-syncher in the world. The man is a machine when it comes to
(Preston and Jurgen enter
For first time filmmakers out there, often you will um,
shoot a master essentially and you see the master coming up in this
next shot right here, that's it. Where a wide shot
indicates, and uh, it's framed, you frame that. But generally you're
tempted to move that master during the course of the scene so that you
have some variations and some variety and uh, it goes someplace but the
thing that catches you out is that wide shots like that are generally
only good for entering or exiting a scene. Though I
frequently see a director ill advisedly pop out to a wide shot in the
middle of the scene thereby dissipating the attention that they might
have achieved through editing. But in any case if you start the master,
and it's perfectly framed, well what you think is perfectly framed, and
then you start moving it, by the time you get to the end of the frame,
the composition has clearly falling apart. And that's what happened to
me here, uh, that wide shot would have been most effective had it been
used at the exit of the scene however by the time uh, that point in the
scene had been reached the composition had fallen apart and it just
wasn't a picture I liked so I was forced to shoehorn it in at the top
of the scene there. I didn't actually have to use it but I like the
shot so I did shoehorn it in.
This is the definition of a great actor. This is
someone who will take dialog in a fictitious world and a fictitious
philosophy and commits to it totally, and I think if this movie works
on any level it's because all of these actors and all of the
technicians on the film committed to the reality of this film which is
what you had to do. A couple critics described the film as unapologetic
as though on some level you should apologize for making certain kinds
of films. I think committing is the essence to making good films, much
like Spielberg committed to the concept of E.T. which on the surface is
an absurd concept but yet he and everyone on that film committed to it
in such a way that you bought into the reality.
This is the um, part of the uh, Reichsfelt Sports stadium,
the German Olympics stadium, um, a tremendous amount of production
value out of it.
at this, (Preston
running down a giant outdoor corridor) you
can't build that.
This truck that's about to pull up, is a Mancat IA1 I think
which is a German firefighting machine originally developed for NATO I think. This is an
amazing machine. It's a thousand horsepower automatic
transmission, top speed of 140 clicks. Does zero to a hundred in 25
seconds. That by the way is loaded with forty tons of water. So when
they talk about German engineering you know they're not really kidding.
There are people who were bothered I think, by the fact that
Dupont expresses what could be construed as emotion in this scene, and
certainly does and by the end we find out he is in fact feeling. I
don't think that's a surprise to anybody because it was always my
approach or my assumption that uh, we as a society believe that one of
the fundamental tenants of any dictatorship is hypocrisy so it
shouldn't be any surprise that Stalin is not living according to his
own needs and it should also not be a surprise, I don't think, to the
audience that the people who are beneath the dictator don't, while
perhaps being observant of his behavior don't speak up about it,
because that's one good way of being lined up against a wall and being
Anyway that's why I felt it was
perfectly alright for Dupont to express his hypocrisy because that's
what we expect. Not only that but the irony of this movie I think is
that the only true believer in the system is Grammaton Cleric John
Preston. And it is that fact that he, in the beginning of the film,
truly believes in the Dogma of the society that makes him noble. He is
not doing what he is doing knowing that it is fundamentally
hypocritical. That's what makes him good, and it's the fact that the
other people like Taye and Angus here are um, perpetrating the tenants
of the society while being conscious of the fact that they're being
hypocritical that makes them evil.