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Equilibrium Commentary
Kurt Wimmer



14. Incineration

Transcription by Trinity
 



A funny thing about this particular scene, in the very limited rehearsals we had, I was actually kind of worried that Christian didn’t get this character at all.

And it was bolstered by the fact that Christian came to me with regard to this scene and said, "You know, maybe Christian…maybe he’s not here to take his children’s Prozium away so that they can take the same journey that he is taking as you the writer intended. What is he’s in there because he can no longer stand the rush of emotion that he’s feeling and he’s stealing his children’s Prozium so he can go back on it, but he’s thwarted by the awakening of his child?" And after that conversation, I went to our Producer, our Producer Lucas Foster, and I said, "We’ve got problems." But the fact of the matter is by the end of the movie, Christian understood the character that I created much better than I ever could, and to this day, I am not sure whether with that conversation and a few others we had if he was simply testing me or just fucking with me. We’ll never know. He has a very dark sense of humor and at this point, in retrospect, I’d say, 50-50.

This was a scene that was out for a lot of the cuts of the film and Christian argued quite strongly to have it put back in and I’m really glad I listened to him. If you’ll notice, Emily’s costume becomes more color-saturated throughout each scene. We actually had created different costumes for her so that the more he became aware of color, the brighter she would seem. Interestingly, that was very taxing on our costume budget, believe it or not, something as simple as that. And that's the very vulnerable costume that we created for her, you know, and you're sitting in a cold German set in this incredibly vulnerable costume and surrounded by technicians.

Another interesting, semi-interesting thing to note about this film is that as their relationship progresses, be it as it is in this movie, the table grows smaller. The table that they are at in the beginning, the first scene in this room, they could never have reached across and touched like this. You’ll notice, as a matter of fact, when she gives him the vial of Prozium and grabs his arm, that they have to both lean across the table to do it, whereas here they are able to easily touch their fingers.

This is a mixture of production sound and post sync from William Fichtner here; it’s amazing, you cannot tell where one begins and the other stops and the other begins. The background on this guy…

This is my favorite piece of music from the very lovely score that Klaus Badelt created for me. I originally had a very prominent composer on this film and I was very unhappy with his work. So, on the recommendation of Vicky Hyatt, one of my music editors, I hired this young fellow who had never done his own film. He actually worked for Hans Zimmer, and that turned out to be Klaus, and Klaus and I hit it off and he went on to create what I think is a wonderful score. And all the more wonderful given our resources and given the fact that it is entirely synthetic. There are a number of people, I think, who think this score is bombastic, but I think it works very well for the film, and I will remain forever his fan.

That’s Alexis Summer, the original wife for Preston. Interesting thing about this little shot here is that it is surveillance footage theoretically and the challenge was to block it in such a way that all the information could be revealed from one camera angle. It always makes me laugh when I see video camera footage, hidden video camera footage in movies and somehow it always ends up wonderfully edited together and shot from a number of the most opportune angles.

This was one of the tunnels in the incomplete subway that I used in Berlin. The lights in the background you see were created by both Klaus and Wolf to create an even, unobtrusive lighting. They actually worked pretty well. I was very concerned about where we would hide those lights, but it turned out not to be necessary.

Emily is a fine actress. And the great thing about her is that she committed to this role, I mean, she really committed to it and after all, it is a fairly pulpy role in a genre film by Dimension.

But she came to play and she completely committed to the reality of it. I first met her in London; she had just won a BAFTA award, I recall, and I was impressed. Her acting obviously spoke for itself, and I was impressed by her very mature sexuality which was something I had never seen from her before and I really believed that she would be great in this movie, and I lobbied very very hard with the studio to get her in it. And to the credit of everybody involved, eventually they relented and we put her in.

Okay, so I go into the eye again; it seemed like a good idea at the time.

This is the exterior of Hitler’s Olympic Stadium, once again. We built the steps that you will see momentarily. This was a really really big deal on our budget and we had a zero tolerance window to shoot the scenes that take place on these steps, and there was a soccer game coming up that was going to be played in this stadium here, and the Germans take their soccer very seriously and they weren’t about to push that for something as inconsiderable as a movie.

A lot of people think that Albert Speer built this stadium, but in fact that's not true. Actually, it was built much earlier by an architect named, Otto March, and Speer only came in at the last moment before the Olympic Games and put the, what I believe is, limestone cladding. There, he smiles again, (talking about Brandt) although I don’t think he means it. The limestone cladding on the exterior of the building.