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Equilibrium Commentary
Kurt Wimmer



6. Existence And Purpose

Transcription by Libby
 



And here of course, we have the incredibly, talented and very lovely Emily Watson.

I allowed her to select this dress out of four or five or six dresses and I noticed...perhaps itís my imagination, but I thought there was a very distinct, qualitative difference to her performance based on how secure she felt in what she was wearing. Later she wears something which is very vulnerable...it was designed to be very vulnerable and I thought, interestingly enough, it also made her performance somewhat vulnerable.

Uli Nefzer handled the special effects for this movie and he was top notch. The effects were always ready on time and met or exceeded requirements and expectations and he also built this wall, here, and, you know, being instructed to build a wall, like any good German he set off to build a wall and the idea was that these two guys were supposed to be able to go through this wall in about 3.8 seconds. Well, we get there and they put their crowbars into this wall and it turned out, you know, 10 minutes later and two mags of film, they were still going at it, these poor guys under 50lbs of equipment, they were just dying! We had one of the rare moments of levity laughing at that on set.

You know, when you're like me, if you're like me, in any case and you're going to get to make a film, one of the things that actually excites you the most about making a film, is your chance to do cool shots like Brian de Palma does, you know, in his films. And that that is using, for instance, a split diopter like right here...

... and having done it,it gets, I gotta tell ya, it gets kinda old, pretty quick, itís kinds like zooming into the old eyeball and coming out as something clever. At the end of the day it's time consuming, and it's just, because you have to hide the focus point and it's just a showy thing that takes you out of the story. I'm actually a big believer of focus as a storytelling tool. Actually had a really cool shot to end this scene, that would have tied this together, but I never-well I thought it was cool-but I never got to shoot it. It would have given this action deed, you know, the snap, that I think that it needed, that it doesnít have.

You know, I had a couple of wide shots of this room that they're in here. This was a big concrete room, that was part of an underground, incomplete underground subway station in Berlin that I used and I regret not having put in. I don't know why I didn't ultimately put the wide shot in, because it was a very nice set.

But it was a nightmare for sound, I have to say, because, you could hear trucks going all day -we shot here one day- and we essentially had to post-synch the whole scene, which isn't, wasn't the worst thing in the world, because I may have had to post-synch it anyway, because, I have to say, I think I have two scenes like this in the movie, of people sitting across a desk, talking to each other and I don't think they work very well, you know, I've struggled with it. How could I have made these scenes play better? And, er, by the way we just crossed the line there. Who says you can't cross the line? Technically it went neutral on Emily first, which allows you to cross the line, but I meant to get neutral on Christian, too, which would have solidified the line cross. But I didn't have time to do it. In any case, you know, I've struggled with this and ultimately, at the end of the day, you know there's only so many ways you can shoot this kind of scene. I think it's, you know, in the writing and the fact that this is the scene where it's two people who are sitting across a table discussing philosophy and not only that, it's fictional philosophy for a fictional world, so it doesn't have any real resonance with the audience. I mean, I think the scene is OK, but it could have been so much better written and knowing what I know now, I actually would have written it a bit differently.

You know, you really have to be careful about keeping highlights off of actors' faces, especially, specially women.