Kurt Wimmer &
12. Questions for Mary
Kurt: It's interesting, though, having
gone over there and scouted the place, there are...the Dutch place a
high value on art and, you know, it's pretty clear from their history
that pound for pound, they've probably contributed the most to the
artistic history of Europe, out of all the countries there.
And...er...you know, architecture is
no exception. The Constructivist movement was founded there. And they
have a lot of great stuff but unfortunately, it is all spread out, all
over Holland and so it makes it very impractical. And also
the...er...the 19th Century architecture, that I was also interested
in, you know, palaces etc. that you usually associate with Europe, do
not exist in Holland. And I, very curiously, I asked some of the, you
know, Dutch people who took us around, why this was, and they said that
the Dutch are...er...a very modest people. They thought that displaying
wealth was in bad taste, so palaces simply were not built. You know,
it's a nation of Bankers, essentially and they're very much in keeping
their money, you know, in a place, in more liquid form, than in
And they told me that cell phones were
slow to come into being there because people thought it would be
pretentious to be seen with a cell phone. In any case, the point being,
ultimately, it would not have been practical - it would have been a
nightmare to shoot this...this film there.
Um...some more about the origins of
this film. This was an idea that had been haunting me for a couple of
years. I remember I actually pitched it to Lucas in Cozumel...we were
out there diving...
Lucas: ...we were scuba diving...
Kurt: ...diving long ago. It was back
in '95 or '96. And..er.. then just put it aside. I didn't think it was
particularly commercial idea, but it was an idea that haunted me for a
long time. And one day I just said I'll just write it and get it out of
the way. I wrote the first draft in about a week or less and I just put
it away for a couple of months. And then I happened to show it to Lucas
and I was surprised Lucas actually liked it. And he showed no
hesitation in advocating me as being the Director of it, which
surprised me, but I didn't say anything. And er...
Lucas: ...and I've regretted it ever
Kurt: That's right. And so, we set off
on this journey and as I said, we went to Amsterdam to attempt to raise
the money and, you know, shelling out our own dollars to try and get
this off the ground. And one of the things that the deal, the Dutch
deal, would have been predicated on is the American distribution as all
these deals are. So we sent the script out, my agent sent the
script out to two or three places and um...
Lucas - It got a surprising
response. Everyone liked it.
Kurt - That's right.
Lucas - And people were really
interested in it.
Kurt - Dimension jumped on it
instantly, overnight, which shocked the hell out of us. I
remember I got the call as I came back...as I got out of the plane from
Holland as a matter of fact. Lucas had stayed over there to
wrangle with the bankers and they said they wanted it but they wanted
the world and so that meant the Dutch were out and you know, it was
much more sensible for us to go with an established production
company. So we went with them and they never said boo about me
directing either and I never brought the subject up.