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Equilibrium Commentary
Kurt Wimmer &
Lucas Foster

13. Contacting The Resistance

Transcription by JenGe

Lucas - Dimension's only interest was essentially in the casting, who was going to be Preston and who was going to be Mary and certain story notes that they wanted to see us execute.

Kurt - That's right and it was a very protracted process, the casting of this movie, and Lucas and I had seen American Psycho at about this time and we were very interested in Christian. But he was not available cause he was making Corelli's Mandolin so it wasn't even a question but the process ended up being so drawn out that...

Lucas - ...by the time...

Kurt - ...nine months later...

Lucas - Yeah.

Kurt - So by the time we were unable to agree on anybody between myself, Lucas, and the studio he became available and um...

Lucas - He was someone we could agree on.

Kurt - Yes, we could easily agree on and he turned out to be even better then I thought.

Lucas - It was a challenge to try to figure out how to cast this part in particular because the range of emotions that the character goes through is kind of extreme. There are many fine actors out there but to take someone from the depths of coldness to you know sort of to feeling every little thing, almost vibrating from your senses back to coldness again at the end of the film but with something extra that he's picked up along the way. That was a tough thing to find. It was tough to find actors that could do that.

Kurt - Absolutely. We needed to find someone that the audience would like and want to take the journey with even though he was doing things that were apparently reprehensible like murdering people we like, like Sean Bean.

Lucas - We met a lot of actors... Kurt and I sat with... I mean we were sort of orientated towards actors but we...for every part we met tons and tons of actors and we sat with them and talked to them and occasionally auditioned them or had them read for us or whatever but it was a pretty thorough process we went through...

Kurt - It was very thorough and am I correct? I don't think we went out to anybody. I think we were just unable to. We were just sort of paralyzed in terms of being able to agree with the studio and I don't think we went out to anybody.

Lucas - There's a...you may notice the technology in this movie, like the wristwatch that Christian wears and the lie detector here and various other pieces of technology in the film. They are very deliberately sort of retro, which was a big debate that Kurt and I had amongst each other. He had a very strong point of view that, you know, we shouldn't try to over technologize the film. Um, that it really wasn't a science fiction in a way. It was a kind of political fiction that we were making and by taking the emphasis off of that...I mean the telephones are 40 years old in this movie.

Kurt - It saved us money too. I mean we didn't have to build a lot of stuff that might or might not have worked. It might have looked wonky. Also, even though 1984 in 1949 was called 1984 and was ostensively about the future, it really wasn't about the future. There was no quote/unquote...people think of 1984 as science fiction but it's not because there is no science that makes the fiction possible. It was really more on an alternate reality and this is the same way.

I didn't want to give the impression that this is our future because it's not our future. This reality could not possibly happen any more then the reality of Fahrenheit 451 could ever happen. It's a parable. It's a fairy tale.

1984 is slightly different because that was drawn from real events that Orwell saw occurring in England at that time so...and that's one of the things that makes that story so chilling is that it does resonate more strongly then these sorts of tales but in any case, yeah, I wanted to de-emphasize the technology because A. it would have cost money and B. it would have sent the wrong message.

Lucas - This is the outside of the Berlin stadium. I think it's upstairs actually.

Kurt - Yeah, there's an upstairs and a downstairs. Yeah, this is upstairs.

Lucas - We loved these columns. We loved these...

Kurt - ...next shot's the best...

Lucas - Just absolutely love all this limestone.

Kurt - What's not to love? (laughs)

Lucas - (laughs) It's going to be there long after this movie can't be found on store shelves.

Kurt - That's true. You know, if you ever go to Germany you have to take a detour to see this stadium. It is truly spectacular. It's one of the great monuments on Earth. Beautifully, beautifully designed. It's sunk into the earth and so it's...there's a really startling sense of vertigo when you walk into it because you think you're on level ground and suddenly it sinks like a sort of Roman amphitheater into the earth.

Nazis as much as we associate them with burning books and being adverse to art, they were actually artistic in terms of...

Lucas - ...fairly cultured...

Kurt - ...yeah, in terms of creating their own art ethic and they contributed a lot to design, a tremendous amount to Deco design etcetera.

Lucas - It's curious that they were so focused on building these big edifices.... Albert Speer & his minions building these incredible buildings. Some of the buildings that we saw...we clearly don't admire the Nazis...but some of the buildings that they built, it's just...it's amazing the permanence that they have. They're not...there's no building like them anywhere else.

Kurt - No, that's right. That's why we shot there.

You know, it occurred to me when I was making this film that essentially Hitler's Germany, Hitler's Nazi Germany was essentially like Hitler's film. It was his fantasy film but he wasn't putting it on celluloid but he was building his fantasy film in reality around him. You know, he had production designers as in Albert Speer and he had his own DP which was Leni Riefenstahl and he had his own composer which is Richard Wagner. And he drew from some very talented people and he created...he had a great costume designer... and it's kind of interesting when you think of it that way cause I think that in a very real way he was making a big real life movie.

Lucas - The hole in the back of the set that forms the T at times...

Kurt - ...there's a hole...(laughs)

Lucas - (laughs)...infuriated me because of course there's a green screen behind that and every time we cut to that angle we have to paint...

Kurt - ...CHA-CHING...

Lucas - (laughs)...yeah, CHA-CHING...we have to paint that background out there and Kurt of course lied to me and promised me we would not cut, you know, we would not feature that too often when I let him essentially build that and of course in post production we had to fill that in.

Kurt - Yeah, in that last shot, if the camera is moving it becomes a 3D shot.