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Equilibrium Commentary
Kurt Wimmer &
Lucas Foster




15. Nothing To Hide

Transcription by JenGe



 
Lucas - This is in the underground of the Potsdamer Platz.  This is a different subway station.
 

Kurt - Right.  They have great subways.
 
Lucas - This one is actually finished and working.
 
Kurt - I saw that ceiling in a book of arcetecture and  it's one of the reasons why I wanted to go look at Berlin was   just to having seen that ceiling.  And it's kind of interesting how, you know, twelve or thirteen months later after having seen the picture in a book you are shooting that.  You're reproducing it on film.
 
Here's my first AD Brian. (Man running trace on gun.)
 
This is interesting.  This is a scene among many other scenes...you know I first cut this scene together.  It uh...it didn't work. 
 
 
I mean in conveyed the information but it really didn't work and you know I tested it and sat there with the audience and it really didn't have any impact.  So I went back in with William and recut it and you know it's really extraordinary the alcomy of editing...juxtaposing images.  We seriously recut the scene and then played it for an audience and they went nuts.  They started applauding and it was an amazing lesson for me and William and I applied it to everything else in the film in terms of maximizing, you know, what we had to work with and squzzing every last bit of audience reaction out of it.  I think that you have to be careful at some point not to be too calculating particularly when you are shooting the footage.
 
It's one thing that Dimension appreciated about me-slash-us was that I was one of those few directors that actually really liked to test films because first of all, you know, they are giving me an audience.  Every seat in the theater is full.  I mean how great is that?  But to this day...I think we tested this five times...to this day I remember every testing & every nuance of the audience at every point, at every frame of the film and I paid close attention to it.  And when they reacted to something I tried to figure out how I could pump up that reaction.  When they didn't react where I thought they should I had to figure out, try and figure out what was wrong.  And it was a very valuable process and  Dimension actually really appreciated that because at the end of the day they are a very bottom line studio.  They are not making films for them.  It's not a vanity exercise for them where it basically's their only concern that I listen to what they say.  They want to make a movie that makes money, that the audience is going to like so at the end of the day that was always the cord of last resort.  I could always say if there's a disagreement, "Well, let's test it."  In fact, I think they got to the point where they wanted to stop taking my calls because they knew I was going to say, "Let's test it." (Laughs)
 
Lucas - (laughs) I think you are...
 
Kurt - Which is 25 thousand or 30 thousand dollars.
 
Lucas - ...you may be the only director that they have worked with who actually kind of took the process and applied it to them...
 
Kurt - Yeah.
 
Lucas -... as opposed to them applying it to you.
 
Kurt - Actually that's right. (laughs)
 
Lucas - Every...you know, typically the studio makes the director test the movie and it's always a moment were the producer and the director kind of gasp.  Like "Oh my god.  What's gonna happen and what changes are coming?"
 
Kurt - This kangaroo court could possibly comment on my film. (laughs)
 
Lucas - (laughs) Exactly, but we kind of took that and said, "Oh yeah, let's do it again."
 
Kurt - But you know what?  For me...listen...I'm not David Lynch here.  I'm not making...David Lynch shouldn't test his films.  He's making movies for himself and he does a brilliant job at it.  This is a genre film.  I'm making it for the audience.  I really care they have to say.  And ah... a very useful process testing.
 
I have to say having said that the focus groups are completely useless.  They're a very strange animal that can be controlled or go out of control and they can be very damaging.  But sitting there in the dark and listening to the audience, the audience doesn't lie.  You know, they forget you are there after two minutes and they are 100% honest about whether they like something or they don't.
 
Lucas - Yeah, you can literally just watch their heads.  You can watch whether people get up to go to the bathroom or not and you can pretty much tell when they are with a sequence or not.
 
Kurt - When they are shifting or paying wrapped attention.  And by the way when they jump up and cheer ...(laughs)
 
Lucas - (laughs) Yeah.
 
Kurt - You know you are doing alright and I have to say in this movie they did it a lot.  I mean we were all amazed that pretty much after scene 75B,  which is the scene where he saves the dog...um...you know, we had people regularly laughing and clapping and cheering.
 
Lucas - It's a great feeling when the audience is with your movie...
 
Kurt - Nothing better...
 
Lucas - ...and participating.
 
Kurt - ...nothing better.
 
Lucas - Mathew Harbor, scary little kid.
 
Kurt - Yeah.
 
Lucas - Great kid.  Did a good job.
 
Kurt - I mentioned him on the other track.  Did a really good job and I also said that he was the one guy/kid/person that the studio made us hire and they were right.