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Equilibrium Commentary
Kurt Wimmer &
Lucas Foster

2. An Unfeeling Society

Transcription by Max

Kurt...And I really thought about it... But at the end of the day, if you look at the other paintings in the film that the rebels are possessing you'll notice that it is not the greatest hits of art. They're actually sort of, semi-obscure works. And I went to a lot of trouble to pick them, we had them all painted. You'd be surprised, you can not just go into a book and reproduce whatever painting that you want, in fact you have to get permission from the museum that owns it. So there's actually a very limited number of works of art that you can use.

Lucas- Yeah, their clearances for that were a total pain.

Kurt- Right.

Lucas- The car is obviously on a camera trailer. Err? This was essentially a back-lot shot for us right?

Kurt- Yes, it was. This was on that East German army base... A decrepit East German army base. And we just went out and 'grabbed' this one afternoon, on the process trailer. And I think we had to basically post-sync the whole thing.

Lucas- And this is obviously a CG shot, but it started at Templehoff airport, that little facade...

Kurt- That's right. It would be interesting, if we ever do a 'Special Edition' on this film, to actually show the original shot because it looks, except for the road, it looks nothing like that.

And, it was basically my first introduction to digital effects, and I was waiting kind of with 'bated breath' to see if it would actually work! ...And what do ya know? It did!

This particular portion is shot in Rome. We shot about 7 days in Rome, and I chose Rome because I kinda shot Berlin out.

And Rome is the one other place that had similar fascist, sort of neoclassical, fascist take on neoclassical architecture. That err? Hitler's production designers sort of invented. And so we had to go there...

But, it's not identical it still is a bit more neo-classical, you see the rounded columns etc.

Lucas- One of the things Kurt loves to do is get hundreds and hundreds of extras and have them walk around in the foreground! (laughs) Which would irritate me endlessly!

Kurt- I do love that. I gotta tell ya, I wish I had thousands of extras! I think it would've helped the scene tremendously...

Lucas- It was a problem for us, because we picked these huge locations, and they would suck up a hundred extras in the blink of an eye.

Kurt- That's right, there were three or four hundred. Yeah, absolutely! They would get lost there...

(EC10 is shown being destroyed, on large screens in Libria)

Kurt- I actually, interestingly enough, I think it's some of this sequence here that led some people to say that I was paying 'homage' to Leni Riefenstahl. In fact, I really think it's just the architecture that echoes her style.

Lucas- There's William Fichtner…

Kurt- Yeah, there's William Fichtner.

Lucas- ...Hiding in the crowd!

Kurt- Yep, he's the err? True believer... Or, pretending to be.

(close-up shot of a man practicing the Gun Katas)

Kurt- This guy has a great look... He's just a Martial Artist that I picked up, or we picked up, me and Jim Vickers (Fight Choreographer and stunt coordinator). An' the truth be known though, if I could do it all over again... I wouldn't hire any Martial Artist to perform this Gun Kata. I would hire all dancers. Because Martial Artists, while they're generally very talented athletes, they are programmed to do one thing, which is the katas they know. Where as dancers have trained themselves to learn different moves every day, or every week.

I had the great pleasure of having dinner with Michelle Yeoh once, I was just giddy because I love 'Super Cop'. And she told me that she, had no martial arts experience prior to that movie. And, in fact she was a ballet dancer. So that made a great impression on me. I should have taken that and applied it to this film…

(Christian comes into shot)

I think however, Christian has a lot of dance experience which would explain why he was so phenomenal at absorbing choreography in this film, an' it really saved our asses I have to say. Because, as Lucas will testify to you...