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Equilibrium Commentary
Kurt Wimmer &
Lucas Foster

7. Awaking Emotions

Transcription by g3p0

LF: I do remember being mad at you this day for shooting...

KW: ...22,000...

LF: ...22,000 feet of film. I was really pissed. I was like, "Listen, pal, you can do this today, but, you're not going to get to do this on this entire movie, okay?". You get 6 or 7 thousand feet of film and that's it, thank you very much, good night.

KW: Yeah, y'know, it's funny, because I shot so much footage for that scene because there are a number of angles and I crossed the line, too, which is what ate at the...

LF: ...Which also...

KW: ...Ate at the film because you sort of had to cover things on both sides of the line. This scene should have turned out better, frankly. I saw it as a critical and pivotal scene, and it is, and not only that, but it's the one scene where these two actors sort of get to go at it together, and I wanted to let them do that. You compound that with the fact that Emily gets better as she goes along it's like playing blackjack in Vegas. When you start winning you want to stay at the table. When each take is better, you just want to lean forward and say, "Well, jeez, if we just do one more, what will she give me?". And, so, she sucks you in that way.

KW: His collar is open, in a rare, casual moment for a Grammaton Cleric.

LF: (Hmm)

KW: That almost should have been the one sheet.

LF: (Laughing)

KW: I'm actually serious. It kind of sums up the film. I mean listen, I think it was personally better than the one sheet that was ultimately selected.

LF: You see the injector prop a lot in this movie, and this one prop really worked most of the time, not all of the time. We used it a lot. They're very expensive to make, actually, really good looking props are surprisingly expensive and...

KW: Yes, for instance, later in the scene where he listens to Beethoven he has a ball, a snowball, with an Eiffel Tower. Just as an aside, it's really interesting how people will read things into films, and I've learned to shut up now and not dispel their illusions. But, I saw somebody online saying that the first scene in the church where he shoots his partner Sean Bean was in fact Notre Dame and this, Libria, is actually built over old Paris and that's why when he sees the Eiffel Tower in the ball he connects so strongly to it. It's fascinating that the audience will synthesize things for you. I wish we could figure out a way to predict that.

But, in any case, this ball, this snowball, first of all it was very difficult to get it made so it looked halfway decent and that it would have snow in it. There were many sorts of trials and errors. But, when it came down to it on the day, the idea that it was supposed to fall, and drop in homage/rip-off of Citizen Kane I'm told, and it wouldn't break!

LF: Yeah, it kept bouncing over and over again.

KW: Yeah, and since it was high speed we burned up a lot of film. I only got it to break twice.

LF: This was another tricky, this was a tricky set, and a very tricky shot. We took a while to get this move right.


KW: It was hard to get right because first of all it has to be framed in such a way that your eye goes to Christian and clearly you're not working the wheels on something like this, on a hot head, and also because the camera has to come down and clear people out in such a way that it doesn't interrupt the light or cause ripples in the other people around it. You can see it sort of there, where it does. It didn't take us too long to get, actually, for a change.

LF: This is all real stuff, by the way, it's pretty clear we didn't build this stuff. We just found the most amazing practical locations and begged them to let us shoot them. And they did.

KW: Right. This was shot in a sports arena where they race bicycles. Originally this scene was supposed to take place on a subway, and, we didn't have the resources to do that. So, I thought we'd just shoot it on the stairs. This is supposedly the scene where he's waiting to get on the stairs and then waiting to get on the subway and on the portion he'd be sitting on the subway watching people, looking at people. Instead, we did it this way, and it worked out fine.

LF: We made these extras walk up and down a very significant flight of stairs that is not some digital shot that is really a set of stairs that goes on forever.

KW: Right.

LF: We made them walk up and down those stairs all day long.

KW: And it was a great set of stairs, too, I have to say. In Germany you find some amazing things, y'know, doors were something that impressed Lucas and I to no end. In Berlin, anyway, all the door are massive and perfectly weighted.

LF: The engineering was like ridiculous.

KW: Do you remember that one next to the [building name 'something-lawn']? That was the door that may have weighed 10 tons or something like that?

LF: We just walked by it and we were like, "Oh my god, look at that!".

KW: And you could open it with a fingertip. So, Germans have a real "door Jones", apparently.

LF: (Laughing)

KW: One of my regrets about dressing this set was, y'know we didn't have much money, and I hate to keep flogging that but for tables, these desks...

...I wish I hadn't selected something that was naked underneath the way these are. We could have easily, with cardboard you never would have known it, made them look like they had a lot more mass and substance and it would have filled up the room some more. So, that was a mistake.

LF: This is, y'know, it's amazing was set decoration can do. Those screens in the background that are playing, there’s 4 of them. They were somewhat expensive, those little projectors in these screens. They show up at various places in the film, and we kind of just carted the around from place to place but it kind of makes it look like it's more than it is, in a way.

KW: Yeah, it is. This was a really tough day, maybe our toughest day. We had one day, with no overtime, to get all of those 6 scenes, I believe. It was pretty brutal. We managed to get it. It was brutal because I just didn't want to listen to reason basically.