Kurt Wimmer &
7. Awaking Emotions
LF: I do remember being mad at you
this day for shooting...
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,
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
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.
KW: That almost should have been the
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.