Kurt Wimmer &
8. Signs Of Remorse
KW: I wanted a different setup,
different lighting setup and different camera setup for each scene so
that we wouldn't get into a repetitious rhythm whenever we were at his
desk. It made it really tough, but we just squeaked by and we got it.
Now I'm glad I did.
LF: All of these squibs, the many
thousands of squibs that Uli had to rig in these sequences is kind of
I think there are more squibs in some
of these scenes then there are in whole other movies, y'know the entire
movie. We sort of went crazy with the squibs, but we like this stuff.
Kurt and I particularly have an endless appetite for gunfire and
KW: (laughs) Right. Speaking of which,
that's a G36, HK-G36 that he's holding there. It's a really cool gun I
think it's the standard issue for the German military, I think, don't
quote me on that. Very nice gun.
LF: We were supposed to originally get
some guns from the Belgian government and some FN-90s. They didn't give
them to us.
KW: Right, so we ended up using rubber
versions of the FN-90s and even those were hard to get.
KW: Because you can't even ship
facsimile guns into the countries.
LF: They have very strict restrictions
on weapons in Germany.
KW: That's right. Uli Nefzer, Lucas
mentioned a minute ago, our special effects guy, he was great. He was
one of the rocks on this film.
LF: Thank god for him.
KW: The thing is that when something
was supposed to be there it was and it worked. And sometimes it worked
better than you wanted it to. But even better than that the thing that
you end up really valuing in somebody, which is somebody like Michael
Lindsay, is at the last moment, when there's no time left, and you
irresponsibly come up with an idea on the fly and you turn to him and
say, "Can we do this? Y'know, we're going to shoot in 5 minutes..." and
they say, "I'll see what I can do.", or, "No problem. I'll get it
done." . And they get it done, and you love those people. That's the
distinction between the people that get it done and the people who get
it done on short notice.
LF: There are plenty of people on a
film set that who say, "No."
KW: "Ah, it can't be done."
LF: It's lovely to meet people who
say, "Yes, it can be done."
KW: It certainly is.
LF: And cheaply, affordably, if you
KW: The fact of the matter, or the
thing I learned is that, generally, and this certainly isn't a rule
there are exceptions to is, but, generally, people will do the minimum
that they can get away with. It's not their movie. They're journeymen
very often and they're going to go on and they're going to go to
another movie and forget about this. Very often they haven't even read
the script. They've simply referred to what they need to to do their
part. You meet those people, though, who make each movie their movie,
it's their version of Equilibrium. It's Lucas Foster's Equilibrium.
It's Wolf Kroeger's Equilibrium. It's Dion Beebe's Equilibrium. It's
Klaus Badelt's Equilibrium. And those are the people who you will work
LF: The set decorator on this
move, Anne Kuljian, gathered all this stuff that's in the movie and she
came up with a lot of amazing things. She made metal desks for no money
that seemed like they were way more substantial then they were. She
KW: Well that was the thing, they were
substantial. You're talking about the stainless steel ones?
LF: I wanted own one, I wanted to put
those in my house.
KW: If you could have shipped them
back you would have. No. Somehow she found this excellent German
metalworker had made these stainless steel props that were fantastic.
LF: I actually wanted that gurney; I
wanted to keep that gurney. It was such a precision engineered piece of
stainless steel. I was amazed, I wanted to keep it.
KW: Well, you have your box. (laughs)
LF: I have my little metal box that I
left with. You have the clipboard, right?
KW: I have the clipboard.
KW: It's mine.
This is the, somewhat interestingly;
this is the ball I was talking about. I had two of these balls.
LF: One small one and one big one?
KW: That's right. I don't remember why
it occurred to me that I would need two, but for some reason it did
occur to me. I know people didn't think it would work. The fact of the
matter is that the ball you see in his hand before he drops is about
1/3 the size of this ball. But, nobody seems to notice.
LF: I remember when
we were looking for a Victrola I remember we were at some gun show
somewhere and we saw that guy who was making Victrolas and we kept
saying, "Oh, we gotta find something that intricate in Germany."
KW: Now we were at a gun show to hand
out pamphlets encouraging people to abandon this violent, ultra-violent
LF: (laughs) Yeah, that's right.
LF: I guess it's politically
inappropriate to say that you like and support the idea...
KW: Well I just don't want people to
get the wrong impression and think that we have any interest in guns
because we don't.
LF: (laughs) Yeah, it's just something
we do for movies.
KW: I know, Yeah. And it's really
ironic commentary too because we put them in there and we go over the
top with them. It's sort of like Archie Bunker or Homer Simpson; they
make a political point by taking things to the extreme. Right?
LF: Right. That's what we tell people.
KW: Right. Shut up! I'm perpetrating a
front here. (laughs)
It's interesting, the fire gags that
we did in this movie, there are a couple of them...
...we really controlled them pretty
well. Given that we set this building on fire I was very worried about
it from a safety perspective but this is sort of in a rail yard, or
KW: Right. And part of our back lot,
or German, East German back lot.
LF: ...And we set these buildings on
fire and in America you can't imagine what it would have taken to get
them to let us do that but here they were like, "Yeah, you want to burn
that building? Sure!". And we kept it under control because of Uli
Nefzer. Because he knew what he was doing.
KW: Yeah. I think Uli is the guy, he
is the go to guy in Berlin and he does all the movies and he gets all
the work and they respect him, and they should. I mean, I think last I
heard Oliver Stone was going to bring Uli to America to do his, don't
quote me on that, but yeah there's something like that. He's that good.
LF: He really gave us a lot of
KW: Here's Mike Smith again. He's
every masked sweeper in this movie. Y'know, I might make a comment
about that. It was a very conscious decision on my part to put all of
these gun toting sweepers and enforcers in masks and I did it to make
them so that they weren't human. So that they were more like puppets.
So it would be more like a videogame when they were shooting them
because of a couple of reasons. I didn't want to get in trouble, I
didn't want to have problems with the MPAA, I didn't want to cut
anything out. At the end of the day I didn't have to cut anything out.
I also knew it would allow me to shoot people in the head, as grim as
that sounds, without actually having the graphic effects shot.
LF: If you shot a masked person in the
face, you mean, it wouldn't have the same impact as an unmasked person?
KW: Well, yes, it has the same impact,
but in a different way that's not gory. The glass shatters, you get the
same visceral impact, but you don't get the gore and you don't have to
cut it so it worked out really well. But, not only that, I also did it
consciously because I didn't want to have to deal with people acting,
people not acting, non-actors, stuntmen, etc., with all respect to
stuntmen who are actually good actors. Most extras and stuntmen,
they can't act. It can screw up a scene and you will have to
potentially cut around it and so I figured if I covered up their faces,
it would allow me to post-sync their voices if necessary and I could
get along with any kind of performance as long as they were standing in
the correct position.