Category: Spotlight On

Jorge Duran from Spotlight Report interviews actor, Luke Goss about the new Death Race movie. (Thanks to Bec Stafford for transcribing).

Luke: Jorge, nice to speak to you, brother.

Jorge: Nice to talk to you, and thanks a lot for your time, man.

Luke: Likewise. Thank you.

Jorge: Okay, let’s get down to business. I saw your movie during the Christmas break. It was fun. So I wonder how hard it was for you to take part in this franchise after Jason Statham?

Luke: Um, I think the first movie was harder because we had to kind of tie it in to the previous movie; Or, you know, we were trying to tie in the Jason Statham movie… We were trying to make it somewhat kind of synonymous with the same story.

And then, this one was easier because Roel Reiné, the director and myself had a friendship. We hung out in Los Angeles together. And I’m producing other projects myself that he’s directing. So there’s a relationship there, and we said, ‘let’s make this one more of our own, you know?’ And also, the previous movie we did… He was just a man who finds himself imprisoned, and then he has to learn the ropes. Whereas, in this one, he becomes somewhat of an iconic character as far as like… He’s more of an anti-hero character. And I could make him more stoic and a bit more kind of cinematic, I think. And I think using Africa as Africa, the character as a bit more cinematic, I thought it just lent itself to making a more entertaining, more exciting kind of a movie. And I think we did that, you know. It’s my favourite of the three, for sure.

Jorge: Yeah, sure. Before you started doing the second one, and this one, did you get to talk to Jason, or did you get any advice from the previous cast?

Luke: No, because to be honest with you, if you see all three movies, Jason Statham’s character was not the original Frankenstein. You know, obviously, in this movie… Frankenstein is basically a franchise… So it doesn’t matter, really, or at least they don’t think it matters who that character is, as long as the fans see him. So, for me personally, I just wanted to make him my own. I didn’t need to tie it into Statham’s portrayal, because it’s not relevant. Because Part 2 and Part 3 are prequels to the first movie.

Jorge: Mmhmm, I understand.

Luke: It’s really leading up… You know, you’ve seen the movie?

Jorge: Yeah.

Luke: So you obviously understand what happens at the end: he’s replaced. And then it happens again with Jason’s character. So, you know, within the story and the franchise now, Frankenstein is replaced many times. And I think, you know, maybe two or three times Statham’s character steps into that character, which means I had complete freedom to make him my own, you know.

Jorge: Mmhmm. And speaking of Frankenstein, what does it feel like to don the mask? Like, does it liberate you, as an actor, to do more stuff?

Luke: Um, I’m not a fan of it, to be honest with you. I think it really helps the character when you see him show up, and it gives him mystique. But really, he understands why he wears it. Like, I changed my movement… I changed everything when I went in the mask, just to create mystery, both to the audience, but also to the characters within the story. They’re not meant to know it’s me. You know what I mean? And so, he changes his voice, he changes his movement, ‘cause it is a true disguise. But when you’re doing a fight scene in the movie – and I did all my own stunts in this one – and it was just really, really limiting as far as how you can breathe, how you can see. It’s not my favourite thing to wear, that’s for sure.

Like, when I was doing, say, for example, Hellboy, that make up moves. It moves and when I have an expression, that has an expression. With this mask, it’s 100% down to movement. So, I think it works really well in the film, but I can’t say I personally enjoy wearing it. It’s not very comfortable.

Jorge: Of course. Let’s go to the beginning of this thing. When you got the script, what was the most appealing thing about joining the franchise?

Luke: Um, the first one… I just thought it’d be a fun thing to do. I thought I was kind of right for the part. But this third movie… When I read the story… I just think it really ties in Part 2, Part 3, and the first story. Like, 1, 2, and 3 now make sense, I think. I think it really gave a great deal of insight. Like, the second one was fun, but some people were confused about the prequel element. But when I read the third script, it was kind of like, ‘Okay, this makes sense of it all.’ Or, at least, it did to me. It made sense of the story. And it gave certainly me an understanding of the entire franchise. You know what I mean? I mean, how Frankenstein came about, what he becomes, what the whole franchise does become eventually, as far as the entertainment that it is to the fans… as far as within the movie of the fans, not necessarily the fans in the world.

So, I just liked the fact that it tied it all up and made sense of the three stories.

Jorge: Yeah, it works perfectly. It makes a lot of sense. Well, you mentioned that you did your own stunts in the film. Did you also get to do your own stunts while driving and doing explosions and things like that?

Luke: Yeah, I mean sometimes. It gets to a point where… Universal… I love working with that company. They’re very protective, though, when I’m filming. They’re like, ‘No, no, no – Luke’s not doing this.’ And I’m like, ‘please, let me do this.’ So, sometimes I can and sometimes I can’t. Like, I did some of the driving, which I think you can tell. In the footage, you can see it’s me driving inside the car. But there are some things that are simply just too, too dangerous. I mean, I did roll the vehicle once. We were doing 45 mph, and I rolled the car accidentally, which was very, very bloody scary. I was really afraid at the time. Because, the noise and the… We had a small engine fire and my driver’s side window was on the ground. So I was looking up at the passenger window, up at the sky.

Jorge: Wow.

Luke: And we had an engine fire and we were at least 500 or 600 yards from any ambulances, or any fire trucks. And that’s in the Extra Features in the DVD and the Blu Ray. That actual shot is in the Extra Features. So, I think that’s kind of cool. But that was not deliberate, and I have to say I was pretty shaken up.

Jorge: I can imagine that (laughs). Well also, we are huge fans of Danny Trejo, and I’m wondering if you could share some experiences of working with him.

Luke: Well, the thing about Danny is he’s a really tough guy. But at the same time, as a person, he’s a real sweetheart. He’s a very caring, supportive man and actor. He loves what he does. He always brings it every day and he’s always fun to be around on set. He jokes a lot and he’s genuinely a really funny guy. And I think that anyone who works with Danny will tell you the same. He’s just an absolute sweetheart. And, you know, it’s kind of cool because he’s a badass. I mean, he genuinely is a badass. But his spirit is a really beautiful one, so it’s now my second movie with him and there’s a friendship there. So I think really highly of Danny. I think he’s a great guy.

Jorge: You’ve also worked under the direction of Guillermo del Toro, who is a personal idol of mine, on Hellboy 2. So, I wonder if you can look back and tell us what it’s like to work with him and how much freedom he gives you in the films.

Luke: Um, I think del Toro’s freedom that he offers you is dependent on your commitment to the character. I think if he believes that you’re committed, if he believes that you give a fuck, or give a damn… As soon as I speak about del Toro, I start cursing. Look at that. That’s funny.

If he believes that you’re committed and if he believes that you’re bringing your A game, and that you’re really invested, then he’ll listen. If you’re somebody on set just there to be told what to do, then, my god, he will tell you what to do. Because he knows what he wants. He knows exactly what he wants. But, I was blessed enough to have a good rapport with him. So there would be discussions and debates about characters, because he knows me. Any character that he delivers for me to try and bring to life… I feel like it’s a great honour. So my commitment is huge to that process. And he is a collaborator. But he really knows what he wants. So the discussions are about how to achieve that kind of dream, or that vision that he has. But he’s also still open to ideas that might be better, you know? So he’s a beautiful man to work with, for sure. The two movies I’ve made with him have been incredible experiences, for sure.

Jorge: Are you still in touch with him?

Luke: Not so much. I mean, the thing about Guillermo is, he’s always so busy. When you’re done with a project, he kind of goes on to the next thing, and that’s where his head’s at, you know. And I’m sure some people bug him, but I’m the kind of person that… I mean, I love the guy, and I think we have a genuine friendship, but I’m not the kind of man that’s going to be bugging him, you know, on a daily basis, ‘cause I think he’s so enveloped by his projects that I’m like, ‘Okay – I’ll see you next time, brother.’ It’s that kind of energy, you know?

Jorge: Mmhmm, perfect. Well, after seeing Death Race 3, the ending’s very open in linking to the first movie. So, I wonder if there’ll be a Death Race 4?

Luke: Well, there has been talk of it. I know for a fact that there has been talk of it because I think what happened with the second one… People were surprised that it was as good as it was and that it did really well. And so then they were like, ‘Okay, let’s do another one.’ And I kind of felt after this that I don’t think I’d do another one. But when I saw the third movie, I was genuinely kind of pleasantly surprised about how well it turned out. There were a couple of ideas that Roel and I had discussed that would really kind of shake it up as far as the kind of movie it is and take it in a different direction. And if that was something that the studio was into and, you know, it was written really well, and cleverly, then absolutely… That would be something that I would consider for sure.

Jorge: Mmhmm. Following that question, what’s next for you? You have any other [can’t catch that bit, sorry].

Luke: Yeah, I have a few things. I have a movie called Interview with a Hitman that is coming out in the United States. I don’t know when it’s coming out in Australia, but it’s coming out in the United States in March. I have, obviously, this movie. We got a movie called Inside, which is like a paranormal thriller… Which is really kinda cool. I’ve got an action movie I’ve just completed… I’ve actually got one more day of filming on Saturday. This weekend. In LA… called Dead Drop… Which is kind of like a thinking man’s action movie, which I’m really, really proud of. It’s got Cole Hauser and Nestor Carbonell from Lost – he’s in the movie, too. But I play the principal role of a CIA operative that has been in deep cover for like 2 years in Mexico.

So, we filmed the whole movie in Mexico, which is my second project there. I think we’re doing three more films in Mexico, which is great, which is exciting. But it’s called Dead Drop, which I’m really, really proud of. And I have a movie called Lost Time and another one… A TV show for ABC called Red Widow, which premieres on March 2nd here in the United States on ABC. So, that’s my first ever TV show, so that’s kind of fun.

Jorge: You sure have been busy.

Luke: Yeah.

Jorge: Okay, just to wrap it up… Of all your films which one would you say was your favourite one, or your most rewarding one?

Luke: I think there’s two. Well, three. Blade 2 was definitely one that was kind of my first introduction to a successful Hollywood movie. But I think I’d have to say that it was two movies. It’d be Hellboy 2. And I did a love story. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen it or heard of it. It’s the story of Esther. It’s called One Night With the King… Which… Just the message in the movie was just so beautiful and it’s the story of Esther. And we filmed in India for four and a half months. It’s called One Night with the King, which is, I don’t know, just a beautiful story. And what it stands for.

Jorge: I will check it out.

Luke: I’m glad I have that in my resume. But I think Hellboy and One Night with the King are the two favourites so far.

Jorge: Okay. So, the last two questions. We always ask these of people we interview. So, the first question is: have you ever had any crazy requests from a fan, or a funny story to share?

Luke: Oh my God – Of course. When I was younger I had a… I mean, thankfully, you know… It’s er… I don’t know… I’ve walked into my room before in a hotel and there’ve been people there, just kind of waiting. I guess I’ll leave it up to the imagination of whoever’s reading this to work out what they were waiting for, but um… I have. Girls have asked me to sign their boobs and, you know, what are you going to do? I guess you’ve got to be polite about it, right?

But there are loads of funny stories. It just comes with the territory, I think. You know, people asking you to do some crazy things.

Jorge: Just to finish, do you have any advice for any young Australian actors who’d want to follow in your footsteps?

Luke: Any actors?

Jorge: Advice for actors who are starting out in the industry.

Luke: I think the thing about it is that you have to one – try to be as good as you can at what you do, obviously, like anything. You have to take it seriously. I think… With Australian actors for me…In my experience… I don’t think I’ve really ever acted with any Australian actor who’s not talented. There’s something… There must be something in the water over there. Because most Australian actors I’ve worked with are just really gifted and really talented. So I think it’s a case of… You need an agent. You have to have representation. Without doubt. And I think it doesn’t hurt to just make sure that you get experience. It’s , like, whether it be a play or a short movie… It’s about experience and getting yourself on the map. And you need representation that believes in you. But it’s a business, just like anything else. And I think a lot of people say, ‘How do I get…’ If their only motive is to be famous, then I don’t really have advice for that. But if they want to be successful actors, then they’ll get that for free. That comes with it. But they do need to be good at what they do, and they do need somebody that believes in them, and they need to work… Whether it be plays… They can’t have… You can’t set your standard at the beginning with what you do. You just have to be good in that thing, whether it be a tiny little play or a small independent movie or independent short… Whatever. Experience is experience is experience, you know?

Jorge: Perfect. Okay look, thanks a lot for your time and thanks for your answers. When will we see you here in Australia? When are you coming out?

Luke: Listen, whoever’s reading this: If someone’s got a … (desire) for me to be there, bloody make a call. Because I’ve only been there one time in my life. And it’s been 15 or 20 years since I’ve been there, so I would love to be in Australia again. So, maybe you could help find a … me…

Jorge: Okay, we’ll check it out.

Luke: Much love and Happy New Year.

Jorge: Okay. All the best. Cheers. Bye bye.

Thanks to Paramount Pictures, The Spotlight Report (Jorge Duran) had the chance to take part in a roundtable interview alongside Damn Good Cup and Matt’s Movie Reviews, with the director of the upcoming action thriller Jack Reacher, Mr. Christopher McQuarrie.

Damn Good Cup:  I absolutely loved, loved the movie. I can’t get over it. When I was watching, I said I have to ask you about it: The sniper shot at the beginning. What went into planning that?

CM: Um, interesting… Finding that location was really the hardest part because of the geography. We were trying to stay close to the book, in terms of the opening of the book, which was originally in a mall. And all the geography sort of relied on people being in the middle of that area, as opposed to the outer edges of it. And we were killing ourselves walking around Pittsburgh, going from one plaza to another, trying to find a highway with a parking garage, and we eventually thought that we were going to have to CG all of these elements in. We were standing in that parking garage, looking over that river, just breaking our heads trying to figure out, ‘Where’s a place we could shoot this scene?’ It was right as the sun was setting and I looked out and noticed it was setting right behind the highway bridge and we realised this was it. The problem was that the distance was enormous and we ended up having to shoot that entire sequence with a 2400mm anamorphic lens. It’s enormous!

And the control that the camera man had to have over such a heavy lens was very difficult (to make it look like a light rifle). We had a navy sniper working with us as one of the technical advisors and I sent all the camera men to train with the sniper along with the other actors. So the camera operators all became very familiar with the breathing method. And everything that you’re hearing in your ears is all Jai doing the genuine sniper breathing.

And we spent an entire day rehearsing all of that choreography. Getting all the pieces right. Getting all the people to be in the right places where they were. And then the final piece of the puzzle was that we shot two cameras simultaneously: a 2400 and a 50mm and they followed the exact same action. And then we superimposed the 2400 over the 50mm — that’s why you get that peripheral. Because the truth is, when you look through a rifle scope, you don’t put your eye right to it. Your eye is actually back about 5 or 6 inches from the scope. And when we stood there and looked at it, literally, we realised that all of this periphery was there, and decided that we wanted to capture that.

Does that answer your question?

SR: Yeah.

CM: I can talk for an hour about that.

JD: Speaking of the book. The book has a very huge, diehard fan base. So, I wondered how you managed the pressure of 

that, or if you put that notion quietly aside to do your own version of the book…for your project.

CM: Yeah, it’s kind of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, I very much respect the fact that the fans… Uh, I think that when you buy a book, you buy stock in the Reacher brand. And you’ve invested in it, and you feel some ownership over it. On the other hand, there are so many elements of the book that work in the form of a book, but that when you translated it to cinema, it would be a literal translation, but it would completely lose the spirit of the book. A really good example is: in the book, it’s a mystery who the shooter is, throughout the entire novel. Reacher only makes that discovery very late in the story.

The reason why you’re able to do that is because Lee Child can describe the shooting and just avoid describing who the shooter actually is. If we had done that on camera, it would’ve been very clear that we were hiding the identity of the shooter and people would’ve known right away that something was wrong. Why didn’t we show the shooter if it was who they said it was? So, we made a very conscious decision to turn that inside out and reveal the twist of the opening of the movie, 10 minutes into the movie, instead of trying to keep it for the whole movie. In fact, we recut the movie and tested it where we did it like the book: the shooter’s identity was revealed and we actually tested a lot of people were bored – they were very confused with it.

So what we always tried to do was be very respectful to the tone and the spirit of the novel. And at the same time, obeying our own rules about storytelling and filmmaking. And I think that when someone gets past what they might perceive as our disregard, they’re going to come to this movie and see that we did really carefully respect what I think that fans love about the book.

JD: Yeah, it works perfectly.

CM: Thank you.

Matt’s Movie reviews: So, I just want to follow on from that question. The fans were very vocal about the casting of Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher.

CM: Yes.

MMR: Kinda reminded me very much of back in the 90s when he was cast in Interview with the Vampire.

CM: Yeah.

MMR: When that film was released, just as when this film’s going to be released, a lot of people are going to eat crow afterwards. So, I guess my question is: How much pleasure will you get when that moment does happen, and who on the production is going to say, ‘I told you so’?

CM: Um, I always think it’s bad luck and bad form to gloat. But what I’ll be really interested to see is how many of those people will go back and delete their posts, or correct their posts. I’d love them to man up and go back and say, ‘no, after I saw the

film..’ But honestly, I believe that any people who are honestly that die hard and really that vocal… I honestly don’t think that there’s every going to be convincing them. Only because I don’t think that they’re aware of the realities of what we have to go through to make a movie. And let’s just say that there was a 6’5”, blonde-haired, blue-eyed, American star… There never has been, but let’s just say there was… If I cast him in the role of Jack Reacher, I’d have to cast everybody around him 6’8” in order for there to be any sort of tension or suspense or stakes in scenes where he’s fighting with people. And you’re not going to be aware of anybody’s size looking through a 235 window.

So, we knew early on that that was going to be a sort of insurmountable issue, and that there were going to be a certain number of people who were never going to inherently understand that it was just something that could never be.

DGC: The other casting I need to ask about is Werner Herzog and how that came about.

CM: (Laughs). Ah, Werner was the suggestion of Mindy Marin, our casting director. They had said they wanted a European. We thought that The Zec would be more threatening if we cast somebody that the audience didn’t immediately know…with whom they weren’t immediately familiar. At best, they were vaguely familiar.

And the first person she suggested was Werner. And I just thought it was a great idea. I just never thought he would do it; and he was more than game. And he turned out to be a real treat to work with. He was a lot of fun. I only wish there had been more to do with Werner, because he was always fun to have on the set.

JD: Well, speaking of casting, you also had the chance to work with an Australian actor, Jai Courtney, who’s now become like the new Sam Worthington, according to many. So I wonder what the process was like when you saw him and cast him.

CM: Ah, again, it was Mindy Marin. She sent me a tape. I had other actors in mind. I knew that Charlie was an opportunity to cast a bigger-name actor and somebody to be an antagonist to Tom. I knew I could get a lot of actors that I wanted to work with. And I saw Jai’s audition. He did a cold reading with an American accent. I didn’t know that he was Australian when he did it. And he nailed the scene.

It came to me as a link in an email, and I forwarded the email on to Tom and just said, ‘What do you think of this guy?’, knowing that I really wanted him. And Tom emailed me back about five minutes later and just said, ‘CAST HIM!’. And that was literally it. That was the whole process for Jai. He nailed it in one scene. And later, I asked him to do it with an Australian accent, just to explore that idea – not to obligate Jai to play it as an American. And I remember showing his audition, blind, to a couple of other people. And they said, ‘boy he’s good, but his Australian accent’s kind of phony.’ (All laugh).

MMR: Just speaking of your work with Tom Cruise: It goes back when you guys did Valkyrie together. My question is a two-tiered question: What were your first impressions when you met him & what’s it like to direct him? And will Mission Impossible be next for you guys?

CM: Um – that’s a three-tier question. My first impression when I met him… There’s all the things you think you know about him when you go to meet him, and so you’re waiting for… You’re waiting for about the first six months of working with Tom for what you think is the real Tom to manifest himself. Because the Tom that you’re meeting is far too polite and professional and funny and laidback that it’s all got to be an act. And, after five years, it’s either who he really is or it’s the most disciplined front I’ve ever seen in my life.

And – directing him – um… The really intimidating idea was making the transition from writing and producing for Tom to now directing him. Because as a writer and producer, you’re mandate is very clear: You just work to execute whatever the studio, the director, and the star want. Now, as the director, you’re in the position of being somebody who’s going from somebody who says ‘yes’ to somebody who says ‘no.’

And I didn’t know what that transition was going to be like. I’d seen him work with other directors. I’d seen him work with Brian. I’d seen him work with Brad Bird? I’d since seen him work with Doug Liman. And I didn’t know if our relationship was going to be coloured differently, because of where we started out. And the first day of shooting it was my show. He was really great and really supportive. That’s not to say he doesn’t have a lot of opinions and he doesn’t push. But, in the end, he’s ultimately respectful of the director’s role, and he’ll back the director 100%.

MMR: And will Mission Impossible be the next directing gig for you?

CM: Um, we’re talking about it.

ALL: What about Star Wars?

CM: You can start that rumour! That would be fun. I think that would be a lot of fun. Yeah, we’re in very early talks about it. He’s working on East Kill. I’m promoting this. JJ’s working on Star Trek. Uh, so there’s no writer on board. So goodness knows how that would all come together. And then you look at where we are in the calendar year and how quickly January’s approaching … Uh, love to see it happen, but things would have to start now.

DGC: I’m just going to follow up on the Werner Herzog question. Um, I’m really fascinated by the idea of directors directing other directors, and how that differs to, say, working with an actor.

CM: Yeah. Well, you know it’s interesting. I mean, uh, he’s the only director I’ve directed. But I think because he’s been in the position of… You know, he’s been on the other side of it… He was immensely cooperative. He was great. He definitely had his own ideas; he had his own opinions. But I think you get a certain level of sympathy out of a director-as-actor than you do from an actor. So, what was great about him was… The real difference between Werner and virtually everybody else on the movie (except Jai): um, he never left the set. When we were relighting and brought in second team and brought in the stand-ins and everything… Werner didn’t have a stand-in. He would just stay in his chair and let them relight him. And he would just talk to the crew and talk to me. He’s very much still a student of film. He loves being on the set and loves being around the process all the time. And he squeezed every bit of life out of that.

DGC: Sure. That’s amazing to hear.

CM: He’s a great guy. Werner Herzog. What kind of character was he? He was like your Granddad. He was really cool. You would just sit with him and he would tell you awesome stories and he would tell you in that voice; and it was like a living Werner Herzog documentary.

(All laugh).

DGC: Yeah, at one point, I thought he should’ve narrated it.

CM: (Laughs). Exactly, exactly.

JD: One of my favourite scenes was the car chase. I wonder how much time and preparation that scene took to get it to that realistic point.

CM: Quite a lot. The preparation, especially. The thing that will always be overlooked about that sequence, beyond the preparation in terms of stunts and everything else… is like… that bridge is not naturally lit at night. That’s Pittsburgh. That bridge is actually in total darkness at night. We had to light the entire thing.

We had to light the tunnel, we had to light all the alleys. We made the choice to have the car chase at night. And, in doing so, it became enormously complicated… Figuring how to light the sequence…. Figuring out how to light Tom in the car. A car that was going to be driving practically, and without LEDs. The car is actually.. The rear view mirror is actually loaded with LEDs. Matter of fact, the only CG in the sequence is in the night scenes in the car chase in the lights that periodically show up.

Then there’s the preparation that went into the designing of the sequence. I think the storyboards were so many individual frames. And then the preparation that Tom went through, just getting familiar with the vehicle and practising in this big, open parking lot. Uh – practising on wet pavement, dry pavement. As the car gets hotter, it loses horsepower, so the variables are constantly changing. Um, every time you did a skid… You know, we would do a wet-down… We were forced to do a wet-down because we couldn’t control weather.

So now, every time you do a skid, you turn around and reset… The road is dryer than when you just drove past it. Tom had to learn to compensate not only for the – you know, the drift – when you’re skidding – the stunt itself… But he had to be able to calculate how long has the street been wet? How long has the car been running? Because the power I’m going to have, and the skid I’m going to have is going to vary every time. So, it became an effort of Tom’s to sort of become one with the car. To get so familiar with it.

Then you blow a clutch; and you’d have to take that car out and bring in another car. And Tom would have to know that car. So, he was literally, for several weeks, in prep when he wasn’t rehearsing. He was going out to this lot and he was becoming familiar with all these cars. So he knew them inside and out.

JD: So he did mostly all of his stunts?

CM: All of them, yeah. That was the beauty of that car chase. As Paul Jennings, the stunt coordinator on the movie (second unit director) said: ‘Look, we have an actor who is a trained, professional driver. And he should be driving in every possible shot that he can. That’s going to give us an enormous advantage, in terms of what the look of the sequence is going to be.’

The challenge after that became getting Tom *out* of the car. Tom wanted to be driving in virtually every shot. Even shots when we were like, ‘Tom! We’re in the back of the car! Nobody can see!’ and he was like, ‘Fuck that! I’m driving!’

(All laugh).

CM: And so the schedule became more and more challenging. Because the car chase was getting bigger and bigger. It was initially very short, and got longer and bigger. And what ultimately happened is that we shot the opening of the car chase and the end of the car chase with first unit, with the nights that we had allocated. Then all of the middle of the car chase, from the moment he leaves the hotel until the moment he turns onto the street with the bus stop, we shot with second unit, at night and on weekends.

So Tom and I would, on more than one occasion, work a full day with first unit… We’d wrap first unit and drive out to second unit and shoot all night with second unit. So, he and I were shooting 24 hour days in order to get that car chase done, in a way that it didn’t affect the budget, or the schedule. Because he had a hard-out date that we had to hit. I don’t know anybody else who would’ve done it, let alone could’ve done it.

Damn Good Cup: Well, I like to end every interview with asking for advice for aspiring film makers and what you’ve got say about that now.

CM: Uh, the advice I give everybody: It is not THE film business; it is A film business. Film makers now, more so than ten years ago, certainly more than twenty years ago… they have access to equipment and global distribution… to the point where you can make a feature-quality 35mm-quality film, with rented equipment, and have people looking at it that night on YouTube.

And, if you divorce yourself from the need to have a financial return on everything you do… If you start to treat your film making as your calling card, and put the film out there for people to experience, A film business (meaning Hollywood) will come calling for you. That puts you at a position of greater advantage than if you’d gone to them and asked them for permission. And that really is… If I could boil it down to one thing… it’s any film maker now… never ask permission to make movies. There’s no reason why you have to be asking permission to do your work.

With thanks to The Spotlight Report our Creative Content Partner!

Awards

davitt-award  aurealis-award   logo-curtin-university

Peacemaker - Aurealis Award
Best Science Fiction Novel 2014

Curtin University Distinguished Alumni Award 2014

Transformation Space - Aurealis Award
 Best Science Fiction Novel 2010

Sharp Shooter - Davitt Award
Best Crime Novel 2009 (Sisters in Crime Australia) 

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