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CON: Sky Captain...


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Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow / Alien Vs. Predator /
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Jude Law

Giovanni Ribisi

Ling Bai

Kerry Conran (writer/director)

Jon Avnet (producer)

Marsha Oglesby (producer)

The film stars:
Jude Law

Gwyneth Paltrow
Angelina Jolie
Giovanni Ribisi

Ling Bai

Release date:
September 17, 2004

Having seen the film the night before this panel, I wasn’t as blown away by the clips shown, since I had already seen them in the movie before, but in terms of the actual film itself, I have to say that I absolutely adored it, and look forward to owning it on DVD one day. Here’s the opening line from my review of SKY CAPTAIN, which should be featured on the site closer to the time of the film’s opening (we’re not allowed to post any reviews to the site now): “Ambitious. Epic. Big. Loud. Computerized. Fantasy. Fun. Adventurous. These words and many others flashed through my mind as the rapid-fire delivery of writer/director Ken Curran’s first motion picture production set sail before my wanting eyes, as both the film’s highly distinctive and original style, mixing computer background and characters with real-life actors, and its genre-driven storyline, mixing elements of fantasy, science-fiction, film noir and 40s kitsch took my imagination for a wondrous, fulfilling and highly entertaining ride.”

The panel itself was also one of the good ones from the Con, featuring three of its lead actors (only the two lead chicks were missing), as well as the film’s timid creator, Kerry Conran and producer, Jon Avnet, who has championed the movie from the start. The panel started off with a 3-5 minute behind-the-scenes EPK-type presentation, showing all of the actors acting against green screens, as well as interviews with all of them, including the very lovely Angelina Jolie (and her eye-patch) and Winnie Paltrow. As many of you likely already know by now, the film was originally completed on Mr. Conran’s computer with animated characters to be replaced by the actors in post-production. In other words, every single frame of this film is computerized. The presentation was followed with the panel, which was informative and pleasant, with a handful of ladies getting up to praise Law and his great looks (I gotta agree too…the man is great looking!), but most focusing on the film.

The panel also included two clips from the movie, one of which featured giant robots walking down 5th avenue and Gwyneth Paltrow, as the reporter, taking pictures of them while trying to escape their steps. This clip also introduced Jude Law’s character of SKY CAPTAIN to the film, as he swooped down to machine-gun the baddies with his fun plane. The second clip is the one already showing online RIGHT HERE, featuring Jolie’s character, as well as Law and Paltrow’s nose-diving their planes into the ocean and going up against some technologically advanced baddies. Here are some more bits that I picked up from this panel:

  • Oglesby said that she had initially seen a 6-minute clip that Conran and his brother had created on their computer and was blown away by it. The 6-minute clip apparently took them 4 years to create. Loving what she saw, Conran was asked to follow it up with a full-blown script which he was asked to present to Jon Avnet, who after seeing the clip and the screenplay, said simply, “I can do it.” Avnet later showed both the clip and script to Jude Law, who also loved it and jumped on board, not only as the titular SKY CAPTAIN in question, but as producer on the project as well.

  • The filmmakers made the film via independent financing from the DiLaurentis folks, shot the entire movie in England, then came back and shopped it around to every single studio over a period of one single day, and ultimately gave the rights for domestic distribution to Paramount Pictures.

  • Law said that he absolutely adored the film’s visual style, but also liked its screenplay, which he said was also very important to his decision. “It’s a world filled with both film and comic book references.”

  • Someone asked producer Jon Avnet if it was true that they moved the film’s initial release date in June to September 17, because they were afraid to compete against SPIDER-MAN 2, which would have opened a week after their movie, and surprisingly Avnet said, “Yes”, because they didn’t want to release the film a week before a huge blockbuster that might overshadow their special movie, which he believed deserved a lot of attention. I agree. Good move.

  • When asked about the film’s score, which I have to say is also quite brilliant, Conran said that he brought on newcomer Edward Shearmur who was majorly influenced by a “temp” track created by Conran himself, and the major composers from the 40s/50s like Bernard Hermann and the like. Shearmur then took 6 months to put it all together.

  • We were also shown the film’s trailer, which despite looking great, doesn’t really do the film justice, in my humble opinion and seems to focus a little too much on the movie’s action sequences, particularly those in its first half hour. The film actually has a lot more to offer than jet-fights in the sky, so I would hope that any future trailers would incorporate more of its actual story, as opposed to more gunfights.

  • When asked about how he felt acting up against a green screen, Ribisi said that he “looked at it like an avante-garde theater experience.” He said that he was a little “thrown” during the first few days, but that he got into it after that. Law said that with “all of the visuals that we’d been given, and the animatic that had been created, it almost felt ‘freeing’, like working on a theater. Kerry also allowed us to create our own moves.”

  • Ling said that many of her friends had asked her how it was working with Jude Law, since he was so good looking, but had always replied with a simple, “I got to kick his butt.” Ling’s English was surprisingly good and she was pretty damn cute. She was also asked about her first American experience working with Brandon Lee on Alex Proyas’ THE CROW and said that the main difference was that during that film, there seemed to be signs all over the place that read “Don’t touch” and “Do not move”, while this film “didn’t have that”.

  • Conran was asked whether or not the film was written in “chapters” as reported and he said that it was originally written as “five chapters”, which he had intended to shoot with 4 endings, circle-wiping out as in those serial cliffhangers, but decided that even though that might be fun, he simply didn’t have the time to do it. He said that might still cut it like that one day. I smell a ‘Director’s Cut’ DVD.

  • When asked what attracted him to the project, Law said that he was “spellbound” when he was shown the 6-minute clip that Conran and his brother had created, as it reminded him of everything he ever wanted to see in a movie. After reading the script, he noted how Conran wasn’t just a visual master, but a great storyteller as well.

  • Conran was asked what influenced him as the “tomorrow” of his world and said that he was basically trying to have it all be very stylized and to emulate early pulp work. He also said that New York was modeled after Fritz Lang’s METROPOLIS, 1930s’ KING KONG, and films in which characters featured the “good guys” versus the “bad guys”, in which the good guys had the “clunky” war technology and the villains were the “futurists”.

  • When asked about what software he used to create this world, Conran said that he had started with a “crappy Macintosh”, the “After Effects” compositing program, as well as 3D software, of which you can find many in the marketplace. He also said that he believed there was an opportunity for independent filmmakers to create their own movies nowadays, with their own tools and imagination. He said that he had also studied film at Cal Arts in Valentia, a place from which many Pixar and Disney folks have hailed.

  • Asked about his future movie slate, Law said that he would be taking it easy for now (I bet! The man has 6 movies coming out in 2004 alone), but that he would be filming ALL THE KING’S MEN with Sean Penn in November. He also said that he would love to work with “these guys again” for a possible sequel.

  • A cool moment came when someone asked Law about the rumors that he was going to play SUPERMAN, to which the crowd reacted and Law, pausing for a moment, replied “I’m Sky Captain!” The crowd laughed. He was also asked to do his “Gigolo Joe walk”, which he said he couldn’t do because he didn’t have the “right shoes on’. Again, the crowd lapped it up.


Source: JoBlo.com
Tags: Hollywood



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