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Gareth Edwards sheds more light on those Rogue One reshoots

12.09.2016

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Whenever it's announced that a film is undergoing reshoots, there's a part of us that goes "uh oh" despite knowing that reshoots are nothing out of the ordinary, especially for blockbuster fare like ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY. Earlier this year the upcoming STAR WARS spin-off underwent reshoots and the rumour-mill went into overdrive claiming that Disney/Lucasfilm were very unhappy with the movie. Gareth Edwards recently spoke with The LA Times in order to clear up what was happening at the time and to explain why those reshoots were necessary.

What happened was that I’d say a third of the movie or more has this embedded documentary style to it, and as a result we shot hours and hours and days and days of material. Normally when you put a film together it goes together like A-B-C-D-E and you move on. Whereas we had so many permutations, so many different ways it could be constructed, it took longer in the edit to find the exact version.

We’d always planned to do a pickup shoot but we needed a lot of time to figure out all this material and get the best out of it. So that pushed the entire schedule in a big way. Then Disney saw the film and reacted really well and they said, “Whatever you need, we’re going to support you.” Our visual-effects shot count went from 600 to nearly 1,700, so suddenly we could do absolutely anything we wanted. To design 1,000 visual effects shots should take a year, so it was all hands to the pump and we never came up for air really until about a week ago.

Edwards added that "it would be beautiful if you write a story, you shoot exactly that, you edit it and it’s a hit. But art — or good art — doesn’t work like that. It’s a process, and you experiment and react and improve. And if I make more films, which I hope to, I want to make them like that as well, where it’s organic and it’s not predetermined." The reshoots wound up improving the film more than they had hoped, and when you have the time and, more importantly, the money, you don't need to stop until you're happy.

I think any other movie you would say, “That’ll do. We’re going to get a hit.” But “Star Wars” is going to live forever if you do it properly. We just can’t let it go. You’ve got keep going until they prise it out of your hands.

Riz Ahmed, whose character of Bodhi Rook was changed the most during the reshoots, confirmed what Edwards said, saying that "there were a ton of reshoots, but if people want to read anything into that, I’d encourage them to read into it the guts it takes to unpick stitching rather than just try to embroider over it, to make it right. I admire [Lucasfilm President] Kathleen [Kennedy] and Gareth and the whole team for having the guts to go, ‘Let’s reopen this. Let’s do some of this again.’ I think it’s because they really care — and hopefully that’s something that shows when people see the film." ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY will land in theaters on December 16th.

Source: The LA Times

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