Set Visit: Final Destination (2/3)
NOTE: This interview also features 3 "first look" pictures from the film. Click to see them enlarged.Why was this movie crying to be made- a second sequel to FD?
Craig Perry (CG): Well, look, there are a lot of factors that go into one of these things, one of them is I was very happy with FD 2, I thought it was a lot of fun, I thought it was very concise, very constituent, and it was exactly what you expected it to deliver on that end, and was both a successful venture both creatively and obviously commercially. But on the latter part of that equation, when the sort of DVD quarterlies came in, it was like Hmmmmm perhaps what youve been screaming for Craig is a good idea?.
So it is an economic decision, but with that economic decision comes that creative challenge of not screwing the pooch, you know? You dont want to completely obviate the good will hopefully generated by the first two. And to that end the challenge was finding filmmakers that would share that vision of triumphs that would end that entire thing on an up-note.
We actually went to Jim and Glen, as we did with the second one, which they werent available, for the third time mostly out of respect, you know, they were the initiators of the whole series, and to our happy surprise they said you know what, thatd be a heck of challenge, and they were really interested to see if we could pull it off.
And to their credit they kind of jumped in feet first and in my opinion came up with what I think, hopefully, is going to be the perfect synthesis of the strengths of the first two, because hopefully we all know that the old adage that the third times a charm, and I think that these guys applied that strategy and tried to take the best of both worlds of the movie, because they are very different, if youve seen them theyre very different in tones and energy and by clinging them together, hopefully knock on wood, well make everybody who liked both of them individually or collectively, happy. Speaking of Happy- Glen Morgan.
So Glen, tell me, what can you do in a third installment that moves it ahead, makes it fresher, thats different, surprising?
Glen Morgan (GM): Maybe when you see the film youll feel that I did nothing (haha). I dont know whose idea it was, but Richard Brener said the third ones a roller coaster. So, yup, ok, and Jim and I always like to come up with stuff that you come across, and you know, the idea that the camera, the digital camera that everybody has- either as a camera or on a phone, is giving you clues as to where you might go. And that seemed like a unique possibility.
CP: And thats one of the things that we responded too as well, and why I think it does distinguish itself from the first two, and that is that we all have digital cameras, we all have pictures all over our houses, and imagine if you could actually, with a heighten sense of awareness, look at all those pictures, and analyze the geometry of whats in those photographs and kind of say huh, this is shadowing something that is going to harbiture doom for later. And its that infinite accessibility that I think distinguishes it from the first two and is commending of the best things of the first two.
GM: And were cheap
CP: Yeah, and were cheap (haha)
How is this one going to be like the first, or like the second, or like them both together?
GM: I dont know, I mean I liked the second one, and you know, Jim and I didnt work on that, but what David and the guys did on that, and you know there were these subtle differences depending on whos making the movie I think. Craig and I share a kind of Gallos humor, so that will be back a bit and you know this one, I dont know if we always successfully pull it off, but we like to have themes and in this one the Wendy characters theme is the loss of control.
With a roller coaster, psychologists will tell you thats why people hate them or why youre afraid of them, or why youre afraid of flying because you have no control. And for when Im going up any roller coaster I want out, and Im not getting out, and thats torture, I cant its unbearable. So the whole movie has issues, and that, when you look at death, you know what I mean, you might cross that street, and you don't know if youre going to get it, and that feel that if it wants us, I think thats why the franchise kind of works.
CP: I think thats why horror movies work. When you go into the theater youre sort of relinquishing some sort of control and willingly getting yourself in the story, and allowing these things to unfold and these sort of feelings of whats going on and being infested in it.
GM: Except in a horror movie you can walk, where as a roller coaster youre locked in and youre not going anywhere.
Do you have a phobia about roller coasters?
GM: Oh yeah, its just-- I have no means on going on them. Im the dad now, when my kids go on them, I go Ill be on the bench by the exit.
Will you be bringing any of the characters back from the first two films? Like Tony Todd?
GM: You know, I think Tonys a great actor, and I liked that character a great deal, and I kind of felt that even both films that part kind of brought the movie to a stop. And I didnt know what to do with that character other than to make it hes death or some kind of goofy thing like that and I just to keep the momentum going really in the first movie he becomes as a means to explain the rules, to give you a little clue that guy at the edge of the dark forest kind of thing. And I think that now people kind of get what the series is and I dont know if hes needed.
Any other characters?
GM: No. My wife Kristin keeps going I could play that part and Im like Youre dead. You got killed in the first one and theres no ghosts', so
CP: No, theres no one coming back for us. Its sort of the blank slate. The only person whos back is Death, and he doesnt require a trailer.
How serious was the consideration in making this 3D?
GM: It was very serious. Jim and I liked the idea a great deal. Jims friends with John Landau whos with Jim Camerons company, and we went down there, and we looked at TITANIC stuff. Yes. The problem and the cost comes to the exhibitors- they have to get a silver screen, and get a lens, and its a $15K cost to the person, for each screen, and Jims like Oh, thats not too bad, but advertise over 3000 screens, and yeah And so, the Red and Blue Ive always hated. With the red, you cant film fire or blood, and thats a problem on this film. Bob Shay had done it before with the Nightmare on Elm St.s and hated it.
CP: Unless we could go all the way, collectively both the studio and the creative side, we realized that it wasnt worth it until the time the technology has been implemented.
GM: Its possible that movies coming out in 3D could do it in that red and blue, they just look cheap. Which we are, but we dont want to look it (haha).
Can you talk a little bit about the opening roller coaster scene?
CP: Sure. Look, theres a certain, not formula as much, but expectation the audience I think has for these. The roller coaster in many ways is no different. It has elements of whos sitting where, theres elements of who switches around at what point, and I think that the device of the camera, because the girl is taking pictures for the yearbook, allows of snippets to come back and sort of analyze, in turns of the characters and the audience later, which makes it a lot more interactive.
The coaster itself, you can only imagine the sort of terrifying things thats happening. Theres a lot of bodily harm inflicted at great speeds, and a lot of gravity doing its job. We have taken the coaster thats over here in Vancouver, and digitally extended it, added an enormous loop in it, raised the first accent from where it is now to about 200 feet up, and its going to deliver a pretty impressive sequence for the audience.
And I want to make that clear, as with FD2, its not going to bullshit out on the gore, without making it to the point where people are going to be running out of the theater, its going to deliver what the genre people want, and mirroring that aesthetic with FD2, with the smarts with the first one, its going to be a perfect synthesis of the two.
GM: When we had our first structure meeting when we were at the hotel, and usually when you start a movie, you go well, we have a car chase scene, and something blows up and for this movie, we go well, were going to crash a roller coaster.. how do we crash a roller coaster? and we kind of just looked at each other and its something, not that its really ground breaking, but it really hasnt been done before in this way.
CP: ROLLERCOASTER in 78 was the only movie that had any real kind of roller coaster issue.
Is it going to be done practically, or is it CG, or a combination?
GM: Its really complicated.
CP: They had about 10 6-hour meetings just on that sequence.
GM: Its really complicated, you know, the price of what these movies should be made at, and theres the roller coaster, theres going to be 2 weeks of green screen with hydraulics, therell be CGI, everything.
CP: Were going to have the actors hang upside down and yanked out of cars. With cars falling and flipping- its good times.
Did you film all this in an actual amusement park?
CP: Well be shooting all matter of the stuff with them riding in the roller coaster on the actual coaster so we can see how their movements are, their hair, and seeing them not only act, but physically react, with lots of interesting camera angles, which are apparently new, we havent seen a lot of these things. POV shots.
One of the things that I thought was most interesting was a device that actually keeps the horizon line, so when the coaster moves on an angle, you stay level. Theres a POV going back, theres helmet cams so the actors can look over at the characters sitting next to them, so they can get a sense of, not just the POV, but interactive POV.
GM: When we went down there we had two of our key grips building camera mounts out of Styrofoam to test where it would break, and it came back in just piles of broken Styrofoam, cause they would build it to where theyd want the camera and send it on its way and it would like smash into a pole, and wed have to modify that. (haha)
Do you have, or expect to have any complaints or problems from theme parks or ride manufacturers that might fear that youre going to scare people from roller coasters, if its going to be as effective as you hope it will be?
CP: I relish the opportunity. If were getting to that point, weve done very well for ourselves.
GM: The PreVis, which is what the visual effects guys do, which like an animated storyboard, is really well done. If we can capture that, its going to be really-
CP: Bad ass--
GM: Its going to be really neat.
(James Wong enters)
I wanted to ask James, and Glen both, its a two part question, you didnt want to do 2, was it partially scheduling, and I seemed to recall that you didnt want to do a sequel at all in the first place. Was that true, or was it just a scheduling thing?
JAMES WONG (JW): Honestly, I didnt have anything to offer New Line, and Craigs a friend, and Richard Brener and Toby Emmerich, and neither one of us (James and Glen) wanted to take their money. And it wasnt until we went to the premiere of the second that we went this is really cool, someone made a sequel of something that we did', it was an honor. We just didnt want to take the audience or New Lines money if we didnt have anything to offer.
GM: We dont have anything to offer now, but (haha)
Is it a manner that you really wanted to reclaim the franchise, or did you want to bring it back?
JW: You know, there was some stuff that we were doing (WILLARD) and that made it less available for us to do. And in this case, for 3, I think we really came up with sort of a new angle on the series, and in this movie theres sort of You know, in the first one, theres really no mystery as to what was happening. It was sort of, you knew that the characters that death was coming after them, but there was really no detective work in the way, and this one there is a little bit of that.
Theres a new device that we use, which is the digital camera, that we use, and when Brenner said I want to do a roller coaster as the first, exciting sequence, and that would be really exciting, because when you think about a sequel you think about what youre going to do now? A cruise ship? A train? (haha) We couldnt really think of the new thing, and then Brenner said roller coaster, and that really sparked off a lot of, wow, thats really perfect, thats really locking people in, thats not like a plane where you can walk around, this here youre strapped in until the hydraulics break (haha).
Along with that, with the digital camera thing, you know, which sort of came into our lives, using digital cameras, and all that stuff, and what those images meant. We thought we had a new take on it and we were happy to come back and do this.
Why arent you bringing anybody back, any of the survivors?
JW: In the first one, Devon and Ali both died (well, she died in the second one), so they were unavailable to come back, and once we thought about it, ...we wanted to get sort of do it over again.
CP: FD2 was a f*cking pain in the ass with all the rules with this and that and we said, you know what, lets start clean with people who dont know, because the audience at this point after two movies has a pretty good idea whats going on, lets not have people yapping away trying to figure out what the heck is going on and going through the different permeations, lets get to the meat of the matter, and its better to have the opportunity to explore the issue of interacting with those pictures, and actually have that be part of the investigation as opposed to
JW: Its sort of the character with history; its a little different as opposed to a character coming to a new. Because you have the first two movies we can kind of skip over a lot of the exposition of whats going on because another character can have said oh, I read this on the internet, this happened and thats it, thats all you have to deal with it and you go on with your own story.
Is this the same age group, or are they younger?
JW: Theyre high school age. Unlike FD2 where you had older members, we sort of went back
GM: Its the moment of graduation where you really kind of feel that your lifes starting and
CP: and then you take it (haha).
To be continued...
DESTINATION 3 will
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|Source:||JoBlo.com/Arrow in the Head|