Sin City DVD Q&A
a sucker for events involving free alcohol.
Hell, I’d probably attend a Klan rally if they promised an
open bar. That’s why I was
excited last Wednesday when the Buena Vista folks hosted an event to
commemorate the release of the Sin City Recut-Extended-Unrated DVD
at the Arclight Cinemas in
|Robert Rodriguez||Quentin Tarantino|
can you give us a little preview of the bonus materials?
Rodriguez: One of them is the all-green-screen version, which is the whole movie without any special effects, just green-screen, sped up 800% so that you can see it in nine minutes. It just washes over you and you get to see how little the actors had to work with on the set, how much effects had to be put it. And there’s a 15-minute film school that shows basically my favorite parts, that whenever someone would come over to the editing room I would show them kinda how we made the movie. And whatever got the biggest reaction, that’s what I included in it.
There’s something with Frank Miller called “How it Went Down,” where he talks about how he was convinced to make the movie and what he thought about the whole process. The other one we’re showing tonight is called “The Long Take.” When I was shooting with Quentin, I was operating one of the cameras and I just let the camera run; I didn’t call “cut,” because with digital you can shoot for an hour on one tape. So it feels like, as an audience member, you’re on the set, watching the creativity. Quentin comes in front of the camera a few times and you see Clive Owen going over his lines, because Quentin had just made him memorize this whole monologue that was supposed to be voiceover, so they’re still going over it in-between takes. And you just see the creativity bouncing around.
which parts of the special edition are each of you the most excited
Miller: To me, what’s exciting about this is that the theatrical version was a dream come true already, because it’s so faithful to the material, to the work. And Robert made me realize that the stuff could translate. This version I’m sure I’ll be all that more fond of, because it will adhere much more closely to the books, because be had all of the scenes that we shot that had to be cut for time. And Robert was laboring away at the edit; you know, he’s a magician at it. Occasionally he would call me in for my “cut check,” and one of my favorite was when he asked me to watch it and see what I thought I would cut, and I looked it over and he came in and I said, “Let me see it again.” I pulled out my notepad and the second time I started jotting things down. He came in again and I said, “You can lose this, this, this and this,” and he gave me this big grin and said, “I was hoping you’d be mean guy.”
Rodriguez: I was afraid he’d be too precious with everything and want to keep everything in. Instead, he was the more brutal one: “Oh, we can get rid of this. We can get rid of that. We’ll save that for the special edition. We gotta keep the story going.” Because that was the idea when I first presented it to him. The beauty of DVD now is that we can just shoot all three stories in their entirety and then I’ll do this theatrical cut which kind of sandwiches it all together. But that’s not the ideal way to watch it. The ideal way to watch it is the way you would read his books, which is one at a time, separated into any order that you want. We’d be able to do that on the special edition DVD.
So this is finally what I first told him in the very first
meeting that we had. That
special edition DVD that seemed so far away is now finally here.
And it’s just a great thing to finally hold in our hands
and have it be so complete. The
other thing I’m excited about is that people sometimes complain,
“Oh, the only thing about DVDs is that you lose that theatrical
experience when you’re sitting there at home and you don’t have
an audience.” So I’ve
Tarantino: Actually, all of my stuff made the theatrical cut. (laughs)
Rodriguez: We recorded a commentary at his house. It was great because he and Bruce – when I recorded with Bruce Willis – actually both talked a little bit about Pulp Fiction. Y’all never did a commentary for Pulp Fiction.
Tarantino: No, we never
Rodriguez: I thought that was a great extra thing. As a fan myself of the movie, I’m like, “God, I get a little bonus here. A little commentary on Pulp Fiction.”
Tarantino: Also, the 15-minute take – which I don’t think I’ve watched, in all of its 15-minute glory, until tonight – but I remember the day very well. I remember Robert telling me about it. I go, “Really? You have me saying that to Clive (Owen)? And you have Clive answering back? Wow, that’s kinda cool.” My favorite part of the 15-minute take is me giving Greg Nicotero shit. He’s the makeup guy on all of Robert’s movies and all of my movies and as important as it is to make a good movie, it’s also important to torture Greg. (laughs) The second one is so important; the first one’s just a little bit more important.
So did doing this
special re-cut get you guys prepared and excited about doing
Rodriguez: Yeah. Just looking at (Frank) again, I’m like, “Where’s the script? We can start filming right now if you’ve got it.” Or we can just start shooting anyway.
Miller: It’ll be ready when it’s ready.
Rodriguez: It’s exciting to think about doing another one, ‘cause there’s so much we still want to do with it and the ideas we’ve just been throwing around have got us both really excited about it. And he’s working on some new material, so it’s gonna be exciting.
Robert, was there any collaboration between you and Quentin beyond his one scene, and what can you tell us about Grind House?
Rodriguez: Yeah, we can’t talk about Grind House yet, but it’s gonna be real fucking cool! (laughs)
Tarantino: You just
Rodriguez: Even before I’d contacted Frank, I had talked to Quentin about coming to try out digital filmmaking and next time I’m shooting, coming out and shooting a scene to see what it’s like. Because I knew he wouldn’t go do it on his own, I wanted him to experience that with an actor. I wasn’t quite sure what he was gonna shoot; I showed him the first intro that we had done with Frank, the first time I showed him the Josh Hartnett scene. And he was excited to do any piece of it, so I showed him the Bruce Willis…it was either gonna be the opening scene with Bruce Willis on the dock – depending on the schedule, because he was going to be the president of Cannes that year – or the sequence (with Owen and Del Toro).
They were self-standing scenes that had their own beginning,
middle and end, almost like a short film.
So I thought it would be one of those, depending on the
schedule, and it ended up that once he was done with Cannes we were
shooting The Big Fat Kill, so that became the obvious choice…he
had so much fun shooting that, he kinda hung around the set the next
day to direct Brittany Murphy. (laughs)
Tarantino: As much fun as I had on the day that was officially mine, in it’s own organic rhythm I actually had even more fun the next day because I had no responsibility, but I was still hanging around. There was like, “Hey, there’s a scene, there’s a little me here. I just noticed a little piece of me. What do you think about this piece of me? Why don’t you tell them?” (Rodriguez responded) “I’m not gonna tell them. You tell them. It’s your fucking idea.” “So let me be you for a second.” (laughs)
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