Mad Max's George Miller on the graphic novel approach to 'Fury Road'Before the explosions, the flaming guitars and the special effects, "Mad Max: Fury Road" was conceived in 3,500 graphic novel-style story boards. CNET speaks to the film's director George Miller about the long road towards creating the road warrior.
Mad Max: Fury Road might be one big car chase but there's method to the madness. In Australia, said the graphic festival at Sydney's Opera House, Director George Miller spoke to cnet about how a graphic novel approach brought depth to the destruction. George Miller, thank you for speaking with cnet. Thank you. It seems that this film, you kind of threw out the idea of scripting in the early stages and instead chose To do three and a half thousand storyboards to create the idea of the film, kind of in a graphic novel style. Does this mean at heart you're just a really big comic book nerd? I was always a comic book kid. I mean, when I grew up in the country, in Queensland, I, There were quite elicit comics. You couldn't take them to school. Your parents thought, somehow, something was wrong with you if you were reading comics rather than reading books. And so, I always loved comics. And this movie, itself, the original idea was for it to be an extended chase and in many ways, a silent movie with sound. We're trying to tell as much story as possible Purely with an [INAUDIBLE]. So the obvious way to approach it was to do storyboards and I worked with three storyboard artists and the King won. And designer was Brendan McCarthy and who's a graphic novelist and a very, very fine artist and we worked ultimately, [INAUDIBLE] as a dramator and actor came along We dug down deep into the sub-text but essentially its first iteration was an extended story board. Which is the perfect way to get information across on an action movie because people can see exactly what is happening at any moment. And its just a blueprint its not the final thing. okay, so if your penning a comic like spider-man you might not have any limitations. Were there any limitations? When you're creating these format kind of graphic novels style base, when you have to put it onto film, was there anything you couldn't do? Well, we couldn't defy the laws of physics. This is not a superhero movie. No flying men, no space ships or anything like that. So they simply told us how to make the movie. We had to do, we went old school. There were real vehicles, and real people, and real crashes in a real desert. And the essential image, the first image that we captured was always real. There was no CG there, but everything else was augmented by CG. And there we are able to use the technology that we normal couldn't in the past, and erase it in CG. So it had elaborate rigs on actors and stunt people so we'll know if the vehicle were hurtling through the desert, people can be kept safe. That was Tom High upside down between the big wheels and the big war rig. You've kind of mechanized the human characters in it. And the machines have a life of their own. How do you create a human story under such a thriller, high octane, explosive? It could have just been a bullets and guns and explosions film. But it's clearly not. What's involved in the story helped to build that up? Well, you try to create as much iceberg under the tip, picture him for instance. Even though he appears only briefly throughout the movie, I know who his mother was, I know how he survived the apocalypse, I know how a man who's blind and mute And really can only play the guitar. How he actually survived and got to be where he was. He's the equivalent of the drummer, the bugler, the bagpipe player, you know, the music of war. But it had to be upgraded to account for all the noise that happens with all the vehicles. So that helped with everything and not only with, like, Max's mask which is a garden hoe or Taking that guitar. It's a hospital bed pan at the base of it. Every vehicle, every steering wheel, was kind of, in a sense, almost a religious artifact. And we had to understand, it's basically found objects repurposed. The one thing I will say about a movie like this, it's basically visual music. So, the vision has primacy. You try to tell the story almost like a silent movie with sound and that's what we said about it. And that;s the point of Gyptians in the movie. The trick was whether or not all that subtext could be read by the audience in something that moves so fast. From storyboard to cinema, on the Fury Road. George Miller will appear at the City Opera House on October 11. It was hard to know who was more crazy, me or Eduano. [SOUND]