CNET UK Podcast 550: Robert Rodriguez reveals the secrets of Alita
Hello and welcome to a special episode of CNET UK podcast joining me of course is Richard Trenholm.
And we are doing a special presentation all about the new movie alita battle isn't that right?
Alita battle angel that's right.
So what is this?
It's a new sci-fi epic.
It's a film right?
It's a film.
It's about an amnesiac cyborg.
It's based on the 90s manga and anime.
And it's about this kind of this cyborg who wakes up on a scrap heap and she doesn't know who she is.
And a little like Wall-E.
Actually it is, it's Woody, I never even thought of that.
And yeah, she wakes up with this scrappy, she doesn't know who he is.
She gets given a new body and then she has to find herself in this new world where she kinda uncovers these terrible plots and stuff.
And people are trying to get ahold of her and cuz she has the key Need to, maybe the past and the future and a lot of other stuff.
>.Is this live action?
It sounds like it's going to be very effects >.It's extremely effects.
But yeah, it's one of those films that nowadays they say, "Live Action," and when you look at stuff like the Jungle Book or the new Lion King And all that kind of stuff.
They call it live action but actually it's not really live action.
It has real actors in it, but pretty much all of it is kind of computer generated and animated.
So technically I think we should probably call it is photo realistic.
It's kind of like Ready Player One.
Which I watched recently and I quite liked.
In that there are elements where there are real people in it, but for the most part, it is a CGI.
It's quite similar to that.
I mean, we're gonna talk here about more about this shortly, but there's a lot of performance capture in it.
And that means there's a lot of really out there crazy character designs.
Played by interesting, famous actors, but with their faces on these crude, really out there bodies, and pretty cool.
And, but it's from the minds of James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez.
James Cameron wrote the script, he of course needs no introduction.
I mean, maybe I should anyway.
He's the guy behind the Terminator movies, and Titanic, and Avatar, and many more.
But right now, he's so busy developing a million sequels to Avatar.
Of course he is.
That he had to hand over the reigns of Alita to Robert Rodriguez.
And he, of course, is the guy behind From dusk to dawn and desperado.
And planet terror and the spy kids movies.
None of which is [UNKNOWN] anymore.
I mean it's not many black maybe then.
I said I've watched ready player one.
I also watch tomb raider flick on netflix.
That's pretty awful isn't it.
So we sat down with Robert Rodriquez and produce John Landow And he's the guy who produced Titanic, and he's producing Avatars and now Alita.
To find out a bit more about how this collaboration came out and what makes Alita so special.
Right, Robert and John, thanks for joining us today to talk about Alita Battle Angel.
So tell us a bit about sort of briefly what this movie sort of is and how it came about.
Well we discovered [INAUDIBLE] introduced to us by Guillermo Del Toro.
He brought it to us in 1999.
And Jim and I both fell in love with it.
Jim in particular who actually identified as a movie that he wanted to direct.
He saw a female character that he so I had such a strong affinity for, and a story that I thought was important to tell for young people, not just young women, a story of self discovery, and self empowerment, and once we started doing avatar, we realized that Jim would not be able to direct Alita for a long time, and we started looking.
For a director.
We talked to couple of different directors but it wasn't the right person to parent our child with and then Jim and Robert had a lunch together.
Yeah, I had a lunch with him and I've known him since before Desperados so we'd catch up every once in a while.
We've actually tried to direct a couple things together once before.
And this was not to look for a project together or anything.
I was actually had a directors chair show I interviewed directors.
I went to talk to him about that.
And he showed me a bunch of art from the new Avatars.
And revealed that he would probably just making those for the rest of his career.
And so I asked will what happens to Ade angel.
I haven't heard about this for years.
They kept thinking this [INAUDIBLE] not gonna have a chance.
So I went and [UNKNOWN] said you wanna check out for a little bit.
And I was like wow.
I didn't know he had done that much work.
He had an art reel, several scripts.
And we watched the art reel, and now his art reel is a collection of his art with voiceover and music.
I had seen a version of that for Avatar, way before he made the movie.
It's just a way to communicate what the movie is.
He had that for Alita, so he'd done a lot of work on it.
And he said, here, go take a whole script and read it if you want, see what you think.
Not co-direct it, just see what you think.
I was blown away by the script, it was a script that he had written We never cut it down, it was almost 200 pages.
And you could see the whole movie and you saw descriptive, and you could picture his version of it just from reading it.
It's like you watch the movie, and so I said I think it's all in there.
I think it just needs to be cut down, so let me try and just for free, you don't even have to pay me, I just wanna see if it's possible.
I'm not doing it five pages out, I got 60 pages out, Sacrificing any of the character stocks.
Knowing him, I knew that's what he would care about most.
Some people think that he's the spectacle Clark, but it's like, nah, that's the last thing [UNKNOWN] wants in there.
He wants the character stuff first and he was impressed with that, so [UNKNOWN] let's take it to Fox, see what they say.
And Barbara said to us when he went to work on this script, he said I'm not gonna rewrite this, cuz you don't rewrite Jim Cameron.
He said, I'm gonna edit, and he said, this is like a publishing situation where it's all there.
And I'm gonna come in, and I'm gonna surgically.
And we got it back, and we reread it.
We didn't miss any of the heart.
That was in Jim's script.
We didn't miss the character stuff that was there.
He got rid of fodder.
And that sent us on the path.
Okay, that sounds good.
I'd love to stay in that case.
It was, yeah, yeah.
In fact just now we went and had another lunch and we said, okay
Let's pick up where we left off four years ago.
That director chair show.
Can we do that?
That's what originally I came here for then we got side tracked.
We wouldn't have made a movie.
We wouldn't have a movie yeah.
So when you came where, and then you sort of went to direct it as well, like what did you?
Did you bring much of yourself to it or were you still kind of trying?
You have to figure out how to do it and so you end up putting a lot of yourself in Anyway, and you hand the very same script to three different directors, you'll get three different movies.
So I know that that just kinda happened, so I tried to just get as much information from him on how he would do it.
I wanted to see the Jim Cameron version of that.
Just like when I made Sin City.
I always take the book and then go make my own movie.
You could do that but I really wanted to give that version it's chance it court.
I wanted to shoot it like the thing that I enjoy very much.
And gave me the vision.
Which was a vision that Jim Cameron had.
So you can't help but have yourself in it.
And you have to figure a lot of stuff.
You have to cast, and you have to do the day by day.
There's plenty to do believe me.
But I wanted at the end of the day for him to see it and go, Wow, when did I make this?
[LAUGH] You know, [UNKNOWN] like a lost camera crew.
Robert is a film affecianado, he talked about his director's chair series, Robert has studied film for his whole career and he said to us when he made Sn City, Made a Frank Miller style movie.
So with Alita, I wanted to make a Jim Cameron style movie.
Now you look at Sin City, it's as much Robert as it could possibly be Frank Miller, and it's that same type of thing.
It's bringing that sensibility, but making it his own.
[UNKNOWN] I mean it's just a certain sort of just philosophy.
When I make a movie that I just have as a default.
And you don't want to do that all the time.
That's what's fun about working with those people, you get out of that.
For me and just a perfect example is I'm more whimsey and fantasy.
Because I started as a cartoonist and I don't have every much money in my movies.
So i can't afford hardcore reality.
And so, and I'm really not interested in it.
So, a guy picks up a dark case and it fires a missile.
I don't think the audience would really need to know how it works.
I can flip that, there are gonna be [INAUDIBLE], wait a minute, how does that work?
Jim is one of the guys to go, wait a minute, how does that work?
For him, science fiction needs to be science fact, it needs to be completely real.
Unify the fantasy, so that's why his moves are so grounded.
So for this, I mean, I can't do what I normally do.
You can't just shoot the sun grains out you have to build real steps.
Otherwise everything in effect, I mean everything is like, you don't believe anything.
Build real set, shoot real locations, that rules being displayed.
That way she has to, an effects version of her has to be so real to blend in with everything else.
And it'll feel like it's really happening, and even the drama and everything like that.
It won't be as whimsy, it won't be as tongue in cheek, it won't be.
You know, fun stuff I like to kill that right away.
And so that was a good exercise to do, it's really good to do.
That's more of the style of Jim Cameron, and it's interesting and you're making it and you're going This how he feels, like what I read.
Not like what I would go interpret it to be myself.
Cuz that's the movie I wanna see, because that's, I wanted to see that movie since he first announced it.
The only way it's gonna happen is if I go make it and I gotta make it with that hat on.
Okay, so is your most serious movie you've made then?
It's not a very fun movie [LAUGH] but I was serious it's just more This is more the attitude you have going in, which is believe in the drama of the story, and play that first.
over having to worry about entertaining.
In most of my movies, [UNKNOWN] trying to entertain, and that can be really annoying.
[UNKNOWN] are you having fun yet, are you having fun yet?
You know in Jim's movies, they suck human in and take over and it's become overwhelming and that is how he build them.
I never knew how to do that.
I knew like I will learn a lot about that by doing this.
Another thing that was very different on this, I think for you Robert was, the time we had to prep the movie, the time we had to post the movie, other Robert's movies in the past had very short windows.
We have very short windows for post-production and it gave Robert a much greater creative freedom to be able to take the time to design one creature or character over six weeks.
Instead of six in one week [LAUGH].
Yeah there's a timeless quality to the film and when you have the time to make it, this is it.
Once we're done that has to last for all time.
It can be when we just go and shoot very fast kinda it's in the theater.
It's a movie of the moment.
But to make something that's timeless like they do.
Stand up with those, you have to take that time.
Is this kinda squirrely now you just gonna go back to making movies quickly, or it always gonna be this much time-
I just made another movie for $7,000 [LAUGH] Anniversary to Moriachi, no and documented it, or I had no clue.
So I like both, you know, I mean they're fun.
It's something very immediate about taking Half of this, what you got here and go in and shooting a whole feature in 14 days.
And then doing something like this where the attention to detail is so great that I feel this moving, more than any that I was more like an audience member than a director of this one, because it was the effects shots were done and crew built these things.
I'd be like when did we shoot that?
I mean I didn't recognize some of this stuff.
It was so amazing and astonishing and had a level that I never could have achieved on my own.
That I have and I get to have a thrill of an audience member instead of just.
I've seen the shot already about another filmmaker, so it's been a real treat for me
Yeah, that's cool, and sort of about that learning thing.
So I mean I remember seeing the kind of behind the scenes videos that you've done, sort of showing the techniques and the advice that you've given to filmmakers.
Did you learn anything on this mini project?
Yeah, I mean, I learned.
That was the great thing with it.
And you're gonna learn everything that Jim has Has invented over the past 15 years these new technologies.
He [UNKNOWN] me at film school.
I mean, I was spoiled by that.
I mean, right way, he's like, here, come to the lights dorm and we'll go through my setup of how I did it.
I want you to shoot a scene using my performance capture [UNKNOWN] to see what terms are available to you.
And you can see what I [UNKNOWN] did [UNKNOWN] We'll see if it's useful to you.
And it's not just me and him.
It's like he's got a whole weather team there.
He's got like, I mean I feel like no this is all for me.
Wow this is incredible.
I've never felt like that before.
Being taken care of that much and getting a little crash course in it.
So I shoot it, cut it, watch it, Format, and then you know exactly what all the tools are, and then you can follow them to the movie and figure out okay, this is toolbox, this is what I'm gonna use on sort of real locations, not all the [UNKNOWN] stage but some of it, this part, this part.
I mean, really just there's this full education.
So Robert who has certainly done visual effects in the past had never done character performance capture certainly.
And it was making him aware of the tools that we've been using on the first Avatar and that we were planning on using on the sequels to Avatar and then letting him make them his own so that he could direct Rosa Salazar in the moment.
Cuz the commitment we make to our cast Is that when they see their performance up on the screen, through performance capture, they're gonna see their performance.
They're not gonna see a visual effects company's interpretation of that or anything like that.
So we tried to bring in people that Robert had not That's what we worked with before but they were experts in their field whether it's in digital whether for [INAUDIBLE] and whether these other people.
And give Robert that opportunity to be their leader and he gives them their vision but they have the experience to bring to Robert.
Okay, and so what's kinda of.
New and unique about this film that we haven't seen before.
Even if it's something like the technical behind the scenes that people wouldn't necessarily see.
What I think is very unique is there's never been a performance capture character who has been realized with such performance detail and photographhic detail.
When your making a movie like Avatar, what a digital, from a performance standpoint, what can hide behind blue skin in a fantasy world, or whether a digital is doing a movie like the ape movies, they can hide behind an ape face and fur.
There's no hiding with Aleta, she is all there, and to be able to bring out a performance at a photographic level that can sit right next to Chris Falswals or Mehershaw Lee or Jennifer Connally or be kissed by Keenan Johnson.
That is a challenge, so not taking anything away from a movie like Jungle Book, But if you look at John LeBlanc they really had maybe two or three scenes with interaction between the human character and the CG character.
One sitting on Baloo, a couple other touching of wolves.
Here every scene there's interaction, there's contact.
There's taking an orange out of someone's hand.
There's holding hands.
All of these things, that is a huge technical challenge that people don't think it when they watch the movie.
It comes invisible, I guess.
You never can tell what's effective, what's not and you're watching, I know, I can't believe we've got a huge close for that.
And it looks so real.
You know I think this is a case where technology makes you forget about technology.
Because by the time you're a few minutes into the movie, you're not thinking about it.
And at the end, you're definitely not thinking about it.
You've seen her do all those Natural human things without restriction to camera moves, and without restriction to performance.
Get the right shot and have fun.
And the crew is just amazing, you know, I just never seen that level.
Now with in terms you see the effects movie, and we split up the shots in different houses to save time and money.
And sometimes, you'll get to a part in the movie where you go, wow, that was a great looking sequence, but doesn't all look like that.
This is all the way across the board.
It becomes overwhelming how much it just works, and you feel like your consistently in that world, nothing pulls you out.
And I've never seen that before.
And that was the other thing I remember I noticed.
Jim started, we started very much the same.
We were very scrappy filmmakers but we always got along.
You can forget that about him because he's gone so far into innovating technologies and making these stunning films that you can only realize with visual effects.
But I used to wonder, I wonder if he's just gonna do those Then obviously this one I can see why he enjoys doing those because you really can create worlds you'll never visit except in your dreams.
You'll never see these shots.
It's not something you can just go out in the street and shoot.
You have to make everything and it's when you have that kind of ability you want to just imagine new worlds.
That's why he just went and created his own.
His own system, his own planetary system, because you can and now you can go create your own world and then make stories within that world.
So he figured that out long ago, he was always way ahead of everybody in that way.
So you wanna go work with somebody like that, to get a sense of.
How do you even craft a story like that, I mean build out a world vision, and I got to see behind the curtain and I don't know, I can go do it on my own now, but I now at least now know, I had no idea before.
And I think ultimately, you know, what Jim's ballart might in terms about is using technology to allow you to tell stories that might not otherwise have been told.
We couldn't have told Aleta, but for the technology that exists.
We're not similarly creating a piece of content to go after a technology, we're finding technology that speaks to us that we believe will speak to an audience, and then we're finding the technology that enables it.
So when we started shooting, we didn't have the technology, we had to build it in host basically that you were asking.
And when you think about it, It's 2018 [INAUDIBLE] He was ready to make this in 2005, I mean, he's always pushed the envelope before anybody's ready because he knows they'll never be ready for what I got.
So we just gotta do it, and they're gonna have to figure it out as we do it.
We need to be the impetous for change.
And if you look at Jim's career, and I'm not [INAUDIBLE] in this
You know, what he did with the abyss which was really the first time with computer generation effects were used on the film for the pseudopod.
He wrote that scene into the abyss because he already knew about Terminator 2 and he knew if he couldn't do that scene, he could never do Terminator 2 but if he couldn't do it, he could take it out of the abyss and the abyss would still work.
Well it proved itself.
He then did Terminator 2. When we were doing Titanic.
And by the way, Terminator 2 then led to Jurassic Park and all these other things.
Then we were doing Titanic and we brought the ship to life, using at the time motion capture.
We already knew about Avatar.
We knew that we would need to do motion capture to make Avatar work.
Well Titanic and that was type of technology that enabled Lord of the Rings.
And then we circled back with Avatar to push it.
And Avatar, what we did, enabled Aleta, and Aleta now is actually gonna inform the Avatar sequels.
Cuz what we're doing here is so far advanced from what we did on Avatar, That it's gonna change how we're doing the sequels.
So what kind of big changes can we expect to see from the sequel?
Again I think it's just carrying forward what we've learned from Alita now where we're gonna be able to give you a much greater fidelity of a performance from Sam and Zoe and Kate Winslet who's now in the movie and really see them.
And to deliver it at an unprecedented photographic level, where fantasy will play realer than ever and why do people go to movies today?
To escape the worlds they live in.
And I think we're gonna be able to truly transport them or they feel as if they're on another world.
It's funny that you mentioned photographic realism, there.
Do you think when we see things like Disney remaking their animated movies, it's supposedly live action, but it's mostly CG.
Did the term live action even mean anything then?
I think that to me, live action means a movie that does not have visual effects.
[LAUGH] And I think, to me it's about combining those things.
It's combining it to give audiences something that they can't get anywhere else that they can't get.
Through television, they can't get through streaming.
Only the big screen can really present where you're using visual effects.
And I don't at Jungle Book as an animated movie.
It's what we would traditionally call a live-action movie but it's mostly animated somehow.
But it's photographic animation.
And that's the distinction I make.
The other distinction I make between animation and what we call live action is, in animation, the voice is driven in a sound booth, and the actor is not actually driving the performance of the character.
In Avatar, our actors are driving the choices that the computer generated characters make.
When you watch Planet of the Apes, Andy Serkis is driving those performances.
So we tend to call those live-action.
But they're really this combination, they're a hybrid.
Of technology that enables us to do really exciting things.
Well in Alita, obviously, you've got the kind of the crazy cyborgs with all different shapes and sizes.
And you talked about being on real sets with the [UNKNOWN] and stuff.
How much of that was kind of real and the actors actually there on the set?
We have Jackie Earl painting.
You walk into the bar we built there [UNKNOWN].
And even though he's gonna be eight feet tall in the movie he's there acting with everybody.
Yeah, we did have stilts an we did have them just performing while we had Stunt doubles still it's also for them to have an i line too and it was great.
It was great to have everybody together.
And miss Young.
Now it looks like they were all there, you know, so it's pretty wild and Tiana and Anna had you know their real face and then some prostetics and a green suit and their whole bodies were replaced
[UNKNOWN] what it looks like when they're in this.
[UNKNOWN] the one in the scene you saw where he's in the red coat and she reveals herself.
But she's actually there giving that performance, leading down to Christoff and doing all that stuff.
And you can't tell where the seam is, where what's real, what's not real.
It's all one relaity.
And I think that's an important aspect too of a movie.
And then Robert's done a phenomenal job of that.
But movies need to introduce audiences their own reality, the movies reality and then be consistent with that throughout.
So [UNKNOWN] is produced by Lightstorm which is the company that James Cameron founded and they're also working on the Avatar sequels.
So in some ways
With the latest cutting edge CG and the CG characters and the high tech 3D, you can also see this as a little bit of a teaser maybe, a taster for the Avatar movies.
With Avatar though, when that came out like ten years ago.
Ten years, 2009 is ten years this year.
And that was really almost like the flagship piece to show off 3D cinema, that was all about 3D and it was like this was the best way, it was all shot I believe For 3D using the two lens system rather than being done digitally.
Yeah, one of the reasons Avatar took a long time to make is that James Cameron kind of reinvented how you film with 3D.
How you film How you shoot it.
How you distribute it.
How you project it.
So the whole kinda end-to-end approach of making a 3D movie was, James Cameron was well into that.
And he's still bang into that.
He is, but.
And, but, so is the rest of the world.
Yeah, no-one else really seems to be.
And, if fact, 3D cinema tends to be falling away a little bit.
And certainly 3D TV's in the home.
Thankfully aren't really a thing anymore and aren't coming back anytime soon.
Is there an equivalent of like this is the new tech that they are really pushing for like the next avatars or even for a liter.
We've talked about and heard about the face mapping and all that stuff.
Yeah I mean they are still pretty keen on 3D but the thing is there is four Avatar sequels coming about between 2020 and 2025.
Have you had any yet?
No there's not been Avatar 2 and the rest coming out from 2020 and I don't know if anyone in the world cares about Avatar as much as James Cameron apparently does, but there you go.
Isn't he too busy down in that trench?
He is always off looking at the Titanic and stuff
But the thing is though 3D, whatever you feel about it, you don't have to actually go and see in 3D, it's kind the icing on the cake.
And really the cleverness of this movie is the performance capture which is pretty spectacular, we've kind of become used to the performance capture and CG characters with characters like Thanos and Planet of the Apes movies, and all the Marvel movies but this is this kind of takes it to the next level.
And it's wierd because it's almost something that audiences don't really notice.
Now that we're used to CG characters, we perhaps wouldn't notice that this is more technically advanced than other movies.
What Alita does have is the amount of time that Alita, the character, spends on the screen and the way she interacts with the real actors.
It's something that's pushing those boundaries of the The CG technology.
And yeah, and it's just like I said is full of like crazy characters with kind of famous faces on Jack Hill, Hailey is in it.
Budge for the people and yeah, it's really interesting.
But ultimately though, what good to remember though is the story that's gonna drive whether we engage with these characters or not.
And you know, if a character is CG and they look really weird like Thanos is purple, We'll still engage with them as a character if they have like some compelling stuff going on.
If you look at Caesar in Planet of the Apes specifically, or Thanos, the reason we feel for those characters is they feel like real beings, right?
They've got hopes and fears, personalities-
Yeah, which is well written, it's not just the effects for the sake of effects.
There's actually something driving that connection Exactly, and I think looking at the Terminator movies and stuff, you can kinda hope that that's what James Cameron did, that he can still provide.
So we might not be sure about who's gonna go and see an Avatar movie, but they will.
The first one was like the biggest movie in the world ever.
So, you know, I'm sure there will be people interested in and there will be cutting edge effects technology no matter what.
I hope you'll be [UNKNOWN] story as well.
So, yeah, let's show a little bit more from Robert John.
Before [UNKNOWN] capture allows actors to play characters they cannot otherwise play.
We're talking about Jack [UNKNOWN]
He could not play a nine foot tall hulking, you know, mobster.
He does in this.
Rosa Salazar could not play a much younger, nimble, you know, Alita but for performance capture.
And that's the exciting thing that it's something that it replace 21 century [UNKNOWN] no longer does and actor need to sit two, three hours, four hours a make up, it come up and they play a character that it can otherwise play.
And in terms of like the performance capture.
How [UNKNOWN] is it to have everybody kind of there and talking to each other and they're on the set?
Is there room for sort of like, ad libs, improvs?
Or does it have to be kind of ruthlessly preplanned?
No, there's more room for improv because you're not having to go, okay, now you have to match what she did over here.
You're in the moments.
You can have Just, the most loose scene, and tried many different ways, and what's great about her, she's always being captured.
So even if I'm filming the other actors art, even if she's off camera, we can use that performance, it's amazing.
It's almost like there's always cameras on her, so you're getting twice the performances out of her that.
That she can choose from.
So, an actress starts improvising with an actor.
You don't have to go back and re-shoot her.
Because all they changed how they did it.
She's being captured, so you have even more freedom to change it up and make it fresh, improvise something.
And how many kind of iterations of the latest face, you have to [UNKNOWN] the face always.
Give me a face how [UNKNOWN] arrange the main character?
Were they kinda really making the eyes bigger and bigger and sort of playing with the size and all that kinda thing?
We did it in the art stage and then we did it after we'd begun to capture.
It was really a thing where nobody seemed worried at all that they had never done this before.
I was like, wow, they know they're just gonna figure it out.
That's how you do it.
You start doing some things.
By the time you think you've got Something that works.
You know, it's very different.
In an anime you can cheat a lot.
And as an artist, I know you can cheat.
You can design a face and then when you do a profile, you can design a different face for the profile.
And then when you do this three quarter, you're like, that doesn't work anymore, so I have to do this face.
You have to have one size fit all when you do a CG character.
So sometimes you'll make something that might look good from a couple of angles and then you start going through a scene at certain lighting situations and what we have to change.
You have to keep going and rebuilding it.
And it was just a process until you got done with old films.
Sometimes you finished almost a bunch of shots and then you have to go back and it just upgrades all the other ones.
Some of it's new things that you've learned.
I would say there are three different phases of design.
One is in concept art form.
And you go and you say okay we're doing this and we have, a Alita in [UNKNOWN] of a cast member, and then we go okay Rose is playing the part let's adjust her in the concept art to incorporate Rose's characteristics.
Okay, we like that look.
Let's build the CGI model of that.
And we look at a relatively static CGI model and evolve all that.
Make the eyes bigger, make the mouth smaller, do the brow a little bit more.
Yes it looks like the concept art.
Then we put it into shots.
And it's not till we get to the shot stage, That we can truly evaluate the choices we made.
And as we're going through, there are a number of different times that we would go, okay, we've gotta make a change to the mouth, we gotta make a change to the eyes, to the part boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom.
And that continued all the way through.
Well into a year into post production.
Okay, was that a different experience for you, sort of to work with this really long post production?
Yeah, for sure.
I mean, usually you have to just go let's get it as good as we can and then we just have to put it out.
And that's kinda sometimes why I rely on.
I mean, even this, I knew there was a safety net of She does a line in there that I make sure we [UNKNOWN] just in case we didn't get as real [UNKNOWN].
It says, it's a body but I'm not completely human.
See, if she looks completely human, it still works but at the effect Some people are saying, I don't know, she just doesn't look human, we always have that line.
Well, you don't have to worry she looks completely human.
More human than humans sometimes, yeah.
Because of the size of the eyes, you can see so much of the soul coming through.
It feels almost more human.
And we would never do CGI for a 100% human character.
Because you don't need to.
We'll go cast the actors to play that part but when you have this person as a cyborg with a slightly bigger eyes, with slightly smaller mouth, or a blue Navi, you need to do that.
Okay, well then, so a followup question.
You mentioned, obviously, your early days as a scrappy filmmaker.
Looking at the advances that have happened now, the visual effects that can do basically anything.
How would you have made [UNKNOWN] differently if you were making it now?
Do those effects trickle down, sort of, in the [UNKNOWN] or not?
Gosh, that's hard to say, I just literally made another movie thousand that way, it was more like 3,000.
Cuz you, the cameras look amazing.
I mean you're looking at it and can't believe, you look at my at lot of times it's like real, you can't tell anymore.
I mean it looks incredible, and the effects can just be real, I have to put in this Kinda scrappy looking effects, cuz it was looking too good.
The little thing I did in Photoshop on that pane as a Tesla, you know, I was gonna use that, otherwise you're not even gonna know there's even a map painting.
And this is a selling, not really did so you can do incredible things with technology.
But what happens is it comes down to the storytelling, cuz anybody can pick up a camera now.
So what makes How do you compete with the big move of the story?
I mean your story has to be better than someone else's, so it always comes back down to the story telling.
It's really democratized the process and now it's about who's telling the best story and, you know, it's a combination of truth and spectacle, that's what James Cameron's movies had.
those movies have a lot of character truth.
And it brings on the spectacle.
That's why you ruin the movie.
And I would say my answer to that would be I hope he woudln't do anything differently.
Because I think that Mariachi stands so well for what it is because of how It was made and just because the technology exist doesn't mean you should embrace it.
Now, let us just talk about Titanic for a second.
You know, today, we could the ship digitally, I don't know that we should because there was something about the cast being there and walking on it and when you see what Robert did with Mariachi, there's a pureness.
To what, that I would hope, would never get lost.
Alright, well, looking forward to seeing the film.
Thank you very much.
I appreciate it.
Definitely exciting stuff and I thing it would mean that I need to get a proper tv 'cause the only time, in fact, I have seen Avatar was when I was brutally hung over on a friend's sofa and they had one of those You know 13 inch mini tv's.
Just the way James Cameron intended.
So I got the full force of not 3D at all, in fact, you know cause it was an old CRT thing, it wasn't even HD.
[LAUGH] Well, hopefully we'll be able to find a better screen for you.
It's a- [CROSSTALK]
Hopefully, my TV is a little better now so I- [CROSSTALK]
Good, good great yeah.
So when actually is it gonna be coming out?
[INAUDIBLE] comes out on 6th of February in the UK and 14th of February in the US, So-
We get it first?
If you're in
In Britain you're lucky enough.
Yeah we're lucky enough to get it first.
Mm love it when that happens.
In all its 3D glory.
I mean I think that probably brings the show to a close in that case.
Yep thanks for joining us everyone.
Thank you for joining us.
Thanks for coming John.
Thanks for those guys, I wasn't there for that.
Thank you to them anyway, I may as well be polite.
Well, thanks for coming in and doing this bit.
This is the best bit anyways.
Yeah, this is always the best bit.
Where can you find us social?
Where can you find us on social.
Well, you can find me with at battery HQ.
You at Rich Knightwell with a K. See that on all your social.
Yeah I see on all those, you can email the show any of your questions with we have an email address and the great thing about our email adress is that I remember what it is like critically I do always remember what it is, it is I believe firstname.lastname@example.org That sounds quite enough.
I think that's right but maybe just use Twitter or Instagram instead.
And don't forget it's the last time watch you think we're great on [UNKNOWN] and YouTube.
Yeah, please leave your reviews.
I think normal service will be resumed next time, we are of course behind the scenes gearing up For both mobile world congress and the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S10, very exciting stuff.
So probably next time will almost certainly be like a big mobile special again so those of you I really into your films, you probably wan to join us next time but thanks for joining us this time at least.
Thanks a lot, bye.
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