Monsters: Theatrical Effects on Indie Budget
GE: I'm proudest that we made the film the way we wanted to make it. There's a big temptation when you're doing visual effects that you've got to have explosions every two seconds. And the reason I was attracted to the subject matter is my because my background is visual effects, and forever you go to the cinema and everyone points out how amazing these visual effects are, but, for me, I don't get excited about it: I just look at all the suffering the animators went through. And I wonder if it actually helped the movie or is it just because the director's being lazy and wants to distract the audience from the fact that the story's not working. So, in our movie, everyone's just getting on with their lives and what I've done is a reaction against all the big stuff going on. I was really keen on getting the story right and having you care about the characters.
BD: So what's it going to be like doing a bigger film with Timur Bekmambetov?
GE: Well, I hope it won't be a big Hollywood movie. It will certainly have more resources than Monsters, but I don't want it to be so big and crazy that you stop having creative control. Pretty much everyone is trying to create the best work that they can and we hope it will be successful. At the end of the day, I go and see these films, too, so it's a tricky balance. The last thing I want to do is make a film that nobody wants to see: that's a waste of time. So all I can do is make a film that I really want to watch and then pray that there will be enough people like you in the world that will say it's OK.
BD: What can you say about it?
GE: All I can really say is that it's a science fiction film and we have a tagline that is very vague: "An epic human story set in a futuristic world without humanity." And it's an idea that I pitched to Timur when I came over here and met him once. And he really liked it. It's a film that I've wanted to make for the last 10 years. But I've had floating around in my head very loosely and I need to write it all down and figure out how it actually works as a proper feature film. So as soon as Monsters gets released, hopefully, I'll have the time to do it properly.
Bill Desowitz is senior editor of AWN & VFXWorld.