Fede Alvarez Talks Panic Attack!
FA: Now we have the whole plot. It wasn't hard because when you have creative freedom to do the movie you want, it's easier and a more natural process. We just sat down and figured out what would [please us]. That's basically what Raimi said to me during our first call: "Just make sure you do the movie that you always wanted to go to the theater to watch." I hope we make it.
BD: What's it been like working with Raimi?
FA: He's the coolest guy ever -- he's really been there for us. He's been very protective -- that's why he offered the deal the way he did. He wanted me to do this movie outside the studio system to allow more creative control. I think his goal is to make sure that it's my movie and I'm happy with the process. Of course, when he thinks we've made a bad decision, he's going to say something. He's an advisor; he's the godfather of the project.
BD: And the role of visual effects?
FA: Of course, it's going to have a lot of CGI -- it's the way to make this movie cheaper. In a way, that's what Hollywood is trying to do by making things look bigger on a small budget. On Panic Attack! I did all the stuff myself but now it's not going to be the case, of course. But the good thing about having a director who knows vfx, I know what I can do with vfx and what I cannot. I know that an explosion is not going to look good in CGI, so, again, we can do it for real like in Panic Attack!
BD: So let's talk about the making of the short and working with Mauro Rondan, who did the rigging and modeling.
FA: Yeah, I needed help with the models and I knew this guy was great and basically it was the two of us in the beginning. He was the modeler and I'm very bad at modeling, so we started working on it together and tried to get really good textures. It's very important if you're going to have huge scale to have textures from the same scale. If you take a picture of a small piece of metal and then resize it, it's always going to look bad.
BD: What software did you use?
FA: We used a bunch of stuff but basically [3ds Max]. So we went to the harbor and took lots of pictures of the hull of big ships and with that we did the texture of the robots to make them look real. And we did all the modeling in [3ds Max] and then, of course, in 2006 the technology wasn't as good as the way we did it in the end. That's why the project was on hold through all of 2007. I did the whole thing almost from scratch in 2008. We used FumeFX for all the explosions. I think maybe we did 90 vfx shots for the whole movie.
BD: And what else did you use?