Bekmambetov Talks 9, Wanted 2 and Moby Dick
Russian director Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted, Night Watch, Day Watch), who helped shepherd Shane Acker's 9 by serving as a co-producer, has been very busy. He tells us about the influence that 9 is having on his own live-action projects, including Wanted 2 and Moby Dick. He also discusses 3-D and the latest feature by his favorite director, James Cameron: you know, Avatar.
Bill Desowitz: What was it like for you being involved with 9 and working with Shane Acker?
Timur Bekmambetov: We just helped Shane to feel comfortable and give him the freedom to do what he wants.
BD: And what appealed to you about 9?
TB: The first time I saw the short was when Mike Simpson (who's my agent as well as Tim Burton's) gave me a copy on DVD, and it was so impressive and exciting that I wanted to see the rest of the world. And it's the kind of movie that I would like to do, where it's smart, very artistic and very grounded at the same time.
And what was unique about Shane's technique is that this is a 2-D movie with a 3-D look. He created very picturesque 2D backgrounds with 3D characters. And this combination creates the effect of watching a stereoscopic movie: you feel like the characters are real and you are watching 3-D objects. It's not only the technology but the compositions: he painted these 2D backgrounds, and the 3D objects up front the effect. And also it's the animation and how everything is happening in a 3D world with depth of field. But, of course, the main thing is that this is an animation movie with a mission and it's not just [fuzzy] animals.
BD: Well, it's good that we're progressing beyond that in the mainstream.
TB: And I like that Shane's language is very unique with his self-irony. He's talking about us as adults with huge problems.
BD: Would you like to direct an animated feature?
TB: Yes, of course, but it takes too long.