Sunday, 18 January 2009

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Interview at the BFI in London, 18th January 2009

As all love stories die, David Fincher thought a 74 year old and a baby would be a beautiful way to end a love story. It would also be technically astonishing.
Brad Pitt was offered the part of Benjamin  and wanted to play all aspects of his life, he was not keen to split the part, and so by using makeup, which can only do so much, and using stunt techniques (they do this by using different actors and replacing their heads) ... Video Game techniques were put to use...
David was born in Denver Colerado, naturally artistic. As a young boy, he watched Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, noticing and loving  the idea that films don't happen in real time; followed by American Graffitti and Star Wars; whilst his sister was doing voice overs on Sesame Street..
No film School, was of interest, he liked earning money on special effects and this was more alluring. He also felt that he didn't like to earn money on productions he didn't own.
However he grew up in a world where everyone took film classes and everyone made films of pop music, if they were bad, they just blamed the artist. It was fun.
After about 10 years Hollywood started to take notice, they pretend not to, as they don't want to enable those who are not dedicated to their cause. He was naive, he didn't understand that  financiers were people who did not want to make movies of a good standard.
He learnt to be a tricky creature, but also in creating white noise tantrums, nobody listened.
David hates Alien 111 however he said there is no better place to fail upwards, afterwards he knew he would be given the opportunity to do one more film, his agent suggested Seven.  He was asked by New Line to keep to what the studio wanted, and afterwards he could do what he liked with it. He agreed, he shot in the dark....
David is witty with lively hand movements and a jaunty v shaped beard, spouting ' You don't need to see everything to unlock the Pandora's box of imagination'.  Now you see so much graphic stuff, too much, do you really need to see a head in a box?
Luckily in Hollywood you usually get more than one chance, as regularly people get fired, so..
Sound is amazing in films. He feels with access to incredible composers it is responsible to use the opportunity well. Benjamin was kicking around for a long time, a difficult but compelling story by Scott Fitzgerald. David wanted to create Benjamin's world by using all aspects, from actors until the forget who and where they are. 
Loving digital for it's ability to be quick, cheap and needing a small crew, he is able to check as everybody else can on the set, for any mistakes, an eyelash missing, bad makeup, and quickly change it. Of course the colour isn't as good.
Every time he does a film, he feels he has to promise something new, in this case it was Time, time on peoples faces, is a fascinating process, so David spent the production  money to support the story.
He will now be sleeping for three months he is tired.

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