Seven Great Quotes From Steven Spielberg & Peter Jackson’s ‘The Adventures of Tintin’ Press Conference
Posted on Saturday, July 23rd, 2011 by Germain Lussier
Hoards of screaming fans. Autograph seekers evading security. No, it’s not limited to just the cast of Twilight. It also happens when Steven Spielberg makes his first appearance at San Diego Comic-Con. After taking the Hall H stage on Friday to present The Adventures of Tintin with his co-producer Peter Jackson, both filmmakers were escorted to the nearby Hilton Bayfront hotel for a press conference. On the way, the pair incited the kind of madness normally reserved for your more traditional celebrities. Spielberg and Jackson are Comic-Con legends however, and when they addressed the press, they offered up a bunch of insightful and interesting thoughts. Subjects ranged from the process of making The Adventures of Tintin to their collaboration, the past, present and future of 3D and much more. After the jump, read seven of the best things these two titans of filmmakers had to say.
Steven Spielberg on the question of technology overshadowing everything else in Tintin:
Five minutes into watching this movie everyone will soon see the medium is not the message, but the characters and the story and the plot is. Every movie you’re going to forget that it’s in 3D, widescreen, you forget everything if the movie’s working. If the movie doesn’t work, or movies generically don’t work, you immediately start to pick apart whatever thing contributed to that. But if any movie is working, hopefully, how it was made will be the least of your concern. You’ll only want to have a good time.
Steven Spielberg on how acting doesn’t change in performance capture:
It all comes down to the actors looking each other in the eye and that’s where the truth is told. That’s where all the drama or the comedy happens. You see Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis in Some Like it Hot, they’re dressed outlandishly and everything else. The truth of those performances, when they’re looking at each other, they’re acting together. Actors just need each other to act together, all that stuff is forgotten. So even though our actors are in motion capture suits, performance capture suits, they’re wearing headgear, a little camera, dots on their face, after laughing at each other for 10 minutes and getting that out of their systems, they’re just performing characters and I think that is the secret to great acting. You have to bring your imagination to the party.
Steven Spielberg on the potential sequel and the audience:
Hopefully, in success, Peter is scheduled to direct the second Tintin adventure, so I’m really looking forward to working with him as a producer the same way. As a collaborator the same way Peter has worked with me, to support me to direct Tintin but also to support me in just about every creative decision, from the beginning of this process to where we sit right here talking to you. And this movie I’m making for all of you. Some movies I make for myself, I do that sometimes when the subject matter is very sensitive and very personal and I really can’t imagine that I’m an audience. I would lose myself too much if I thought of myself as the audience. But there’s other kinds of genre films that I need to be able to direct from the audience to be right next to you, watching the picture be made and Tintin is just such a movie.
Peter Jackson on the long process of making Tintin:
Even as Tintin has taken Steven and I five or six years, from the very beginning of the process to get to the point where we’re at now, it’s been five or six absolutely dynamic years because literally every week we’ve seen new things. New versions of shots even though we’ve seen it before they’re starting to come to life in a way, you go ‘Oh my god!’ It’s exciting.
Steven Spielberg on being a scientist:
Peter has a very good sense of seeing the big picture and then finding the best way into, the most expedient way into achieving that image or that emotional moment. And so we were, in a way, like two code breakers working on the enigma code, trying to figure this movie out together. And once I realized that we were sort of two scientists in a lab trying to figure out how to make something work, there’s no ego, there’s no competition, we both on the same page. Two huge Tintin fanboys trying to bring the movie to you in a way that you’ll like.
Steven Spielberg on why 3D needs to be used carefully:
3D needs a trained eye. It can’t be done by everybody. People who just do 3D for the sake of commercializing their movie another five or six percent and don’t know really how to do it, they should consider how to do it better by bringing other directors or collaborators into their lives to help teach and instruct, “How do you really make a 3D a movie?” Because it’s not just like putting a new lens on the camera and forgetting it. It’s not a fire and forget tool. It takes a lot of very careful consideration and it will change your approach to where you put the camera. So 3D isn’t for everybody.
Peter Jackson on the current state of 3D and why he loves it:
I think the 3D situation is kind of interesting at the moment because after Avatar, obviously, it survived for a while as this premium experience with higher ticket prices. But I think audiences have now come to realize that there are bad movies that can be in 3D as well and then on top of that you’re being charged an extra $5 to see a movie that was as bad as one you saw in 2D a few years ago. So there’s a natural human response to that and I think that’s being driven to some degree by the increased ticket prices which is a shame now. It’s gonna start to backfire a little. But I actually think that 3D with the right movie, can enhance the experience. Absolutely it can make a good film a great film, it can make a great film a really amazing film to see. And that’s what I hang on to. But certainly the projection brightness issue needs to be addressed if 3D is going to have a long term future in cinema in a sense that it’s there as a tool like Cinemascope was introduced in the 50s, the surround sound, these technological things are not new, it’s just another step forward. But certainly something has to be done about the dim pictures we’re all experiencing.
The Adventures of Tintin, shot in 3D, hits theaters December 22.