Posted on Thursday, July 10th, 2014 by Germain Lussier
When two popular filmmakers hop on Reddit together, anything can happen. And lots did happen Wednesday night when Matt Reeves and Michael Giacchino did a simultaneous AMA to promote the excellent Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
First up, the director dropped some super-interesting information about the making of the film and how he plans on working toward the 1968 original. Later, he got Giacchino to confirm he’ll be back for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes 2, or whatever it’ll be called. Both said they’d love to do a Star Wars movie (as long as they could do it together), and talked about future projects like The Invisible Woman and Jurassic World, the work load possible for a composer and so much more. It was a lively, interactive AMA and we’ve got some of the highlights below.
Here are the quotes from Matt Reeves and Michael Giacchino with a brief into. For the full context, click the highlighted text.
Will Michael Giacchino return to score the next Apes movie:
Reeves: Wait! I am asking him right now!
Giacchino: I’m saying yes!
What’s the status on Reeves’ films The Invisible Woman and 8 O’Clock in the Morning? Also, would either do a Star Wars movie?
Reeves: Those are both passion projects of mine. Invisible Woman is something I hope to make at some point very soon, probably not until after the next Apes movie, but it’s something I could make quickly. And 8’Clock is something I’ve written a draft of that I am very excited about. Both of them are projects I’m very excited about.
And [for Star Wars] my answer is: if Michael will do it, I’ll do it… And if Michael directs it, I will play flute on his soundtrack.
What’s the status on Giacchino’s next three films, Inside Out, Tomorrowland and Jurassic World?
Giacchino: Well, I mean, really, the only thing I can say about those 3 movies right now is that I’m still figuring them out in my head. I haven’t actually put anything to paper yet. For sure Jurassic Park is an icon of film music themes, and I love that score so much in the movie. And of course John is a huge inspiration to me. But I always look to the film to tell me what to do. I never second-guess or suppose beforehand that I will have to use a specific theme or mode of writing, I usually wait until I watch the movie and then I can start figuring out what’s going to work. And as far as Jurassic goes, I think it’ll be a little while before I get to see the film, but I’ll let you know when I do!
What can you say about the original Apes films and the timeline of how these will connect to them?
Reeves: One of the things i find exciting about the Apes universe is knowing that the 68 film is the trajectory that we are moving toward. And what I loved about RISE, and what I wanted to do in DAWN, was to continue Ceasar’s story. And for me the exciting story to tell is about Ceasar as the seminal mythic figure in early Ape history, that he is like their Moses, and I think that the Ape story is one that will be a mythic extension of that, and there will be future Ceasars, it’s a generational story, and the question is – how do we get from the world of RISE and DAWN to the world of the 68 film which is so radically different? And the chapters of that story are the chapters I am interested in telling, and that’s why I came onboard.
Was there any hesitation to come into a franchise that already had a director in Rupert Wyatt?
Reeves: I loved what Rupert did. And Rupert had left the film before I was asked to do it, so I had no qualms about doing it because I knew he wasn’t going to be doing it. And I had been a lifelong Planet of the Apes fan, LOVED Rise, and was very excited to do it.
How many movies can a composer do in a year?
Giacchino: I think doing 3 is a lot. I suppose it all depends on scheduling. There have been years when I’ve done 3, there have been years that I’ve done 4, it’s not easy and it’s not always the way you want it to work out, but I tend to work with the same people over and over again, so sometimes those filmmaker schedules butt into each other and I have to deal with the aftermath. The good news is that most of them know each other and are friends, so we can work things out.
Talk about aspect ratios and roughly how much the WETA work on Caesar costs?
Reeves: So I wanted to shoot the film in anamorphic 2.35:1. But we couldn’t do that, because of 3D. Because in 3D the lenses have to match perfectly and they are only now coming up with 3D matched lenses that will allow you to shoot 2.35:1. And the reason I wanted to shoot anamorphic, 2.35:1 was the aspect ratio but also because the depth of field is more shallow, and I think makes for a more intimate and realistic visual approach. And when it turned out that I could not shoot anamorphic, the only way to shoot with the kind of depth of field that I wanted was to shoot in 1.85:1. Because (and this is so technical) but in order to shoot super 35, which is NON-anamorphic, I would have had to have used wider lenses, which would have made for a different kind of depth of field than I wanted. So I shot 1.85:1 so I could get the kind of depth of field that I wanted.
And it would have cost more money, probably, to shoot the film in anamorphic and render the ape effects – it would have been more expensive. And actually no, because they rebuilt everything from the ground up for Ceasar to make it better. WETA sort of makes an overall deal, and tries to give you the best value they can give you, but there were 1,000 artists working on the film, and the overhead for that is basically a small village, so it works out to roughly around somewhere to $50-60,000 per 5 seconds of a shot of apes. Broadly, broadly.
Do you have a favorite piece of music you’ve done?
Giacchino: You know, I don’t have one that I am 100% enthralled with. I think they are all flawed in some way, for me. But I’m always more concerned with doing it better the next time, I try to forget what I did and try to do better the next time. I don’t really do it that way, I tend to look forward, as opposed to back.
What do you see as the next big trend in cinema?
Reeves: Well, I really don’t know. I hope the next big trend is emphasis on story and characters that you care, about to be honest.