AICN has a long interview with director Spike Jonze, and some new photos from his adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are. I have included some of the interesting points below:

  • They “spent months just working on that voice shoot before we even shot a frame of the film.”
  • Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs is working on the film’s score.
  • Picture locked three weeks ago, and all the effects will be done by May.
  • Framestore is doing the effect shots (the same team that did baby scene in Children of Men)
  • Warner Bros will be releasing a behind the scenes art book
  • One of the Wild Things is Voiced by Billy Bob Thornton.

On The Feeling of the Movie: “From the beginning, I wanted it to feel a certain way. I wanted it to feel “real,” or not-real because it’s not “real,” I wanted it to feel like… like when I was a kid, and I would play with my Star Wars action figures, or read Maurice’s books and imagine me being Mickey in IN THE NIGHT KITCHEN, or whatever it was… it felt like it was everything, you know? It’s like your imagination is so convincing to yourself that… you’re there, you’re in it. And I wanted this movie to take it as seriously as kids take their imagination and not, like, fantasy it up. So I think it just started from that feeling, that it could feel like you were there with them, like Max was there with them, and not just in some fantasy movie.”

On why the studio freaked out: “I think that’s what freaked the studio out about the movie too. It wasn’t a studio film for kids, or it wasn’t a traditional film about kids. We didn’t have like a Movie Kid in our movie, or a Movie Performance in a Movie Kid world. We had a real kid and a real world, and I think that’s sort of where our problem was. In the end they realized the movie is what it is, and there’s no real way to… it’s sort of like they were expecting a boy and I gave birth to a girl. So they just needed their time to sort that out and figure out how they were going to learn to love their new daughter.”

On the Age-Level of the Movie: “from the beginning, I told the studio, “I don’t think this is gonna be a movie for four-year-olds.” And I think they said “Oh, okay,” but I think that when they saw it, that’s another… you know, that’s something else.”

On Max Record’s Performance: “We didn’t want [Max] to rehearse much, we just wanted him to show up on set and deal with whatever was happening. A lot of the energy on set was creating stuff off-camera for him to react to and engage in. That was like a whole movie into itself, the off-camera stuff for Max.”

On Cutting Dialogue: “The script is so wordy that I slowly just tried to trust that there were certain feelings in the movie that didn’t need dialogue, and that we didn’t have to have dialogue saying what the movie is about so much as the movie just being about it. So we slowly just tried to find places where we could strip the dialogue back and let the feeling of the photography and the mood and the performances do the work.”

Shooting on location in Australia: “It was just sort of exhausting and insane to be out on these cliffs in southern Australia where there’s 60 mph winds, and you’ve got all these guys in suits, and you’ve got this little boy who’s freezing.”

The Troubles of Editing Long Takes: “One of the reasons why it took so long to edit, is we’d never cut. We’d let the camera roll, sometimes through forty-minute takes” … “But it makes editing so much longer, cause you’re going through the footage looking for the magic, or the moments with certain sparks of life instead of playing a scene out.”

Read the whole interview over on AICN.

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