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David Slade Interview with ‘Hit Fix’

Now, “Eclipse” is the biggest you’ve done in terms of size and budget?
Slade: Yeah, I guess technically speaking, but I would say this: you do commercials and you get a million dollars to make a commercial. If you add that up per day, it’s a bigger budget than doing a $100 million movie. I think at the end of the day the figures that are involved in movies don’t really add up to much. At the end of the day, the question is not how “much it cost?” but “is it any good?”  It’s the same when you hear people say “oh this was a troubled production” or any kind of gossip. None of that lasts. At the end of the day, is the film any good or not? Technically speaking though I mean yes, it was the biggest budget not just films I’ve done, but actually I think it was the biggest budget “Twilight” movie of all of them. It was an epic huge thing with battles and you know massive huge sets and all kinds of special effects work and a very short schedule. Usually what happens when there’s not much time there has to be more money.
Right: the “impossible triangle?”
Slade: It’s an old cliché but it’s a true…as many clichés are: It’s time, money, quality. Pick two.
In production you learn you are only allowed two of those three things, the third is always sacrificed. So if you want something done quickly (time) and cheaply(money) you will sacrifice quality, if you want something done well (quality) and fast (time) it’s not going to be cheap (money.) and so on -AD
Was the largest set piece the vampire vs. wolves war scene?
Slade: I think the mountain top battle between Victoria, Edward, Riley, Sethwolf valor battle was probably the biggest most complex set piece. [I had to] make room in our schedule for me to go back and direct the key elements of that fight scene because the fight scene was like a three-act structure story. It’s not just, you know, a fight. It has a beginning, it has a middle, it has an end. It has various character traits that make things happen if they’re good. So, that fight sequence was one where the tree going over was a big part of the plot but was also part of the story because the story enveloped the character. The character of Victoria was that she was an escape artist. She always ran. And she was going to jump. She was going to get somewhere safe. She was always safe. So, a character is feeding into your fight. There’s no description in the book that she jumps into a tree. It was just like, “Well let’s make her jump into a tree because…” and you work that way. You work out the ideas through — she’s going to run away and she’s just to live another day but he’s going to have to find a way to bring her back with words. Still the character — even though it’s a fight, you know? – And then at a certain point he’s got to use words to goad her into the proximity it’s going to take to fight, you know? It’s a very, very structured thing. We didn’t shoot it for days on end but it was certainly one of the most complex things to engineer.  The actors went into training for it all and it was one of those things where I was solely kind of every day hammering away at until we shot it. And I think because there is a point where all of these things I’m talking about just randomly appear. They happen.
Slade: You know, in the end it was great in the first screening to hear everyone scream and cheer when Victoria dies. That worked.
That’s what you were working for.
Slade: Yeah, yeah. You got to the point when actually you’d taken a character who had been largely been brooding, internalized character and you turn it into a marauding beast for just a few moments. And this was such a great exciting thing to see and then she’s dead and it happens just like—bang! There’s nothing slow and deliberate about it. It just happens and yeah, that was a rewarding end and really really hard work.
Source: Head to Hit Fix to read the full article.
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