is there anything after this, have you got anything planned? Are you just
going to take a break?
Iíll probably take a break.
recharge the batteries and see whatís out there. Will you be basing yourself
there [Los Angeles] full-time?
always liked the idea of being a little bit of an itinerant and Iím fairly
happy wherever I am and as long as I can do my work and have a few friends.
got a place in Sydney as well?
Jackson is coming back here to do his big thingĖ
he never left; and I think Peterís situation is unique and I really take
my hat off to him. I donít think it applies to the rest of the film industry.
you have any intent to return to New Zealand to do, say, a single film
rather than returning here for good?
certainly like to be able to do that, I think itís good to do that. I donít
have a specific idea, but I like the idea of it. I also like the idea that
itís possible to come back here and try and find some finance to try and
make films. Itís one thing to make an American-style film here, or to make
of the Rings, which is essentially international, itís not a film about
New Zealand or about New Zealand characters; itís another thing to try
and find finance here and make films that relate to who we are and where
we come from. There is a real problem doing that in this country, unlike
places like Ireland. Itís very hard for experienced film-makers to come
back here and make films that are to do with anything thatís New Zealand-related,
come back and use the locations, and I think thatís a real shame. I think
it was fantastic the way Jane actually managed to do that, but she primarily
had to do it with international financing. But thatís difficult, the way
itís structured with the amount of money available to the Film Commission
getting smaller, and it means they can only practically support first-time
film-makers. Either they can do 4 low-budget films, which means first-time
film-makers, or they can do 1 or 2 larger-budget films; well, thereíd be
a riot if that happened. So, the only way to change that is to make sure
there is sufficient finance for more experienced film-makers, to make it
attractive to make films here; not of a scale of What Dreams May Come,
obviously thatís ridiculous, but on a scale which is more comparable with
other countries. You can do that in Australia, you can do that in England,
you can do that in Ireland. Otherwise you end up a country without a voice,
a country that canít look at itself in the mirror.
you in contact with any other Kiwi film-makers out there in Hollywood?
I know Lee Tamahori after Once Were Warriors has been out there
and made a couple of films, but then youíve got the base of DonaldsonĖ
I see Lee every now and again, I see Gregor Nicholas, I see occasionally
Roger, Iíve been to a few parties. Probably my closest friend there is
Phillip Noyce, the Australian film-makerĖ
a great guy. We all fairly much stick to ourselves; itís not like we all
stick together. I havenít seen Geoff Murphy in years: I think he lives
the main point for me is that I only want to make a film that I really
believe in, and thereís a cost to that and thereís also a risk trying to
do that in the studio system.
you find that you have to tow the line?
have to go out and negotiate.
But you can do that to a point where it becomes successful and youíre able
you do a 75-million-dollar grossing film, if youíre making a very large-budget
film, you do not have that complete ability. If you make a film thatís
under a certain budget, then you can negotiate that you can do what you
like, with normal budgetary constraints. So, the best you can do working
in that industry, which is an industry, with those big-budget films is
saying there are certain points: the script is worth making, so letís go
ahead; okay, the next point is the casting, which everything lives or dies
on; okay, I agree with that casting, I like that casting, those are the
people I wanted or the people I feel would do a good job; okay, letís keep
going. Once youíve passed that point youre committed. Normally youíll get
left alone when you shoot a film, and then the next big hurdle is the postproduction,
is the editing, where the studio normally has some sort of say; and test
the movie and then you hope you get through that Ė in this we were lucky.
I think that the screenwriter and myself were a formidable team and I was
helped by his negotiating skills. Did I say that he was a former top entertainment
lawyer? He was Francis Ford Coppolaís lawyer on Apocalypse Now.
He used to get up at 4 a.m. in the morning and start screenwriting. Between
us we were able to keep what we felt was the heart of the movie, consistently.
And if ever there was a phrase that sums up Ron Bass it would be the phrase
he put in the movie, Ďnever give up.í
I was reading this book on Star Wars, because George Lucas collaborated
with Francis and thereís a section in there about Heart of Darkness
and Ronís name was in there tooÖ I was under the impression that youíd
somehow become disillusioned with the whole Hollywood system after Map
of the Human Heart - correct me if Iím wrong.
do think itís very difficult for most Australasian film-makers to work
there, if they have any voice Ė unless you just want to make, as I say,
Ďgun for hireí films, which I donít want to make, and most of us donít
want to make, you have to constantly be wary Ė itís a constant mine-field.
I was lucky here, it was a drama, it was a good material, with a company
that was more European, a background that was a little more open. You canít
assume anything, you just have to be very wary...
The curious thing is that you go through this testing process, which is
arduous for any film-maker. But itís good. Itís like playwrights test theirs
out in other smaller centres first, then they adjust it and get the timing
right. We did that endlessly with timing and made sure it played well,
so there wouldnít be any places where it dipped or slowed, while still
keeping whatís essential for the drama, what you love about the film. But,
one thing we did find, which was kind of curious, with this particular
film, we found as a generality, obviously women responded to the relationship
and the love-story and the emotional, more to the emotional story; men
responded to the quest and the strong visual visceral elements of it. Generally
women liked Paradise more and men like Hell more, which is very telling;
and the scene which was the favourite among men was the least favourite
amongst women, thatís the Sea of Faces; and the other thing which was again
interesting is that slightly in America they tended toward Paradise, in
Europe they like Hell more, itís kind of telling.
What if you had a different ending, where they werenít able to reunite,
Robin wasnít able to bring her back, did you consider that, an opposite
No, and it was never part of the book. No, Iíve certainly had my share
of dark endings; I made it a love story, also. But we felt that we put
the audience through a wringer and wanted them to come out the other side;
we wanted it finally to be an uplifting story, a story with some hope in
film marks every other film that youíve done to date. There are elements
with emotion and conflict, the journey, from all your previous films, all
in one, but a more colourful addition to this particular one, obviously.
Yeah, I feel that, too. John Maynard was commenting on that whom I normally
work with Ė Iíve worked with him on a couple of films.
Also with the drama effect; the sequences with Annabella and Robin, like
in that field where, after the tragic circumstances of the kids, she canít
handle itÖ sheís sick, there was a shot there that went down to the wrist,
you see the cut, the stitches, very powerful scenes I thought.
We tried to use certain contrasts in the movie, which were strong, dramatic
and psychological scenes sometimes contrasting it with more romantic scenes,
depending on the nature of what point in the relationship youíre looking
you comparing it with that Greek tragedyĖ
Orpheus and Eurydice [Persephone?].
Öwhere he goes down into the underworld to bring her back?
film is indeed based on a Richard Matheson book published circa 1980. The
book is described by the scooper as a modern reworking of the myth of Orpheus
in the Underworld. Matheson is best known as the screenwriter of films
like The Incredible Shrinking Man, Duel and many of Roger Cormanís
Edgar Allan Poe films.í [Internet infoí sent by ĎRoogulatorí.]
That does have an unhappy ending.
Or in the Christian religion with Jesus going to Hell in order to bring
story you can relate it to the Tibetan Book of the Dead, thereís
a lot of stuff you can relate it to. For me, I like that; Iíve lived in
a lot of different communities, whether itís in the Ureweras or itís in
the Arctic, whether itís investigating a film-set in 19th century Japan.
to the title, What Dreams May Come, are your own dream experiences
relevant to the script?
I kind of share the belief of Francis Ford Coppola, which is that Iíd like
to make films that to some degree have a predictive element. I know Coppolaís
been put on record as saying the way he predicted a lot of technological
development and started using them in his films, his way of investigating
what may be. Itís not necessarily a dream, but itís further than
that. I donít remember my dreams, the dreams at night, unless Iím going
through a really hard time in my work and then itís more about a nightmare
with what Iím doing, but I do imagine things and I take different roads
in my mind during the day, as Iím imagining different scenarios.
On that note, Vincent, thank you, itís been a pleasure and we look forward
to your next offering.
romantic drama starring Robin Williams, Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Annabella
Sciorra is now in its final stages of editing - adding amazing sound design
and a beautiful score by Michael Kamen that will blow away the doubters
who were hung up on the Academy Awardô-winning composer Ennio Morricone,
whose score was tossed out a month and a half before release.
effects by the top names/houses in the biz are beyond your wildest fantasies
and push the envelope on visual effects.
on your seat belts, this one will take you further than any film before,
exploring metaphysical ideas thatíll keep you thinking/ feeling long after
the last credits have faded.Ē í [Anonymous Internet writer.]
Gaoa and Aidan
373-7599, extn 2527