One of my favorite films of 2015 was writer-director Alex Garland’s Ex Machina. As most of you know, the film stars Domhnall Gleeson as a computer programmer who wins a contest to meet with the CEO of a large search engine company (Oscar Isaac). When he arrives, he discovers he’s part of an experiment to test the artificial intelligence of an android (Alicia Vikander). Trust me, if you want to see a great, original sci-fi movie, seek this film out. You will not regret it.
Earlier this year, before the film was released, I sat down with Oscar Isaac and Garland at SXSW for an extended interview. During that conversation we talked about the making of the film and how they worked together. So when I had the opportunity to sit down with Alex Garland last week for a follow up conversation, I decided to use my time for a more in depth conversation about his career and future stuff. During the interview he talked about making the film on a limited budget, how the first draft of the script was very different to the shooting script, his love for ‘70s and ‘80s B-movies and how he did a draft of Logan’s Run, his possible next project, Annihilation, and how it will be different from the book, his thoughts on TV, and so much more. If you’re a fan of this gifted filmmaker you’ll definitely enjoy this interview. Check it out below.
What was the reaction in the industry when Ex Machina came out?
- Talks about making the film on a limited budget.
- Looking back on the process of making the film, is there something he wishes he did differently?
- Talks about how important it is to have passionate creatives in every role of the filmmaking process.
- How much did the film change from the scripting phase to the final film?
- Talks about how the first draft of the script was very different to the shooting script?
- What is the most and least amount of takes he’s ever done?
- Talks about how much the filmmaking process varies from director to director.
- How does he like to run a set?
- When did he first learn about the Turing test and when did it become a part of the story?
- Talks about how the conversational script for Ex Machina was influenced by TV.
- Talks about Jobs and the poor audience response to it.
- Talks about his love for ‘70s and ‘80s B-movies and how he did a draft of Logan’s Run.
- Will Annihilation definitely be his next project?
- What has the casting process been like with such a female heavy project?
- Talks about the process of putting together an ensemble cast.
- Talks about why he’s not focusing on franchising the film.
- How much is his take on Annihilation different from the book?
- Does he have a few scripts ready to go?
- Talks about why he’s not particularly interested in working for television.
- Talks about the infinite possibility and freedom on TV.