Just a few hours ago I got to interview Battle: Los Angeles director Jonathan Liebesman as Sony is doing a big press junket for the film today and tomorrow. During the week of release (March 11th) I’ll be posting our full conversation, but with Liebesman directing the sequel to Clash of the Titans, I did get an update on how pre-production has been going and what can people expect in the sequel.
While you can read a full transcript or watch the video after the jump, he told me that the shoot is scheduled for 78 days (which is a sign that it’s a big movie), he’s not filming in 3D but the entire production has been conceived as a 3D picture (unlike the first film). He went on to say they’ll have a 3D stereographer on set and he’s shooting on film in a 1.8:5 ratio. And for those wondering about the look of the film, here’s a choice quote:
“For me, taking Greek mythology and all that fantasy and putting it in a real world that’s epic, like Gladiator, like a big Ridley Scott movie, and taking all that fantasy and putting it in, grounding it, making it feel real, that’s the movie that I wanted to see when I walked into Clash 1 and that’s the movie that Clash 2 is gonna be. That’s what I was looking for, I was looking to come in and have a real, intense, visceral kick-ass experience with spectacle but grounded, with great actors, and that’s what the second one will be.”
Hit the jump for more:
Here’s the video. Further down is the transcript. And for those wondering, I thought Battle: Los Angeles was great.
Well it’s exciting because I think—again Louis Letterier is one of my mentors from NYU, so I’d never say anything bad about him ‘cause he has taught me a ton of shit—I think the first Clash was a missed opportunity. I think the second one…we’ve got a great cast, the same cast, and I want to ground it in a similar reality to say Battle: LA, like have that real grit to it. And within that, you have the fantastical creatures. So really bring it down to something recognizable, realistic in the costume and the way it’s shot and the lighting, lots of atmosphere like what Ridley Scott does, and put fantasy into that. ‘Cause I haven’t seen that in this genre, I haven’t seen fantasy in something that looks like Gladiator.
So basically you’re going for a Battle:LA kind of shoot?
I’m gonna tone it down from Battle:LA. ‘Cause Battle: LA is much more like Iraq war footage. Again I think this is more something in line with say Gladiator, where there are aspects of that grounded filmmaking but I don’t wanna take it too far.
Are you filming in 3D?
From the start, Clash 2 has been conceived as a 3D picture. The sets, the way I’m going to shoot the choreography of the shots, because what we’re gonna instead of say 4 shots we’re gonna do 1, I’m even gonna shoot it in a 1.8:5 aspect ratio. Sam Worthington put me in touch with Jim Cameron, we spoke a lot about aspect ratios and 3D. He said something that really stuck with me which was, 2D scope is 2.3:5. That feels scope in 2D, for 3D he felt like 1.8.5. And we have a lot of big creatures so I want that vertical space so I don’t have to cut so I’m also gonna shoot in 1.8:5. I did a bunch of test with different digital cameras…and the one thing that was very difficult for me was, I felt for a Greek epic I wanted to shoot on film to get that texture that I was looking for with that motion blur. The clincher for me was Warner Bros. showed me how far conversion had come. They showed me Chris Nolan Inception converting for the DVD, they showed me Harry Potter being converted. So now what we’re doing is, I wanna shoot film, we’re gonna have what are called stereographers on set who are guys who are sitting there advising you. It’s a completely different situation to Clash 1…Look I would always prefer to shoot native, I just feel like film is the way to go with a Greek epic. Especially the way I wanna shoot it, which is more old school.
For me, taking Greek mythology and all that fantasy and putting it in a real world that’s epic, like Gladiator, like a big Ridley Scott movie, and taking all that fantasy and putting it in, grounding it, making it feel real, that’s the movie that I wanted to see when I walked into Clash 1 and that’s the movie that Clash 2 is gonna be. That’s what I was looking for, I was looking to come in and have a real, intense, visceral kick-ass experience with spectacle but grounded, with great actors, and that’s what the second one will be.
How long is the shoot?
The shoot’s 78 days. It ends in like late June.