For horrific reasons involving stitches I couldn’t make the Guillermo del Toro press day to promote the YouTube Space House of Horrors that he’s been involved with for the past few months. But judging from the photos I’ve been seeing of the amazing sets they’ve built and talking to del Toro on the phone, it seems like a great experiment. ouTube creators had the opportunity to create original videos on terrifying cinematic sets inspired by del Toro at YouTube Spaces in Los Angeles, London, Tokyo and New York, as part of a special global programming event. You can watch the first 10 Videos below and then check the YouTube Spaces Channel and the Legendary YouTube Channel for more in the coming days.
I chatted on the phone with del Toro for a few minutes and his enthusiasm was as infectious as ever. Not only is he helping to select the winner, but that person will get a development deal with Legendary Pictures. The sets they have built to shoot this stuff on are also truly astounding and we talked about their design as well (along with some updates on Crimson Peak, Pacific Rim 2 and Pacific Rim 3). Hit the jump for the interview as well as check out the first ten videos and see some pics of the sets they’re using.
GUILLERMO DEL TORO: At this stage we are quite deep into the process and it’s everything I hoped it would be, which is a new medium I can watch and be a fan of from the start. And I think it’s the perfect way to give a group of storytellers a series of tools and limitations and see them each handle them in their own way. So when Legendary approached me to sponsor this I did it in the same [spirit] with which I sponsor first time filmmakers.
The winner gets a development deal with Legendary. With a lot of different subgenres being covered, how difficult is it to judge the merits of these shorts?
DEL TORO: We had seen every type of short done in the stages and some of them are very psychological and visually conservative while others are more experimental visually but not thematically bold. And some of them are both. You notice how personal the short feels. Does it feel like an homage? Does it feel like a smart riff on the genre? Is it unique and personal? You try not to judge them all with the same eye. You want to give each of them their own space.
How involved were you in designing the sets? They’re quite impressive.
DEL TORO: It’s about creating something that you can replicate in the YouTube spaces. You don’t design them like giant movie sets, you design them so they can be flexible. So you can be psychological or do bigger horror stories. The designers are also quite young, so some of them are getting a break by being given more resources and time. But I only watch what they do. Like with the filmmakers I may give them a hint or some ideas, but it’s their design. Not mine.
I think people that love YouTube, it’s really important that they lend their support to YouTube creators and support the platform and the medium. And I believe that a bunch of new voices are going to come out of this platform. Some of them will shape the future of storytelling.
DEL TORO: We finished a first assembly. It was still very early on the effects, about 20%. Then we did another set of revisions based on what I learned in that screening. And in the next month or so we are going to start getting into the final form and will deliver the movie around the end of January or beginning of February. And then the movie opens seven months later in October.
Aesthetically would you say it’s different than what you’ve done before? I’m hearing so many things about the look of the film.
DEL TORO: I tried to make it painterly. I tried to make it so that the set design, wardrobe design and cinematography felt of a piece. But at the same time, very modern looking. I keep joking that it’s Technicolor “in camera” because the lights and color palette and the wardrobe and the sets allowed me to achieve a very color saturated look that feels very much like Technicolor gothic. But at the same time we’re using a very classical gothic romance structure but I think visually it’s very bold and very refined and carefully designed, but it’s all part of the storytelling of a very classical genre.
Any updates on Pacific Rim 2 and 3?
DEL TORO: Yeah I’m working with Zak Penn on the screenplays and with Travis Beacham and we’re slowly going bit by bit. I don’t think we’ll have a working screenplay until March or April and then by May or June we start pre-production to shoot at the end of the year.
YouTube Space LA Videos
YouTube Space NY Videos
YouTube Space Sets