The other day I got to do something I’ve wanted to do for a long time: have an in-depth talk about filmmaking with Mel Gibson. While I’ve been a fan of Gibson’s for what feels like my entire life from his work in Mad Max and Lethal Weapon, I’m even more impressed by his talent behind the camera. As the director of The Man Without a Face, Braveheart, The Passion of the Christ, Apocalypto and his latest film, Hacksaw Ridge, Gibson has shown a keen eye for staging action that’s easy to follow.
After spending a great deal of time talking about Hacksaw Ridge – which tells the true story of a conscientious collaborator who won the Medal of Honor in World War II while refusing to carry a gun – I spent a few minutes talking about Braveheart and his original cut of the film (watch that here).
Towards the very end of the interview, I asked something I think a lot of Mad Max fans wanted to know: what did he think about George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road? Like everyone, I think what Miller did on Fury Road is stunning. He not only weaved an interesting story with amazing action, he shot it in a way that made sense and was easy to follow. Too often I watch action in movies and wonder how anyone is able to understand what’s happening. It’s like the director and editor just took random shots and put them together and said “that’ll work.” But Fury Road is a masterclass in action filmmaking. No matter what Miller is showing on screen, the shots all work together to tell the story and make it easy to follow. That’s probably the reason so many call Mad Max: Fury Road one of the best films of 2015.
So when I asked Gibson about Fury Road, he called the editing “stunning” and told a great story about working with Miller earlier in his career and the way he wanted to get a weird shot that Gibson didn’t understand. I’m sure collaborating with Miller helped Gibson behind the camera because he’s also a great storyteller who creates dynamic and easy to follow action set pieces.
In addition to the Fury Road talk, Gibson revealed he wrote four things during his ten-year hiatus and how he’s being offered some interesting projects for the future. Check out what he had to say in the video above and look for the full interview with Gibson next week.