Friendly competition

Posted by · 3:34 pm · November 26th, 2009

I would put it on the Lennon-McCartney level. Look how healthy that competition was even when it was unhealthy. Look at the results of it. Different approaches and personalities and each makes the other better. There’s this dialogue right now and I would throw Spielberg into it too. There’s a dialogue among a generation of filmmakers. I would say Spielberg is out ahead of it at the forefront, I’d say, being older and with what he carved out with George Lucas and the creation of the summer blockbuster. But to answer your question, of course, between Zemeckis and Cameron, yes, there’s a tremendous awareness of what the other is doing. It’s like Beatles and the Stones. And I’m so pleased that they are doing this; to be in their 50s and forging new avenues, to be taking risks and putting this much work in to it — and to be taking a certain amount of flack. Both Cameron and Zemeckis have remained true to their visions and gone places that people would rather they not go…

From this Geoff Boucher interview with production designer Rick Carter, one of the creative minds behind many of the most successful works from Spielberg, Zemeckis and now, with “Avatar,” James Cameron.

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9 responses so far

  • 1 11-26-2009 at 3:58 pm

    Maxim said...

    Glad to see the interview being given a spotlight. Rick Carter is my favorite production designer and I feel that his work has been very overlooked.

    He’s the #1 reason why I’ll see Avatar.

  • 2 11-26-2009 at 7:57 pm

    Alex said...

    The last decent film Zemeckis made was Contact.

    He needs to give up on this motion capture rubbish.

  • 3 11-27-2009 at 12:13 am

    Jonathan Spuij said...

    Alex, I believe in this case the current journey is less interesting that the final destination. Once it works these guys will truly be hailed as a geniuses.
    And no matter what Avatar will become, the bold vision and grandeur of an original project such as this is worth many praises.

  • 4 11-27-2009 at 3:35 am

    Alex said...

    I wouldn’t conflate Zemeckis’s technological aspirations with those of Cameron.

    Not that I’ve ever been much of a fan of Zemeckis – liked Back to the Future, Contact, Roger Rabbit but not the rest…

    You’d think after The Polar Express he would have given up, but then we get Beowulf. After Beowulf, you think he would’ve given up…but no! Then we get A Christmas Carol.

  • 5 11-27-2009 at 3:43 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    What happened to Zemeckis’s plan to make “The Corrections”? I’d be very happy if he’s moved on, as I can’t imagine a less appropriate match of director and material, but it was an interesting development from his point of view.

  • 6 11-27-2009 at 4:34 am

    aspect ratio said...

    It’s a shame that digital art direction falls through the cracks and isn’t an acknowledged aspect of filmmaking. Even in a terrible off-year like this for Best Art Direction, a film like Avatar that conjured up a whole new world still is a longshot at a nomination because they didn’t build sets, they built them digitally.

    And how many of Pixar’s films haven’t been absolutely amazingly realized, art direction-wise?

    I have to echo the sentiments about Zemeckis, sadly. I loved him as a live-action filmmaker. Back to the Future, Roger Rabbit, Forrest Gump, Contact, Cast Away. All fantastic films. None of his animated films have come close. It’s not that I don’t think he should follow his dreams, but it’s too bad he’s all about animation and motion capture these days.

  • 7 11-27-2009 at 1:50 pm

    Maxim said...

    I think you are being to hard on Zemeckis. The guy is maturing along with the technology so as much as I’d rather see him do more life action I also think he knows what he’s doing.

  • 8 11-27-2009 at 1:52 pm

    Maxim said...

    Too many typos. My apologies.

  • 9 8-05-2014 at 10:55 am

    Libby said...

    American movie? The (awesome) producer is from New Zealand and the wrteris and half of the cast are british (Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright!!! Two genius!!! Pegg Frost Bell Serkis Craig! What a dream team!!!!)In France or Belgium, I don’t think we got so many artist with so much talent. And it’s Spielberg, the other name for Cinema!About the motion capture, it’s not just a way to make live artificial characters. (by the way, only Snowy can be qualified as an animated character)First, the actors can play entire scenes in one shot without interruption. In live action, the scenes are shot by fragments and it can be bothering.Second, after the scenes are shots, the director can control avery aspect of it, place and make moves his camera any wich way he want, try whatever he want! You can’t do this in live action where the camera can be very incommodating. You can’t neither do this in animation where the whole movie is story-boarded before the conputer creation has begun!It’s a revolution: you can litteraly decide the movie you want to make in the post-production!!! “This is not animation it’s live action film making in a real-time virtual world.” Peter Jackson