Report from The Matrix Filmmaker Series
Always coming through with good things from down under, the lovely kaz was lucky enough to attend the Matrix Filmmaker Series that I mentioned in July, and gracious enough to allow me to share her report here.
It sounds like they remained pretty tight-lipped about the upcoming films, but there's lots of cool info about the making of the first one.
And now, here's kaz...
"ahhh..what can I say...I had the most excellent time!!! I could go back every monday for the rest of my life!
It's all becoming blurry but I will try and think of some snippets...a couple of interesting things about the first Matrix (to me anyway).
Owen said in a "normal" film, in the scene with Keanu outside the window that the actor would have been on a set with a green screen but the W bro's wanted Keanu up 32 stories high outside a real window and they were a bit dubious...it was also Keanu on an actual roof when he was dragged along by the rope. ["Whoa! He's a madman, I tell you."--krix] The kicking butt sequence with the helicopter in the background was an actual roof too, but they couldn't find the right flat roof so they built a level on top of the existing roof..
The Office building where Morpheus was interrogated was a man-built set piece with three offices side by side and quite high..with an outside just like a city building. Apparently, if they needed 50 lights inside when shooting the normal speed scenes, when they did the bullet time (e.g., when Morpheus was shot in the knee) they needed 10 times that..so they had 500 lights up there. The Offices had to be made of steel because at certain points they had 200 crew members stuffed inside.
The rooftop scene at the beginning with Trinity was filmed a month into shooting and they had been looking for rooftops to shoot on..apparently, in Chicago..alot of the City roofs are flat and close together so you can run along the top of them...not so in Sydney..so they ended up building the entire set with borrowed backdrops of San Fransico and Texas!!
Owen mentioned that the blue/green colour bias really came into being DURING the shoot, so that when the Neo interrogation scene was filmed in a cream room(with no green tonings) the director of photography, Bill Pope, shot with a green bias..and then they continued this throughout the film.
He said the the W's liked to pull people into a shot..or push them out of it..or follow them along..but that there were not very many diagonal shots in the film..
Of interest to me was that they digitally tried to remove all trees and plantlife from The Matrix so it would look not so alive and not quite right. Owen said that the only trees/flowers in the movie were deliberately put in The Oracle's apartment, on the wallpaper and her dress.. and that they wanted it to be the only scene in The Matrix that looked warm and homey.."
slight spoiler ahead (very vague, mostly technical)....
"John G. was extremely interesting..you could see he really only skimmed the surface of what he wanted so say (he is quite yummy in real life) ["How was his hair?--krix]. He said that Bullet Time was a real bitch and that they have gone was PAST that now he said that technology is so advanced now you can do anything..so there isn't really any Bullet Time in the sequels..apparently with Bullet Time it is a real pain to keep a smooth line with the action and not have it be shaky or jerky. In Revisited, I think, when you see them using the laser pointer to pinpoint where the cameras go..and they had to be mapped out and follow a line..now they can have the cameras anywhere and they use the laser pointer wherever they want in the room.
Gaeta mentioned that even though other movies were utilising Bullet Time they weren't doing it with the same precision, so they are short shots and the end result is fuzzy..
Gaeta mentioned that what you thought were dead ends in the film, are not. That when you see the sequels you will see that things in the original, which you had hardly noticed,are there for a reason.. alot of things in 2&3 relate back to the first one." [This is very cool. Gads, I can't wait for these movies.."--krix]
Again, I thank her for allowing me to share this.