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IrishJedi
04-17-2008, 01:55 PM
Great stuff in here:


Steven Spielberg and George Lucas: The Titans Talk!
The minds behind ''Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull'' share secrets and trade memories in a rare joint interview

By Steve Daly

How exactly do you mediate a conversation with two of the most fertile minds in moviemaking? You hang on for dear life, that's how! When EW sat down with George Lucas and Steven Spielberg for a chat about Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (which opens May 22), the pace was fast and furious. You'll see part of our chat in the Summer Movie Preview issue of EW (as well as here). But Spielberg and Lucas were so voluble, so passionately steeped in film history, and so funny that we had to bring you even more of their historic summit meeting, in which the pair discuss how filmmaking has changed in the past quarter-century, the impact of websites like this one on the experience of moviegoing, and the fate of Indiana Jones and the Monkey King.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Gentlemen! This is like having Superman and Batman in the same room. [Laughter]

STEVEN SPIELBERG: But wait a minute — which is which? I wanna be Superman! With the big S.

GEORGE LUCAS: We should get some clinking glasses and stuff, just to screw up your tape.

So what took so long to get to installment No. 4? It's been 19 years since Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, the last of the original trilogy of films.

LUCAS: When we got to [the idea of making a fourth] one, I had already said, ''No. I can't think of another MacGuffin.''

Meaning, the mystical thingy everyone is chasing.

LUCAS: I said, ''I can't do it. It's too hard.'' We barely got through the last couple of 'em with smoke and mirrors. Sankara stones, for God's sakes?

But there's a lot of historical data about the Sankara stones!

LUCAS: There is, but nobody in the United States knows about it, so there's no resonance. The MacGuffin is the key. Before the Sankara stones [which became the focus of the second film in the trilogy, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom], we'd had ideas for all kinds of other MacGuffin things. Some of them were original ones, that were in the [proposed] stories that I did. Like a haunted castle and stuff. But then Steven went off and did Poltergeist and said, ''I don't want to do another haunted-castle movie.''

In developing the third movie, there was a Christopher Columbus script early on, Indiana Jones and the Monkey King, set partly in Africa. And that one had a preamble involving a haunted castle.

LUCAS: We wrote complete scripts on other MacGuffins [for the third film]. And finally I said, look, let's just try the Holy Grail. [Adopting another voice] ''Ohhh, it's too cerebral, we'll never make it work....'' So we turned it into a tangible magic cup with healing powers, instead of an intellectual thing. It wasn't until the idea of introducing the father came along that we kind of pulled [the third movie] out of the fire. Because it then shifted from being about the MacGuffin. But ultimately, these are supernatural mysteries. They aren't action adventures. Everybody thinks they're action-adventure films, but that's just the genre we hang them on.

SPIELBERG: There's not one that hasn't been supernatural.

LUCAS: The supernatural part has to be real. [He taps the table] Which is why they're very hard, and you run out [of options] very fast. You have to have a supernatural object that people actually believe in. People believe that there was an Ark of the Covenant, and it has these powers. Same thing with the Sankara stones, same thing with the Holy Grail. We may have exaggerated some of its powers, but basically there are people who believe there is a Holy Grail, brought back by the Knights Templar.

SPIELBERG: Of course, I was worried that people would hear ''Holy Grail,'' and they would immediately think about a white rabbit attacking Monty Python. My first reaction was to say, ''Everybody run away! Run away!''

Well to bring us into Indy 4, what kind of developmental push and pull went on once you decided to set the new film in the 1950s?

LUCAS: The idea was to take the genre of Saturday-matinee serials, which were popular in the '30s and '40s, and say, ''What kind of B movie was popular in the '50s, like those B movie serials were popular in the '40s?'' And use that as the overall uber-genre. We wouldn't do it as a Saturday-matinee serial. We'd do it as a B movie from the '50s.

SPIELBERG: The Cold War came to mind immediately, because if you're in the '50s, you have to acknowledge the Cold War.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Would it have been weird to use cartoonish Nazis as villains again, as you did in Raiders of the Lost Ark and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade? Maybe take a Boys from Brazil tack, and follow fugitive Nazis to South America?

STEVEN SPIELBERG: A lot changed for me after [1993's] Schindler's List, especially when I began working with Holocaust survivors, and being able to collect their testimonies. But I never look back with shame at Raiders or Last Crusade. We gave the Nazis the same spin that, I think, in a way, Charlie Chaplin was able to give them in The Great Dictator. There was always a bit of, We're not going to take them that seriously. It's just something I wouldn't choose to do right now. I would choose not to make them Saturday-matinee villains.

GEORGE LUCAS: If you're going to make a movie about the 1930s, it's almost impossible to do it without the Nazis. And it's the same thing when we got [to the '50s] here. We have to deal with the Russians because that's where we were. It's not like we set out to make a film about Russians. It was, What was going on in the world? What were the issues? Who was doing what?

SPIELBERG: Totally.

LUCAS: You do a whole lot of research around the subject matter to try to get it as plausible as possible. We don't deal with time machines. We don't deal with phony notebooks that don't exist. We don't deal with pyramids in 10,000 B.C., because there weren't any.

So, Nazis out, Russians in. And that led you to a Russian villainess.

SPIELBERG: Well, we had a villainess last time, too [in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade].

But blonde Elsa wasn't bad from the get-go.

SPIELBERG: Right. Irina Spalko is a villain when she [first] gets out of the car.

LUCAS: She's an uber-villain.

SPIELBERG: The privilege for me was working with the great and talented Cate Blanchett. Because she is really a master of disguise.

LUCAS: She's just amazing.

SPIELBERG: She is so unrecognizable in this movie. But she's been unrecognizable in many of the choices she's made in her career, to play characters, like Bob Dylan, that are so removed from who she is as a mom and a wife in real life. She's a very threatening villain. Of all the villains I've been able to work with in the Indiana Jones movies, I can say she's my favorite. And I think Cate made her that way. We gave her a template for this, but she invented the character.

You've made Indiana much older in Crystal Skull — the character is nearly 60. And Harrison Ford turned 65 while you were making the film.

LUCAS: There was never any question about the fact that we were going to have Harrison play his age.

SPIELBERG: There's a line that was thematic for me, and it's not a line that's actually in the movie. And it illustrates why I was comfortable letting Harrison age 18, 19 years. In the first movie, he says, ''It's not the years, sweetheart, it's the mileage.'' Well, my whole theme in this movie is, It's not the mileage sweetheart, it's the years. When a guy gets to be that age and he still packs the same punch, and he still runs just as fast and climbs just as high, he's gonna be breathing a little heavier at the end of the set piece. And I felt, Let's have some fun with that. Let's not hide that.

Plus he's got a sidekick to show him up — Shia LaBeouf, who plays a young ''greaser.'' Did he even know what a greaser was?

SPIELBERG: He didn't.

LUCAS: I had to train him. Shia got sent to the American Graffiti school of greaserland. And I became the consultant on his comb.

SPIELBERG: [Looking bemused] That's right.

LUCAS: And Steve would call on me every once in a while. If I wasn't there, he'd call me up and say, ''Look, there's a leather jacket we have in this shot, and we need to know — should it be unsnapped, or snapped?''

SPIELBERG: I remember that stuff too. I remember Ed ''Kooky'' Byrnes [from the TV series 77 Sunset Strip] with his comb....

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Okay, let's talk another kind of nostalgia: Movie technology nostalgia. There was virtually no computer-graphic imagery available when you started making the original Indy films in the '80s. Digital imagery wasn't really there yet.
GEORGE LUCAS: It wasn't there at all.

So was there a temptation with Crystal Skull to use CG to make life easier?

STEVEN SPIELBERG: Here's the difference. The [background] matte paintings that you saw, let's say, in Raiders of the Lost Ark, when the carload of Nazis went off the cliff? Or the Pan Am clipper sitting in that obviously painted dockside waterfront? Our digital paintings now look like we were there on location. We have just as many matte-painting shots in this movie as we had in the other movies. The difference is, you won't even be able to tell that there's a brushstroke. For a while, I wanted to make them look bad, so they looked exactly like they did in the other movies.

Which is to say, easily detectable — as they were in actual old movies, so it's sort of an homage to old-fashioned artistry.

SPIELBERG: But I didn't do that.

You're opening Crystal Skull in late May all over the world in one fell swoop — not territory by territory over months, like studios used to do in the 1980s.

LUCAS: Well...the growing majority of revenue from a movie comes from overseas. It used to be sort of 50-50, then it was 60-40, and now it's way beyond that. Every year it keeps growing. So the United States is becoming a much smaller market.

You guys first became filmmakers at a time when European directors were arguably the most inventive and the most artistically acclaimed in the world. Do you miss that atmosphere?

LUCAS: When Star Wars was being made, all the independent art films [still] came from Europe. There were practically no American independent films being made. Now about 30, 40 percent of American films are independent. And the films coming out of Europe, a lot of them look like American films. You can't really tell the difference. There's a globalization of entertainment, and it's good, because you still have personal art films and big audience pleasers.

SPIELBERG: You also have films being made and released on the Internet, little films, five- to six-minute shorts. They come from all over the world, and it's really interesting to see and to sense how this world has shrunk down to size of a single frame of film.... More people can pick up video cameras, and more individuals can express who they are as artists through this collective medium. That's what's so exciting. What makes me really curious to see as many short films, especially, as I possibly can, is that everybody is coming out of a different box, and is free to express themselves because budget is no longer a limiting factor. You can make a movie for no money and basically get it out there on YouTube for everybody to see.

LUCAS: Movies are now becoming like writing, like books. It's opened up to the point where anybody who has the urge or the talent to do it, there's not that many impediments to making a film. And, there are not that many impediments to having it be shown. That's where the Internet comes in. Now you can actually get it in front of people, and have them decide whether they like it or not. Before, that depended on the decisions of a very, very small group of people — executives who in a lot of cases didn't even go to the movies, and didn't even like 'em. And they were deciding what the people were and weren't going to like. It's much more democratic now. The people decide what they want.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Of course, there are downsides to the burgeoning Internet age — and one of those downsides is, when a popular movie is coming up, people sort of peck it to death before it even opens. There's been a huge amount written on the Internet about the development of Crystal Skull, including lots of spoilers on chat boards — though most of it is clearly labeled. Is it getting harder to protect the development process?

STEVEN SPIELBERG: It really is important to be able to point out that the Internet is still filled with more speculation than facts. The Internet isn't really about facts. It's about people's wishful thinking, based on a scintilla of evidence that allows their imaginations to springboard. And that's fine.

GEORGE LUCAS: Y'know, Steven will say, ''Oh, everything's out on the Internet [in terms of Crystal Skull details] — what this is and what that is.'' And to that I say, ''Steven, it doesn't make any difference!'' Look — Jaws was a novel before it was a movie, and anybody could see how it ended. Didn't matter.

SPIELBERG: But there's lots and lots of people who don't want to find out what happens. They want that to happen on the 22nd of May. They want to find out in a dark theater. They don't wanna find out by reading a blog.... A movie is experiential. A movie happens in a way that has always been cathartic, the personal, human catharsis of an audience in holy communion with an experience up on the screen. That's why I'm in the middle of this magic, and I always will be.

Do you think the sanctuary of the dark theater is being eroded?

LUCAS: No! Look, it's like sports —

SPIELBERG: Yes. I think it is being eroded, by too much information and too much misinformation, especially.

LUCAS: But look, it's like sports. This isn't new. When March Madness gets started with the NCAA [basketball tournament], there are thousands of blogs out there. Rampant speculation. If you follow it enough, you go crazy. [With Crystal Skull], you don't know what's actually gonna happen till you walk into that theater. I don't care if you know the whole story, I don't care if you've seen clips. I don't care how much you've seen or heard or read. The experience itself is very different, once you walk in that theater.

SPIELBERG: Well, here's my debate on that. I've always been stingy about the scenes I show in a teaser or a trailer. Because my experience has been — and my kids' experience has been, 'cause they talk out loud in theaters, like everybody else does today — that if a scene they remember from the trailer hasn't come on the screen yet, and they're three quarters of the way through the movie, they start talking. ''Oh — I know what's gonna happen! Because there was that one little scene they haven't shown yet in the movie I'm experiencing, and it's coming up!'' And it ruins everything.

What about creating deliberate disinformation, the way, say The Sopranos' producers did?

SPIELBERG: I did that, but I don't do that any more 'cause it takes too much effort.

LUCAS: We have managed to keep the fact that Will Ferrell is the main villain in Crystal Skull out of the blogosphere.

SPIELBERG: Exactly. But it did get out that it's Steve Carell, last week.

LUCAS: Except people don't know that they're a team...

SPIELBERG: [Laughs] And by the way, when you run this? There'll be people that believe it!




From: http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20192040,00.html

doesitmatter
04-17-2008, 02:09 PM
Thanks! That was the best interview I've read so far.

galactiboy
04-17-2008, 02:09 PM
Thanks for posting... an interesting interview. And this statement from Spielberg is how feel about seeing a movie for the first time:


SPIELBERG: But there's lots and lots of people who don't want to find out what happens. They want that to happen on the 22nd of May. They want to find out in a dark theater. They don't wanna find out by reading a blog.... A movie is experiential. A movie happens in a way that has always been cathartic, the personal, human catharsis of an audience in holy communion with an experience up on the screen. That's why I'm in the middle of this magic, and I always will be.

I don't like spoilers and try to avoid them... but its a hard thing to do, even here there's inadvertent spoilers all over the place (like accessories that come with figures). But my preference is to go into a movie knowing as little as possible.

IrishJedi
04-17-2008, 02:11 PM
Thanks for posting... an interesting interview. And this statement from Spielberg is how feel about seeing a movie for the first time:



I don't like spoilers and try to avoid them... but its a hard thing to do, even here there's inadvertent spoilers all over the place (like accessories that come with figures). But my preference is to go into a movie knowing as little as possible.

Yeah. Spielberg definitely gets it (Lucas, on the other hand, does not).

Spartan Rex
04-17-2008, 02:12 PM
ZOMG!
Will Ferrell and Steve Carrell are in this too!:horror
:rolleyes:




SPIELBERG: Well, here's my debate on that. I've always been stingy about the scenes I show in a teaser or a trailer. Because my experience has been — and my kids' experience has been, 'cause they talk out loud in theaters, like everybody else does today — that if a scene they remember from the trailer hasn't come on the screen yet, and they're three quarters of the way through the movie, they start talking. ''Oh — I know what's gonna happen! Because there was that one little scene they haven't shown yet in the movie I'm experiencing, and it's coming up!'' And it ruins everything.

I swear he's the only guy in Hollyweird who has a brain cell.

IrishJedi
04-17-2008, 02:17 PM
SPIELBERG: Well, here's my debate on that. I've always been stingy about the scenes I show in a teaser or a trailer. Because my experience has been — and my kids' experience has been, 'cause they talk out loud in theaters, like everybody else does today — that if a scene they remember from the trailer hasn't come on the screen yet, and they're three quarters of the way through the movie, they start talking. ''Oh — I know what's gonna happen! Because there was that one little scene they haven't shown yet in the movie I'm experiencing, and it's coming up!'' And it ruins everything.

I swear he's the only guy in Hollyweird who has a brain cell.

:lecture :lecture :lecture

Indeed. And he's the sole reason why I've never really worried about this movie.

chuck20
04-17-2008, 02:48 PM
This has me pumped. COME ON MAY 22nd!!!!!

TheObsoleteMan
04-17-2008, 03:04 PM
LUCAS: The idea was to take the genre of Saturday-matinee serials, which were popular in the '30s and '40s, and say, ''What kind of B movie was popular in the '50s, like those B movie serials were popular in the '40s?'' And use that as the overall uber-genre. We wouldn't do it as a Saturday-matinee serial. We'd do it as a B movie from the '50s.

Man, this is scratching me right where I itch. May 22nd can't get here fast enough. :tap

Memnoch
04-17-2008, 03:17 PM
Soo any one else laugh at the nice dig at 10,000 BC? I really wish these two would team up more often because just from the interview you can see the different styles and how well they play off each other. Lucas as the idea man, Spielberg as the one to execute said ideas.

darthviper107
04-17-2008, 04:07 PM
It really is kinda sad with spoilers. Despite the fact that most information on the internet is wrong. If you happen to read the real plot spoilers before the movie then you'll know what's happening before you see it at the theater and that can be disappointing.

The Josh
04-17-2008, 04:13 PM
This movie is so gonna kick ass!

chuck20
04-17-2008, 04:15 PM
I'm trying not to overinflate my expectations......


but i'm failing. I am so pumped for this movie i could bust.

DarkArtist81
04-17-2008, 04:20 PM
:lecture :lecture :lecture

Indeed. And he's the sole reason why I've never really worried about this movie.

Same here. I trust Spielberg. He has stayed grounded in his career, has had his missteps, but he stays true to who he is.

chuck20
04-17-2008, 04:26 PM
I'm just worried because he really hasn;t dont a big blockbuster type movie in awhile. I'm not saying his recent stuff is bad, it just want grossing 500mil. (or maybe it was, it just didnt feel that way)

IrishJedi
04-18-2008, 02:22 AM
Here's the cover:

http://www.throwmetheidol.com/products/magazine_ew0425.jpg

FlyAndFight
04-18-2008, 07:05 AM
Spielberg nailed my feelings exactly regarding the trailers popping up in one's mind when watching the film. That's why I'll catch a trailer "once" and then try not to see it again and risk burning it into my mind and ruining the film for me. It happened to me with "The Phantom Menace". I had every trailer memorized and each time they appeared on the big screen, they were an obvious distraction and ruined the scenes for me.

The Josh
04-18-2008, 07:19 AM
I'm trying to not let myself get too hyped for this thing but I have to admit its hard.

IrishJedi
04-18-2008, 05:57 PM
pick up this issue, folks. It's awesome. And the interview with Lucas & Spielberg in the magazine is completely different than the one online. Great stuff.