The script for “Crimes of the Future” was born sometime between between “eXistenZ” and “Crash,” correct?
I wrote it in 1998.
So just before “eXistenZ” came out.
If that’s when it came out.
It came out in April 1999, and you came out against “The Matrix” which released in March, I hate to remind you.
Yes, something around there.
With absolute respect I’m going to suggest this film is very much more akin to films of that era. Visually, this film is dramatically different than your last two films, which used a very cold palate. Here I believe that you are once again shooting with a sense of of redness, a sense of almost a lusty camera in a way that your last two were noticeably icy.
So while you may not want to admit the flows of your career arc, you’ve clearly made this an artistic decision.
Yeah, but it’s based on what the project is. I’ve said it before, but I haven’t said it for a while, so I’ll say it again: You give the film what it needs. Each film needs different things. You’re a fool if you’re working outside that construct because all the audience is going to see is that film. I often had to tell myself as a young filmmaker all that counts is the rectangle. It’s the rectangle of film, that image. What happens outside that, on the set, your arguments with this one, that one, your disappointments with that, the lost location there, all totally irrelevant. Filmmakers must entirely concentrate on what you’re getting in that rectangle of film. It’s the same with the film overall. You focus on the project. You give it what it needs. If it needs red, you give it red.
Where do you find the most focus—Writing? Directing? Editing?
Each one requires total focus. The difference is that in directing, you’ve got a lot of people swarming around you. Writing, it’s just you. Of course, you’re talking to producers and maybe then actors when you give them the script, but basically, you’re alone. So it’s interesting phases. Truffaut wrote about this a lot. But I mean, you write, you’re alone, you are in pre-production, you’re with some trusted production people trying to find a way to make it happen physically. Then you’re in the maelstrom of shooting, which is crazy time, you’ve got actors moving in and out, you’ve got locations that disappear, you’ve got weather, you’ve got 150 people that you’re working with. Then, suddenly, that all goes away, and you’re back to you plus an editor again. And it’s almost like writing but not quite, but almost. It’s almost like that’s when you do your second draft, or third or fourth.