Midway: A Conversation with Director Roland Emmerich

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Midway has the epic destruction Roland Emmerich cinema signature in the likes of Independence Day, Godzilla, The Day After Tomorrow, and 2012.

It may not have planet-destroying proportions, but Midway featured a significant battle that had a death toll into the thousands.

In a casual lunch conversation, LRM Online participated in a discussion about the filmmaker’s vision for Midway and talks about his future and past projects.

Here are some of the notable quotes from the conversation:

On creating CGI effects for Midway

“They cannot look like visual effects. That was probably the biggest challenge in the whole movie. [Some] say, ‘I don’t like digital effects in war movies.’ And I’d say, ‘Well, then you cannot make a movie called Midway, because nothing exists from that time anymore.’ It’s one thing wherein a science fiction movie—it’s all invented. So once in a while, a shot doesn’t look so real, and you get away with it. But in a movie like this, we had at the very end only one shot which we couldn’t get right, and so I cut it out.”

On survival optimism of the human race

“I’m an eternal optimist, even when I’m not. I don’t want to put a message out there that’s pessimistic – why would that be good? Whatever you do in a movie is some escapist fun. But I want to go out there and teach people something which they do not already know. When you have a disaster scenario or when you have an alien invasion, or a global climate crisis, climate shift, or a global flood—you always can show how normal people overcome these obstacles and are better people. And that’s why I like these kinds of stories.”

On abandoning storyboarding for his upcoming movie Moonfall

Moonfall is a lot about gravity. How does a gravity wave look? And you should have seen the first iteration. It was silly. When I saw that, I said it’s not going to work. What we’re doing is developing an anti-gravity wave. We have a visual effects supervisor who studied engineering. We created certain things on a computer by the laws of physics, and that impacts our storytelling too. Sometimes, we rewrite everything because of that. But in my last movie, I storyboarded pretty much every scene, and it was pretty much unnecessary. I realized it’s great when you have a couple of images, so you talk to the person and say, ‘This is a good first step. Let’s do this!’ You go in baby steps and slowly lead them to it. It’s hard work, but it’s fun.”

On creating a believability of his movies

“We always joke that we will always win the award for most unscientific movie of the year. Whatever you do, it has to have the aura of credibility or possibility. When it doesn’t have that, you’re dead in the water. But, if you do, then you can do whatever you want.”

Midway is available on 4K Ultra, Blu-ray, and DVD today. For more information, visit the official web site at Lionsgate here.

Source: LRM Online

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