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December 2015

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Page 26 of 51 25 POST DECEMBER 2015 t's been a very good year for Holly- wood, thanks to such global block- busters as The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2, Fast & Furious 7, and Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation. And audiences all over the world, happy to forget the on- going political crises, wars, terrorist attacks and weak economies, headed to the the- atres in healthy numbers, especially to see anything light and escapist. Here, four top directors — Francis Lawrence, James Wan, Chris McQuarrie and Joe Wright — tackle Post's SWOT questions and air their views about the year ahead. FRANCIS LAWRENCE The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Mockingjay — Parts 1 & 2, Water for Elephants, I Am Legend The director/producer got his start — and honed his skills — directing music videos and commercials for 12 years before he made his directorial debut with 2005's Constantine. Over the past three years, Lawrence has helped make the Hunger Games series of films one of the most successful franchises of all time — over $2 billion and counting, so far. STRENGTHS: "It's a huge part of the sto- rytelling process, and where the whole story comes together — both in the placement of the imagery and also in the story that all the sound and music can convey, often in a subliminal way. Simply put, post is where you make the film." WEAKNESSES: "I think all the weak- nesses are improving a lot now, thanks to different technologies. The big ones for me have always been to do with the pipeline and people hanging on to old methodologies. And now that pipelines are streamlining and getting better and more efficient, there's a far better meld- ing of editorial, sound and music. There's probably still some room for improve- ment there in terms of sharing sound files and things like that. So for me, the weaknesses have always been technol- ogy-based — speed, memory capacity, file-sharing, stuff like that." OPPORTUNITIES: "The big one for me is definitely editing. When I first started making films I thought, 'OK, you've got your locked script, you make your plan, you shoot your plan, and then you cut all the material together the way you first imagined it. And that's it. And if it didn't work the way you imagined it, it's a failure.' But the truth is, it's not like that at all. Sure, you have a plan, but the shoot is just the gathering of material, and really what happens is that you set all that aside and start putting it all together again in the edit in a way that's going to work organically in post. So post is the place where you really tell the story." THREATS: "I know there's been some talk about speeded-up post schedules to fit release dates, and all the increased pressure, but that doesn't really bother me. Quite honestly, I work better with deadlines, like the DGA's 10 weeks. If post had an open-ended schedule I wouldn't work the same, and I believe in the the- ory that you fill the time you have — and exceed it a little bit, no matter how much time you're given. There may be some directors who take a long time in post, and I do think that there's a certain life to a film, but for me, the technology now allows us to move faster and to make changes, decisions and look at things in more detail." OUTLOOK FOR 2016: "I think it's a really exciting time with some great projects coming out. Like any business, you're going to have good years and bad years, and the past year's been a very good year I feel, both creatively and financially. It's true that more and more, you tend to have extremes — huge films like The Hunger Games and small indies. But there's still the dramas for adults, and every so often one of those hits, and sometimes the big franchise films don't work." FOUR TOP DIRECTORS WEIGH IN ON 2016 LAWRENCE, WAN, MCQUARRIE AND WRIGHT LOOK AT THE YEAR AHEAD OUTLOOK DIRECTORS O I BY IAIN BLAIR The technology now allows us to MOVE FASTER AND TO MAKE CHANGES, DECISIONS and look at things in more detail." — Lawrence The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2

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