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December 2015

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Page 27 of 51 26 POST DECEMBER 2015 JAMES WAN Fast & Furious 7, the Saw and Insidious franchises, The Conjuring The Malaysian-born Aussie writer/di- rector/producer/editor first arrived on the international scene in 2004 with the hugely successful horror film Saw, and followed that up with the equally suc- cessful Insidious films, and then another hit, The Conjuring. Wan was then tapped by Hollywood to helm Furious 7. STRENGTHS: "It's so true when they say movies are made three times — first with the script, then shooting, and then in post. And for me, post is really the most important one, as in the editing you can really hone in on exactly what story you want to tell. It all happens in the edit, and the most amazing thing I find with edit- ing is that certain things you didn't think worked so well as you were shooting it end up playing out really well — and all because of the way the raw coverage is cut together." WEAKNESSES: "I think the big one is more of a broad weakness — that the downfall with all digital editing is that people can just keep changing the cut. You can do an infinite number, so it's easy to come in and go, 'Oh, let's just try this or that.' And that's great, and it's quick to do, but it also sucks at the same time, because you can just keep tweak- ing and tweaking forever, and lose sight of what you first wanted. And that's the part of digital filmmaking that can be a big problem. I prefer the old, traditional way of film editing, as there's only so many ways you can cut your film before you kill the negative." OPPORTUNITIES: "Post offers so many. You have this chance to go back and do ADR, to be able to loop your actors with a stronger performance, and you're also able to add nuances here and there that maybe weren't there to begin with. Or if the location is just too noisy, and the audio's bad, you can just go back and fix all that stuff. So the post process has been so important to doing all my films. For instance, when we took a hiatus on Furious 7, after Paul Walker's death, to see if we could even finish it, we had to go back and look at all the stuff we'd shot in post, and then basically start fabricating scenes and rewriting scenes based on footage that we had. So post really helped me steer the direction of the story. It's not very often during production that you can stop shooting halfway through, go and edit the film, and then say, 'I need to do a pick up shot for this sequence, and I need a quick insert shot of this that I didn't get on the day, which'd help bridge stuff and make the scene play smoother.' So the post really helped make it a stronger movie in the end." THREATS: "It's always about budget and time, although when you do a big studio film like Furious 7, it's not a problem like you have on the small indie horror films. On those it's always the main threat. You never have enough money and the days you need to cut it and do a great sound mix, and the sound mix is so crucial in those indie horror films. But having said that, even on a big budget film it's still a challenge to try and finish post in time — especially when there's a pre-set release date looming over you the whole time. Basically, you never have enough time whatever the project. That's just the nature of the beast." OUTLOOK FOR 2016: "I think Holly- wood is doing just fine and the year ahead looks good, but sadly the way the business is going, it's getting more and more polarized — meaning you either have these huge, mega-budget branded tent pole movies and franchises, that the studios are comfortable with financing, or you do it the indie way and make a movie for under $5 million. And I've been very successful in that world, and after doing Furious 7 I've seen the advantages of both areas. It's just sad that the whole middle-budget movie has virtually disap- peared now." CHRIS MCQUARRIE Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation, Jack Reacher, Jack the Giant Slayer The writer/director/producer got his start with his acclaimed script for The Usual Suspects, directed by Bryan Singer, which won him an Oscar in 1996. In 2000 he made his directorial debut with The Way of the Gun, and in 2008 he re- teamed with Singer, co-writing the WWII thriller Valkyrie starring Tom Cruise. He followed that up with the script for the global hit The Tourist. STRENGTHS: "The big one is maximum control with the minimum number of people (laughs). It's a lot fewer moving parts and it's a lot more predictable after the chaos of the shoot." WEAKNESSES: "You get what you get, meaning in post you're confronted with the film that you shot. It's never quite what you expected, and sometimes it's radically different from what you expect- ed. That's why I like to tell everyone I'm OUTLOOK DIRECTOR O It's so true when they say movies are MADE THREE TIMES — first with the script, then shooting, and then in post." — Wan Furious 7

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