Post Magazine

August 2012

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director's chair H By IAIN BLAIR make? Making sure this Spider-Man jumps off the screen… in stereo. MARC WEBB: "I wanted to make a char- acter piece that evolved into a spectacular action-adventure. It was very important for me to really protect and care for that charac- ter Peter Parker that we all know and love, and find a new inflection of him." POST: How tough was it rebooting the series, and what are the main changes you made? WEBB: "It wasn't easy. The main challenge is that you're faced with such a wealth of material from 50 years of comics and then narrowing down the characters, so we have the Lizard as Spider-Man's nemesis now, not The Green Goblin. Finding the right actor to play Peter Parker was tricky, but Andrew Gar- field is a great actor. "Then we faced so many technical chal- lenges every day, and a perception challenge — because when people see this I think they'll quickly realize it's very different and Marc Webb — The Amazing Spider-Man OLLYWOOD — With a name like Marc Webb, the director was prob- ably predestined to helm The Amaz- ing Spider-Man, the fourth film in the multi- billion-dollar-grossing franchise — even though Webb's last film and feature debut was the low-budget rom-com 500 Days of Summer. Here, in an exclusive Post interview, the director, who was deep in the final stages of post at press time, talks about making the film, his first 3D experience, his longtime love of post and dealing with over 1,600 visual effects shots. POST: What sort of film did you set out to character who belongs on the big screen, so it seemed like a great opportunity to me." POST: How daunting was the 3D process, considering it was your first time? rounded quality to the 3D, which I feel you can just sense when you watch a film shot in 3D, even if you can't always see the difference in a shot-by-shot basis." Marc Webb on set: "My very first job in the business was re-cutting music videos for labels and doing documentaries and EPKs, so [post] is a process that I'm very familiar with and understand the power of." WEBB: "You can always learn about stuff like 3D and talk to people and get great advi- sors around you, and it's part of a film lan- guage. So we spent a lot of time testing rigs and trying to understand the process and how 3D can be used and exploited in a way that's exciting and interesting for the audience. "What I discovered, and what's always true John Schwartzman was DP on the film, which was shot with Red Epics and 3ality stereo rigs. new interpretation, while it stills honors the iconic Spider-Man elements." POST: Did you consult with Sam Raimi at all? WEBB: "I didn't consult with him, but we talked a couple of times and he was very generous and kind about me taking over. I think he'd just decided that his story was done, and that Spider-Man's this perennial 14 Post • August 2012 with any tool you use, is that it has to be used in support of the story, and I wanted to use 3D as a means to help realize Peter Parker's character arc. So the film starts off small and intimate and gradually expands, and I used more aggressive 3D as it expanded." POST: Did you discuss 3D with Jim Cameron and the benefits of shooting the film 3D as opposed to converting it in post? WEBB: "Yes, and he was incredibly helpful and generous early on when I was thinking about it. He was a big advocate of shooting in stereo, and one of the main reasons I chose to do it that way is that we reviewed the dif- ferent tests and we tested some conversions and a few different 3D rigs, and we all felt that because the post conversion is usually rushed, it can be quite flawed, unless you have a huge amount of time to do it properly. So I felt the graceful texture and roundness of shooting in stereo was really helpful. You're not rotoscop- ing stuff out, so there's a very clean, floating, www.postmagazine.com POST: What were the main challenges of pulling all this together? WEBB: "Obviously it was a huge shoot, almost six months, spread between backlots at Universal, Sony stages, downtown LA and over a month in New York City on location. We had massive set pieces and massive sets — rooftops, the sewers and so on, and we redressed all of the Universal backlot, so our footprint was quite large. "We had DITs, stereographers, lots of technicians dealing with all the 3D rigs, and of course lighting was a huge deal. I wanted to shoot at a fairly low stop throughout the whole film, so lighting was an issue. Luckily we had a very gifted crew, with people like key grip Les Tomita and gaffer Dave Christiansen, and we managed to do 17 to 25 set-ups a day. But it was a huge empire moving from place to place." POST: Your DP was John Schwartzman, who shot Pearl Harbor and Armageddon. Why did you choose him? WEBB: "I'd never worked with him before but I needed a DP who had done these kinds of large-scale shoots before, because it was a new experience for me, working on that scale, so it was very important to find key people who wouldn't be intimidated by the scope of the work. John was great and had a

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