Covert Affairs - Doug Liman Transcript

Document Sample
Covert Affairs - Doug Liman Transcript Powered By Docstoc
					Final Transcript

  NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES: Doug Liman Q&A Session
  July 1, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT



SPEAKERS
Chrissy Fehskens – New Media Strategies
Doug Liman – Executive Producer, Covert Affairs

PRESENTATION

C. Fehskens          Hi, everyone. This is Chrissy Fehskens from New Media Strategies. I

                     wanted to thank everybody for standing by and for joining us for today’s

                     Q&A session in support of USA Network’s new original series Covert

                     Affairs, which will premiere on Tuesday, July 13th at 10:00, 9:00 Central.

                     We’re pleased to have Executive Producer Doug Liman with us today to

                     answer your questions about the series.



Moderator            Our first question comes from John Larocque from Media Boulevard.



J. Larocque          I’m just kind of following up on a comment you made on the last phone

                     call. One thing that interested me in the relationship between Fair Game
                                                              NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES
                                                                    Host: Chrissy Fehskens
                                                                July 1, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT
                                                                                     Page 2

           and Covert Affairs, it said that the CIA was not going to be supportive of

           Fair Game and yet they were very supportive of CA. What interested me

           is that you’re able to get all that research and be able to use it both ways

           and open doors. Can you talk a little bit about that?



D. Liman   Yes. I think the key was that once—I had a brief window before Fair

           Game was announced to personally have access to the CIA. Even though

           both Fair Game and Covert Affairs are supportive, they’re both very pro-

           CIA. In fact, I just learned last week that Tennant himself, while

           complaining that The Bourne Identity movies are not realistic, that they are

           good recruitment tools for the CIA.



           In my particular case, I like to see things firsthand. So I personally wanted

           to go to Baghdad and see with my own eyes before talking about an

           operation that took place in Iraq in Fair Game. I wanted to see it with my

           own eyes. I had never been to the CIA, I wanted to go inside and see with

           my own eyes. Once I was associated with Valerie Plame, my access to the

           CIA in terms of my being able to go inside that building was going to

           probably never happen again, at least under that administration. In fact,

           we are in conversation with the CIA right now about filming inside the

           CIA for Covert Affairs.
                                                              NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES
                                                                    Host: Chrissy Fehskens
                                                                July 1, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT
                                                                                     Page 3




            So I think in general, my relationship with them is very positive. Fair

            Game was a touchy subject. There is still litigation going on associated

            with it. It’s the kind of subject that people don’t really want to touch.



Moderator   Our next question comes from the line of Pattye Grippo with Pazsaz.com.



P. Grippo   The question I have is a lot of people have been asking the relationship

            between Arthur and Joan Campbell. In the pilot, at least, it’s kind of

            strained, which is interesting because they work so closely together. What

            they’ve been wanting to know is are these two going to be a factor

            throughout the season in the show or is this something that is limited just

            to the pilot?



D. Liman    No, it is definitely a running through line. We cast amazing actors. Peter

            Gallagher and I go back to our days on The O.C. and even on that show,

            one of the breakthrough things for The O.C. was that normally a show like

            that the parents would just be the foil. They’d be like those characters in

            Charlie Brown that are just like, ―Waah, waah, waah, waah.‖ We actually

            said no, just because they’re parents doesn’t mean they don’t have their

            own loves and desires. That doesn’t go away just because you grow up
                                                              NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES
                                                                    Host: Chrissy Fehskens
                                                                July 1, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT
                                                                                     Page 4

            and have kids. That sort of parallel universe brought the same thing to

            Covert Affairs that you don’t have to be in your 20’s to have interesting,

            romantic challenges.



            Obviously, anyone who has seen Mr. and Mrs. Smith knows that husband

            and wife married spies is something that I find particularly interesting.

            We were talking about Fair Game, there are some similarities to Fair

            Game, too, because only one of them is a spy but it’s still sort of husband

            and wife maintaining a marriage against the backdrop of all the lies that

            come with that kind of job.



Moderator   Our next question comes from the line of Sheldon Wiebe with Eclipse

            Magazine.



S. Wiebe    There are elements of Covert Affairs that obviously remind us of earlier

            things you’ve done like in the shows kinetic energy and the, as you

            referred to moments ago, the Arthur and Joan Campbell thing. They could

            be Mr. and Mrs. Smith 15 years later. You also have to figure in USA has

            a certain model. They have a thing with the fish out of water lead

            character and the kind of easy, breezy surface style with the dark edge
                                                             NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES
                                                                   Host: Chrissy Fehskens
                                                               July 1, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT
                                                                                    Page 5

           underneath to make the stakes feel real. What I’m wondering is how did

           you develop Covert Affairs for USA?



D. Liman   I have a partner Dave Bartis and together we have a TV deal at NBC

           Universal and so our sort of horizon tends to be within the Universal

           family. The tone of show that we were looking to do with Covert Affairs

           really fit perfectly within the brand of USA. It was kind of like we found

           each other as opposed to us modifying something for them. We went to

           them first and we went to them with a specific tone, knowing that it was

           going to be a good fit. That’s an important thing as a filmmaker is making

           sure—It’s not just getting your thing made, it’s getting it made in the right

           way. Part of making it the right way is making sure that you’re at the right

           home and that you’re not constantly going to be fighting because they like

           oranges and you like making apples.



           In fact, one of the huge upsides of being at USA is because I had a tone in

           mind that is consistent with other things I saw on USA, once you go to a

           place like that as your home, suddenly the feedback you get from the

           executives at USA is awesome because you’re not fighting each other.

           You both have the same end goal, and they have years of experience in

           this tone. I get to bring my years of experience, and it’s been an amazing
                                                                 NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES
                                                                       Host: Chrissy Fehskens
                                                                   July 1, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT
                                                                                        Page 6

               collaboration with them. Sometimes you might hear filmmakers

               complaining about executives. But in this particular case, every time

               we’ve had a note session with them, the show has gotten consistently

               better.



Moderator      Our next question comes from Icess Fernandez with the Charter

               Playground.



I. Fernandez   I have seen the pilot about 3,000 times at this point and I adore it. I think

               one of the questions I desperately wanted to ask is tell me about the

               difference between storytelling for the screen versus storytelling in an

               hour format for television.



D. Liman       Well, it’s hard to get a movie made about characters these days. We’re in

               a climate where unless it’s based on a toy or it’s a superhero where

               somewhere it ends a man – Spiderman, Superman, Ironman – that’s where

               movie companies are putting their resources. TV is sort of the last … of a

               safe place to develop real characters. People are going to tune in next

               week not because of the spectacle you showed them, they’re going to tune

               in next week because of Piper and because of her character.
                                                                NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES
                                                                      Host: Chrissy Fehskens
                                                                  July 1, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT
                                                                                       Page 7

              In movies, you can basically buy the audience into the theatre a little bit.

              If you spend enough money on visual effects, even if you are lacking in

              story and character, you might still pull it off. TV has no choice but to

              rely on character and everybody knows that. I love working in it. It’s

              such a big canvas where, if you’re successful, you go on for years so it’s a

              much bigger canvas than the movie ever could be.



              I pride myself on doing character-driven movies, and when my movies

              have worked, it’s been because it’s been the right casting and the right

              character and it just clicks. Not every filmmaker does that with their

              films. For big Hollywood movies, I’m on the more character-driven side

              of the equation. So TV is a natural place for me to be because you’ve got

              no choice but to be character-driven.



I Fernandez   Is there anything that you do to help you guide how you’re going to

              develop your character?



D. Liman      Well, it is, at the end of the day, 100% about casting. One of the things I

              love about TV is that, because it is a longer format— My own personal

              process within movies is to develop the characters with the actors and
                                                 NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES
                                                       Host: Chrissy Fehskens
                                                   July 1, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT
                                                                        Page 8

when I’ve done that properly, you can’t imagine anyone else but that actor

playing that part.



Because of all the romantic controversy around Mr. and Mrs. Smith, there

was a lot of talk about the casting of that movie. Angelina Jolie was not

my first choice. When people hear about the other actresses we were

considering, they say, ―Wow, you were really lucky that that didn’t work

out and you ended up with Angelina.‖ What people don’t realize is had it

worked out with a different actress, I would have created a different

character and you would have been saying to me, ―I can’t imagine

Angelina playing that part because it was so Nicole Kidman.‖



Or you know Brad Pitt was originally Jason Bourne before Matt Damon.

You probably say, ―I can’t imagine Brad Pitt playing Jason Bourne.‖ But

had I done The Bourne Identity with Brad Pitt and I did my job properly,

you would be saying to me, ―I can’t imagine Matt Damon ever playing

that part.‖



It’s almost a work-shopping process to create the characters with the

actors. In film, that can cause some problems. That’s not an entirely

conventional way of going about making movies. I’ve had some fairly
                                                   NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES
                                                         Host: Chrissy Fehskens
                                                     July 1, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT
                                                                          Page 9

public battles as a result. Whereas in TV, that is inherently part of the

process, so the moment you cast Piper and you start working with her, you

start to figure out what really clicks, what really works. Then you write to

that. Then eventually, it’s almost like custom-fitting an article of clothing.

Because it’s long form, it goes on. Even in just the first season of Covert

Affairs, our canvas is bigger than the canvas of Bourne Identity and its two

sequels, and same thing with Auggie. You get to sort of see on a weekly

basis what is sort of working – on a daily basis, for that matter, and then

you write to those strengths.



The most extreme example of that is I once shot a pilot and we discovered

that one of the actresses was particularly good at crying. We just wrote to

that, and suddenly they were crying in every episode and it worked. So

it’s like what is the person really good at, and then you write to it.



By the way, that’s how I edit. Once I’m in the editing room, forget about

what I intended to shoot. I take a cold, hard look at what I really did shoot

and then I edit that because if you try to edit what you intended and you

missed somewhere, that will show up versus if you actually edit what you

did shoot, it looks like you did it perfectly, if that makes sense.
                                                                  NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES
                                                                        Host: Chrissy Fehskens
                                                                    July 1, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT
                                                                                        Page 10

Moderator      Our next question comes from the line of Amy Harrington with Pop

               Culture Passionistas.



A Harrington   I’m here with my sister Nancy who is my writing partner. We understand

               that Covert Affairs has kind of a heightened reality to it and we’re

               wondering how you defined the boundaries of that.



D. Liman       That’s a good question. My true love of the show and of this world is that

               special spot where the spy world and our world, the world the rest of us

               inhabit, intersect. I’m fascinated by that in real life; fascinated by the

               spies on the Hudson and how those people interact with the world that I

               interact with, and what overlaps we have. In real life, I’m fascinated by

               that. I’m fascinated by it in my movies. When I started Bourne Identity,

               the first question I said to myself was how come you never see James

               Bond pay a phone bill or rent, so I just always had that in the back of my

               head.



               So for me, the hyper-reality of the world of Covert Affairs, the only

               boundary is that she has to be able to return to Earth when she goes home,

               whether it’s at the beginning of the episode, end of the episode, middle of

               the episode. As long as she can return home and return home to the world
                                                                 NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES
                                                                       Host: Chrissy Fehskens
                                                                   July 1, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT
                                                                                       Page 11

               that we know, the missions can be as outrageous as our imaginations can

               carry us. We’ll know we’re going too far if suddenly there is not a real

               world to return to. That’s where I draw the line. Does that make sense?



A Harrington   In an unrelated topic, we understand you went to Haiti with Sean Penn’s

               Jenkins-Penn Relief Organization. We were wondering if you could tell

               us about that experience.



D. Liman       I went twice, once right after the earthquake and then once about a month

               and a half ago, each time for a week. What’s incredible about the work

               that Sean is doing—First of all, I’ll just give you the setting. We stayed

               on a tennis court, in tents on a tennis court overlooking a golf course in

               which about 60,000 displaced Haitians are living with poles and fabric and

               tarps as their homes. Sean has made it his personal mission to look after

               these people. Rightly so, if he’s there, the world can’t possibly ignore

               these people as long as he’s there. If the world ignores these people, the

               level of misery and suffering is inconceivable.



               The really interesting thing is when I first got there with Sean it was right

               after the earthquake, nobody was living inside. Everybody was living in a

               tent. Most people were living on the runway, one of the taxiways at the
                                                  NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES
                                                        Host: Chrissy Fehskens
                                                    July 1, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT
                                                                        Page 12

airport because that was sort of semi-safe. Where Sean was out in the

middle of Port au Prince at this … country club and the interesting thing

was when I went back a month and a half ago, almost all the other non-

profits down there, those people have all moved into homes or hotels.

Sean is still in literally the exact same tent he was in in mid-January. It

gives a real sense of urgency to helping these people when you yourself

are living under the same conditions they are.



I had the same kind of eye-rolling attitude about what is a movie star

going to possibly accomplish in Haiti that I’m sure everyone on this call

has hearing about it. I’m as cynical as they come. I hear about Edwards

going down there handing out food and I’m like, ―That guy’s just trying to

take focus away from his marriage.‖ I’m really as cynical as they come.



What Sean is doing there is simply remarkable and inspirational. And

personally inspirational that I live in New York City, I’m surrounded by

people who work in non-profits, lawyers who do pro-bono work on the

side, and I’m like, ―I’m a filmmaker. What can I really do?‖ Seeing what

Sean is doing in Haiti, the two kinds of people that are operating best in

that war zone is the military and the filmmakers who are down there.
                                                              NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES
                                                                    Host: Chrissy Fehskens
                                                                July 1, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT
                                                                                    Page 13

            Filmmakers know how to go into an environment with minimal

            infrastructure, and get shit done.



Moderator   Our next question comes from the line of Stevie Wilson with LA-

            Story.com.



S. Wilson   It’s interesting when I was watching the pilot because I was thinking that,

            given the other kinds of character dramas that are on USA, that this might

            be more like them and wondering, because of what you did with Mr. and

            Mrs. Smith and the Bourne trilogy. And suddenly, I found myself reliving

            parts of the Bourne trilogy and how suddenly Piper was tossed in to this

            deadly situation where she had to get out. I thought of it like Bourne

            meets Sydney Bristow to the next level. I’m wondering how you decided

            to take some of the way you constructed the Bourne series in terms of the

            action and keeping the momentum going, and got it so that you really felt

            sympathetic for Piper’s character.



D. Liman    I’ll try to answer it and tell me if I’m off topic on the question. The

            casting of Piper was critical in terms of sympathy; it was as critical as

            casting Matt Damon in Bourne Identity. These are actors who just bring
                                                   NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES
                                                         Host: Chrissy Fehskens
                                                     July 1, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT
                                                                         Page 14

an enormous amount of empathy. They just have that thing, that ―it‖ that

you want to follow them, you want to root for them.



The other thing is like Bourne where I just wanted to come at the genre

with a very specific point of view. Like I said earlier, simple things I just

keep in the back of my mind like how come James Bond never gets a

phone bill. We then went to the next step of how come in James Bond, in

the car chases; he always narrowly misses hitting things. He always just

gets away with it. In the real world, it’s not like that. In the real world if

you’re in a car chase, you’re going to hit a million things and your car is

going to end up a total wreck by the end. That simple rule of how come

James Bond always seems to—he skids and then just misses hitting. And

I was like in Bourne Identity, we’re going to be the film that he skids, just

looks like he’s going to miss hitting and then boom, he does hit because

it’s human.



So having those kinds of rules, and so for Covert Affairs, trying to come

up with a singularly strong point of view, in this case, Piper is playing

Annie Walker who is new to the CIA. I didn’t want her to be all that

good. She’s talented and she’s got promise, but it was important to me,

and remains important to me even as we shoot episode 108 so she has 8
                                                  NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES
                                                        Host: Chrissy Fehskens
                                                    July 1, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT
                                                                        Page 15

episodes worth of experience now, that our specific point of view is the

things she tries to do to get away don’t always work.



Once you have a singular point of view like I had for Bourne and now I

have one for Covert Affairs, it gives you a roadmap and it makes the

action very specific and it makes it part of the character storytelling. One

of my roles, as we go through the series, is to sit down with each of the

directors and go through the action sequences and go through what is the

specific point of view for this show. Once we’ve been on the air and

hopefully by season two, the directors can just see the action from season

one and understand the specific point of view.



But in the case of working with Alex Chapel on episode 106, there is a

fight sequence that takes place in a boathouse. At some point Piper picks

up a flare gun and he said he was going to make the flare gun metal. I

happen to know a thing or two about boating, and flare guns are never

metal. They’re always plastic, fluorescent colored plastic. He said, ―If

she hits somebody with a plastic gun, that’s not going to be that effective.‖

Well, that’s where this show lives. We have to own that, that she grabs

the plastic gun and punches somebody with it and it breaks. Now the

person turns on them. That is the very specific point of view for the show.
                                                                NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES
                                                                      Host: Chrissy Fehskens
                                                                  July 1, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT
                                                                                      Page 16

            It’s a roadmap for designing all of the action sequences. Does that make

            sense?



S. Wilson   Absolutely. The other flip side of this question, which is the way you’ve

            got her thinking on her feet so that, as in the pilot, she’s in there retrieving

            the data from the cell phones that I noticed that both got left, and how she

            did it. Then the FBI guys said, ―What are you really here for?‖ and she

            says, ―Because of my shoes. I left my shoes.‖



D. Liman    I love that moment. Those are the Bourne Identity moments. Those are a

            group of us sitting around brainstorming so that Piper’s character can, on

            the fly, think of stuff making her smarter than the rest of us because she is

            the combined intelligence of the entire writing team. Those moments, we

            try to have at least one in every episode.



            There is a later one that Kay Woods is doing where Auggie gets involved

            in a fight, and Auggie is blind. This moment is actually more fun than

            anything we did in Bourne. He’s a blind guy in the middle of a scrappy

            fight. So what does he think to do, and he’s got to think of it in a split

            second, he turns the lights off. He kills the lights because a blind guy

            against a sighted guy with the lights on, the sighted guy is going to kick
                                                              NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES
                                                                    Host: Chrissy Fehskens
                                                                July 1, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT
                                                                                    Page 17

            his butt, but once the lights are off, that is the environment in which

            suddenly Auggie is going to have the advantage because he’s used to not

            being able to see.



S. Wilson   It levels the playing field.



D. Liman    It more than levels it. Now it’s Auggie’s home field. So it’s not just

            about, at the end of the day, why I like the spy genre as opposed to the

            action movie genre is that spies are smart. The successful spies are the

            smarter spies. That obviously was important for Jason Bourne and it’s

            equally important for Annie because she’s not going to start out with the

            best operations skills because she’s new and that would be unrealistic.

            But she will, in a pinch, think of a smart way out. She’s clever.



S. Wilson   Have you got women on that writing team?



D. Liman    We do.



S. Wilson   Yes, because that would be where the shoes came from. I was just

            curious. Thank you so much, this is really interesting.
                                                              NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES
                                                                    Host: Chrissy Fehskens
                                                                July 1, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT
                                                                                    Page 18

Moderator   Our next question comes from the line of Becca Schiel with Pop Culture

            Madness.



B. Schiel   I was wondering how much of the Bourne trilogy do you bring to Covert

            Affairs?



D. Liman    In terms of?



B. Schiel   In terms of the spy gadgets and the action sequences and stuff like that.



D. Liman    This isn’t a sequel to Bourne. It is not Green Zone, which tries to just sort

            of rip off Bourne Identity. I did Bourne, I created that. But this is me

            doing something new. USA has a marketing team and Bourne Identity is

            very popular, in their promotions and talking about it, they’ll talk about

            Bourne Identity a lot because it is obviously in the spy genre. But I don’t

            try to repeat myself and Covert Affairs is definitively not Bourne Identity.



B. Schiel   I meant from your experience, working in the movies. I’m sorry.



D. Liman    I think that having been through the process now, there are certain things

            that I know work that I learned on Bourne Identity like having a very
                                                  NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES
                                                        Host: Chrissy Fehskens
                                                    July 1, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT
                                                                        Page 19

special and very specific point of view when it comes to action works.

The moment I started sitting down with Matt and Chris and said we need a

point of view on our action. If I hadn’t had the experience on Bourne

Identity I might not have been so adamant how critical that was to us.

Therefore, it’s important that, in the middle of the shootout, she leaves the

Blackberry behind because that’s human. Our character is going to make

mistakes. Let’s own that. Jason Bourne never makes a mistake. That’s

what is specific to him.



For Annie, we’re going to own it’s her first day. What would your first

day really be like? Obviously it’s heightened. So I think that, plus we

were defining, on Bourne Identity, a specific style of action that in a way

came from some of the limitations involved with shooting the movie. In

Covert Affairs, because it’s a television show and because Matt and Chris

write outrageous action for each episode, the later episodes have action

that is significantly more outrageous than anything in the pilot, that in the

same way that I had to re-approach Bourne and say we’re going to have to

come up with a different way of shooting action just to be able to afford

this, then it suddenly becomes style, same thing on Covert Affairs.
                                                   NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES
                                                         Host: Chrissy Fehskens
                                                     July 1, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT
                                                                         Page 20

Because that works, I totally engage it and, in fact, just this week we were

dealing with an episode, the director named Rod Hardy’s episode 108

where they’re having a fight on the dock. In the script it lands in the

water, it’s really dramatic and scary that she’s in the water with somebody

that’s trying to kill her. I was talking to Rod who is directing that episode

and he said, ―It’s TV. We can’t really afford to drop her in the water

because of the time that it’s going to take and how difficult it’s going to be

to shoot the fight in the water.‖ Again, I was talking about having to have

a conversation with each director about what the specific tone of our

action in, but it’s also having conversations with each of them about the

fact that we are adopting a style of shooting action in the show that

enables us to, no matter how outrageous the scene is written, to pull it off.



It’s both by using new technology like the Canon Mark 5D IIs, however

you say that – 5D Mark II, it’s Canon 5D Mark II. It’s a still camera that

shoots 24 frames hi def. I used it a little bit on Fair Game and we have

five of them on the set of Covert Affairs. It actually brings more Swingers

to the table than Bourne in that particular situation.



In the case of Swingers, I wasn’t video, I was shooting film. But I was

shooting high speed film stock. I said I’m not going to use high speed
                                                    NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES
                                                          Host: Chrissy Fehskens
                                                      July 1, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT
                                                                          Page 21

film stock and then shoot the movie the way everybody else shoots their

movie. I’m going to say what can I do with high speed film stock. How

can I shoot in a way that’s different than how the movies that came before

me shot?



That really came from the fact that I had shot a short film in film school on

35mm. I noticed when the camera was rolling and before it panned on to

the set or something, so it was aimed off the set, I could see everything

fine. I could see there is the brightly lit set, but I could see into the

shadows and I could see the crew walking around. It looks fine. I said

why are we going through all this trouble to light the set when this film

stock evidently seems to be able to mirror the human eye.



So, I brought that to Swingers and said we’re not going to have any movie

lights. So the lighting equipment on Swingers came from Home Depot

because they were movie lights, they could be in the shots because the

lighting equipment consisted of 100 watt light bulbs. You’d just go into a

location and change out the light bulbs for 100 watt light bulbs and we’d

go shoot. That defined the style for that movie.
                                                 NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES
                                                       Host: Chrissy Fehskens
                                                   July 1, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT
                                                                       Page 22

In the same way, we have these really small cameras. We’re not going to

use them just in place of a traditional movie camera. What can we do with

these cameras? What is doable today that wasn’t doable a year ago,

because these cameras didn’t shoot 24 frames per second a year ago, but

they do now? What can we do today?



In the case of this water sequence, I’m saying we can shoot this sequence

with these cameras because if one lands in the water, who cares. Suddenly

you can get the camera operators in the water with these cameras. If you

were using older technology like The Red, which is only two years old

anyhow but if you’re using older technology like The Red, you’d be

having to figure out how not to have the camera land in the water. And

the amount of equipment involved in protecting the camera would

basically make shooting a fight sequence in the water prohibitive or you’d

have the camera far away and it just wouldn’t be exciting.



Suddenly we can do a fight sequence in the water and the cameras can be

inches above the water. That’s the other half to how we’re approaching

action is we’re being inventive about what you can do with technology

today that wasn’t doable a year ago, let alone ten years ago. I hope that

answered it.
                                                               NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES
                                                                     Host: Chrissy Fehskens
                                                                 July 1, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT
                                                                                     Page 23




B. Schiel   Yes, that was really good. How do you prepare the action sequences with

            actors who may not have done them before? Are there any challenges that

            come with that?



D. Liman    One of the things I learned on Bourne Identity was if you can possibly do

            it, cast a stunt person. Better to find a stunt person who can act, easier to

            do that than to find an actor who can do a stunt. The other thing is it’s

            much easier to do a fight sequence between—One of the two people in the

            fight needs to be a stunt person or you’re going to risk somebody getting

            hurt. Piper can do the fight herself if the other person she’s fighting is a

            trained stunt person. In the same way that Matt Damon, most of the

            characters surrounding Matt Damon that he fights with were, first and

            foremost, stunt people and that way, you don’t need to have stunt doubles.



            That’s the main philosophy for putting Piper into the action. And by now

            she’s done eight episodes. She’s almost a stunt woman herself. She has

            more fighting experience now than probably a lot of female stunt people

            have because she’s been doing it for months.



Moderator   Our next question comes from the line of Kendra White with Sidereel.
                                                             NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES
                                                                   Host: Chrissy Fehskens
                                                               July 1, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT
                                                                                   Page 24




K. White   You talked earlier about fitting the parts with the actors once they’re cast.

           But with so many number … actors in Covert Affairs, I was just curious if

           you had some or all of them in mind for the characters at first or if they all

           just fell into place.



D. Liman   Certainly Piper and Chris we had in mind, whereas Jai, we sort of knew

           what the template for that character was but there were so many different

           directions we could go. We were looking at all known quantities so when

           you’re thinking about Sendhil, we can sit around the room and talk about

           if we cast him, here are the qualities we can bring to that character and

           here are the storylines that would make sense for a character with those

           qualities to go on and here’s what the show would look like if we cast him.

           We had discussed other people to play that part and in the same way we

           could say here is the direction that character would go if you cast that

           person.



           You don’t have to wait until you’re on the set with the actor. For the ones

           who are known, in the act of casting them, you’re actually making some

           decisions about how you’re going to tailor the character to fit that

           particular person.
                                                  NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES
                                                        Host: Chrissy Fehskens
                                                    July 1, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT
                                                                        Page 25




Peter and Kari, in the act of casting them, we were committing to a

specific dynamic and a specific set of story lines. It doesn’t mean you still

don’t discover things on the day because you don’t know what the two of

them are going to be like dealing with this particular subject matter, the

same way that obviously Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were known

quantities when I cast them. But the first time I ever put them in a room

together was on the first day of shooting. You’re going to discover things,

as much as you think you know two giant movie stars, the moment you

put them in a scene together you’re going to discover things. I pride

myself on my ability to step back and say I know we planned on this, but

what is really happening. What is naturally happening here? Just take that

step back and evaluate.



As much as we said, when we cast Sendhil, we said here are the storylines

we’re going to get as a result of casting him in this part. Until you

actually have Sendhil on the set playing Jai, you can’t know 100%. I pride

myself on just, once you’ve done a couple days of shooting with them,

taking a step back and saying how is this really working and let’s just

constantly do mid-course adjustments. Those never stop.
                                                                  NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES
                                                                        Host: Chrissy Fehskens
                                                                    July 1, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT
                                                                                        Page 26

C. Fehskens   We have time for one last question.



Moderator     That would be from Stefan Blitz with Forces of Geek.



S. Blitz      First question is as a director or producer, what attracts you to a project?



D. Liman      Characters. Characters, first and foremost. When I read Butterworth’s

              first draft on Fair Game, I got to page five and was like, I love the

              character of Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson. I just love these characters.

              I’m going to follow them on a journey. That’s my bedrock.



              It’s also do I love the worlds, because occasionally I love the characters

              but I’m like, you know, the world feels familiar. God forbid the character

              feels familiar, then I’m really not going to be interested. Covert Affairs,

              for me, it’s all the things I love because it’s a world I love and its

              characters I love.



S. Blitz      My follow up is what can you tell us about All You Need is Kill and Nick

              Tungsten, Nightmare Hunter.



D. Liman      Do you know anything about the story of All You Need is Kill?
                                                              NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES
                                                                    Host: Chrissy Fehskens
                                                                July 1, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT
                                                                                    Page 27




S. Blitz   I’m familiar with the story of that one a little bit. I know it’s based on a

           Japanese novel.



D. Liman   Yes. So it’s a project I’m developing at Warner Brothers. It’s an

           amazing, amazing script. It’s a wholly original piece of writing. It

           delivers all of the wiz-bang satisfaction of a big Hollywood effects movie,

           but it does it in a completely original way.



           You can find truly original pieces of writing, but they’re original because

           who would have even have thought of that or why would anyone ever

           want to go see that. Then there are things that are I love that kind of

           movie, but it’s not original. So when somebody can actually write

           something that is wholly original and delivers traditional entertainment

           value but is totally original, that is Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Simon Kinberg

           did that and now you see a slew of movies trying to rip that off. The one

           thing they can never rip off is how fresh that movie felt when it came out.



S. Blitz   And that other title, Nick Tungsten, Nightmare Hunter?
                                                                   NEW MEDIA STRATEGIES
                                                                         Host: Chrissy Fehskens
                                                                     July 1, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT
                                                                                         Page 28

D. Liman      Nick Tungsten, Nightmare Hunter is a project I’ve been developing for

              years because it’s an action movie set entirely inside a child’s nightmare.

              What I love about that particular one is it’s an adventure fantasy film like

              Harry Potter. But unlike in Harry Potter, unless an owl comes and

              delivers you that letter, you don’t get to go to Hogwarts. This particular

              movie, anybody can go join the playing field because all you have to do is

              go to sleep. If you dream it, it’s sort of an adventure film for the

              proletariat. It’s accessible to everybody. That being said, I’ve had script

              issues so it’s pretty far off still, but the core idea is something I love.



Moderator     Now I’d like to turn the conference back to Chrissy for any closing

              statements.



C. Fehskens   Ladies and gentlemen, that is unfortunately all the time we have for

              today’s session. I’d like to once again thank Doug for joining us and of

              course remind everyone to tune into the series premieree of Covert Affairs

              on Tuesday, July 13th, at 10:00/9:00 Central on USA Network. Thanks

              again, everybody, and have a great day.



Moderator     Ladies and gentlemen, that does conclude our conference call for today.

              Thank you for your participation and you may now disconnect.

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Stats:
views:429
posted:7/2/2010
language:Turkish
pages:28