||DVD Video - Interviews [McCallum, Rick]
[Transcript From Talkcity.com]
Interview With: Rick McCallum|
Focus: Star Wars: The Phantom Menace / Star Wars on DVD|
Title: Producer of SW: TPM||Company: NA|
Interviewed By: TalkCity.com Online Chat||Date: NA|
TalkCity.com was chosen by Lucasfilms to conduct a number of online chat sessions
with various members of the Star Wars: The Phantom Menace crew. Rick McCallum, Star Wars Producer,
was asked to take part in one of these sessions. The following
was taken from that conversation which occurred on May 11th, 5:30pm PST.
(StarWars) Hello and welcome to the third of our Star Wars chats,
brought to you by Lucasfilm and Talk City.
Star Wars has become the most popular film series in history. This series of chats is designed to gain insight into the production
of the newest of the Star Wars movies Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Tonight we have two guests with us:
Producer Rick McCallum and actor Ahmed Best, who portrays the character Jar Jar Binks in the upcoming Star Wars: Episode I
will join us a little later.
Any now, please welcome Rick McCallum!
(Rick) Hello, I'm ready for you!
(AskLucasfilm) Jedi-DarkKnight1138 says: Rick... What is your overall opinion of the film? is it going to live up to the fan's Hype?
(Rick) I'm not sure if it will live up to everybody's hype the first time they see it,
but if they like it enough to see it a second and third time, I think it will live up to everybody's expectations.
I think it's unbelievable!!! It's ...I can't say how unbelievable!!!
(SkierTCC) Our room today is moderated for your viewing pleasure. It's just you and the guest! Enjoy!
(AskLucasfilm) Jedi- says: Mr. McCallum, I have a burning question: At last week's SW Celebration, you said that casting for Episode II had not
begun, yet you also said the casting choice for Anakin is/would be "bold." Has the part been cast, perhaps offered to a well-known actor, or will there be
a casting call for the role? The fans on a recent on-line poll want an unknown for the part of Anakin, by the way... might we see an
exhaustive search similar to these?
(Rick) Yes, we will see an exhaustive search. We haven't really begun casting yet. That process will begin towards the end of the summer, but however it ends up it will be bold.
(AskLucasfilm) Jedi-Sazerac says: What message do you hope the audience will contemplate after viewing Episode 1?
(Rick) That's a good question! This first episode is an introduction to all the characters. We know what happens to Anakin, we don't know how or why. Episode 2 and 3 will reveal this in a very dramatic context which I think will be unbearable for most viewers.
So to answer that, I think the questions that we'll be asking are "Why do we do the things we do that hurt other people?" Is it our environment? Is it our genentic encoding?
Is it ego? Narcicism? Pride? Lack of comapassion? Why do we hurt other people and what are the consequences are some of the things we'll be exploring in episode 2 and 3.
(AskLucasfilm) Jedi-Beto_Manaus says: I´m from Manaus, Brazil in the midle of rain forest..I just want to say that here in Manaus there are many
fans of starwars and we´e looking foward to see episode I on june 24th, How do you feel the way episode 1 is expected in every part of the world?
(Rick) I love it! I can't get enough of it! I'm very excited that we've had enough time to really do the proper translations and proper sub-titling of this film in over 30 countries. We really spent a great deal of time and effort to ensure that everybody outside of the United States will see the film in the best possible
way in the best possible theaters.
(AskLucasfilm) Queen-Bryholf says: Rick, Lucas recently said he was sorry that the 'hype' for Phantom Menace got 'out of hand'. Why do you think
the hype is so intense?
(Rick) I think it's because of two things:
One: the event itself is almost bigger than the movie itself. There is a real need in people to have a collective experience at a theater.
It rarely ever happens. It's something that we usually associate with a rock concert or a night club but never at the movies itself.
I also think that the film is very transgenerationa. It appeals to everyone of all ages. The second reason is that :
I think for the first time technology has converged to a point where the internet is such a powerful forum for people to express their views
and opinions... and I think that the hype really started on the internet and has been building in a way that none of us ever expected or hoped for.
It's nothing that we can control, let alone manage. But since there's such a great lovefest out there, I can't help but stand back in awe and amazement.
(AskLucasfilm) Jedi-Sazerac says: What is the absolute best part about producing these movies?
(Rick) Working with George Lucas!! It took four and a half years to make. With over 1800 people involved. It was completely relentless throughout that whole period.
When we started the film we still had no idea how we were going to achieve 20 or 30 percent of the effects on the movie. The character animation was the most difficult aspect to pull off.
But with a great deal of faith, all the incrdible talent at ILM I think we really pulled it off. But we just finished the film only a week ago. So you can impagine the amount of floop sweat that I've gone through!
(AskLucasfilm) TheLastStarfighter says: Rick, would you do this all again? Would you have done anything different?
(Rick) I would do everything again! Instantly! It was a great experience! I would probably do everything differently if I could do it all over again.
(AskLucasfilm) Queen-LadeeT says: What is your fondest memory from each of the main cast during the making of Episode One?
(Rick) I loved all of the cast members. They were professional and so great to work with. We didn't have a single problem with anyone. They're all extremely nice people.
I really do mean that!
(AskLucasfilm) Darth-Ludicris says: Rick, any insight on who will direct the next movie or has that issue even been addressed by Mr. Lucas yet?
(Rick) I'm very happy to say that George will be directing the next episode.
(AskLucasfilm) Jedi-Michael_Jr says: what advice would you give to one that wants to get into the film buisness???
(Rick) I would say that probably the first thing is to learn ...no matter how difficult it is to try to write a screenplay. Then with a video camera film everything around you till you feel confident that you can tell the story that you want to tell.
And then if it's really great, send it to me! Also see as many movies as you can.
(AskLucasfilm) Darth-Dariakus says: Rick McCallum - The visuals in Episode 1 are absolutely beautiful and stunning. They are as close to
perfection as one can hope for in this day and age. Has Episode 1 shown us the "best"? Or will things get better / more intricate in later episodes?
(Rick) I think that we're at the turning point now that technology has reached the level that a writer can write anything he wants and that a director is only limited by their imagination.
Everything that we learn will be available and accessable to other film makers who will raise the bar even higher and higher in the future. I wish I got questions like this from the press!
(AskLucasfilm) Darth-Dariakus says: Rick McCallum - How do you think the internet has effected the production of the new films, as far as
concealing secrets and keeping a lid on spoilers and the like?
(Rick) It's impossible to keep any secrets now in the world we live in . I'm constantly amazed and amused with what's on the internet.
I would say that 85 percent of what's written on Star Wars is completely bogus. The other 15 percent is true by accident. Nevertheless I love reading everything that's posted.
It's very amusing.
(AskLucasfilm) Darth-Mole says: Hello Mr. McCallum. I think you and George Lucas are GODS. Anyways, what was your favorite thing about
working on Episode I?
(Rick) I think I answered that earlier..but it really is the opportunity to work with George Lucas.
His imagination is so outrageous and so out of control - everyday he comes up with such original and provocotive and daring things that I'm constantly amazed.
All I know is everyday when I come to work I take the same road he does and nothing happens to me like what happens to him.
(AskLucasfilm) Darth-Bane40133 says: Mr. McCallum, can you give us any clue as to how Anakin turns to the Dark Side?
(Rick) No, you'll have to wait till episode 2 and 3.
(AskLucasfilm) Jedi-idiot says: Where did you find Ray Park?
(Rick) We originally looked for an actor who would be physical and who could do a lot of the stunt work.
That search became fruitless after a couple of months... Nick Gillard, our stunt coordinator one day brought in Ray and had the Dark Maul makeup applied and he brought Ray down to see George and ...
and I do one of the fight routines... we were just amazed by the physical presence and by the incredible pallate.
He's also the easiest guy you could ever work with. We hired him instantly on the spot to play Dark Maul.
(AskLucasfilm) Jedi-NTVPRNC says: How long did the movie stay in post production?
(Rick) We finished shooting the film in September of 1997 and we finished just over a week ago! Now that's a pain!!
(AskLucasfilm) R2-Toadburger says: In 10 years will we be able to watch the episodes 1-6 and still get the same effect?
(Rick) Yes! George always designed the films to be completely interrelated thematically. I can't wait for the day in the near future when I can sit down and watch either in a theater or on DVD chapters 1-6 all at one time.
To see the whole twelve hour saga of the family I think will be an incredible experience.