Monday, October 11, 2004

Mike Figgis

BRUT DE BRUT CA VIENT D'ARRIVER !

1) When the first time did you understand that digital cameras could give a new regain to movie makers and movie industry ?

The potential was always there, it was a case of trying each new camera and waiting until the quality got good enough to use for movie making. I was watching the technology carefully, not jsut cameras but also editing on computer and projection as well

2) How did you see movies like “Timecode” or “Hotel”, are they like life forms, like something that could be in permanent evolution or revolution ?

Perhaps not permenant, but alive and changing for a period of time after they are released, unlike a conventional film which is dead before it gets released

3) Would you accept that movies like “Timecode” or “Hotel” would be remix by other movie makers under what kind of conditions ?

Yes, this is possible I suppose but mainly I think of it in terms of my own mixing, it remains my piece of film and I have not let it go yet. I encourage other people to do their own work and continue developing it. I mean, I have no interest in interpreting someone elses film.

4) You alternate production of Hollywood movies and more “experimental” movies. Someone like Richard Linklater do the same thing today with his movies. Is it a new system to do movies in Hollywood ? Does the big studios try to find a new economy and a new way to produce movies ?. Or is it something that it was impulsed by movie makers a few years ago ?.

Going back to Cassavetes....he financed himself by doing more commercial work. The reality is that these experimental ideas are usually not very profitable so it becomes necessary to find a way of financing the work. At least by working in a studio you are still in touch with filmaking and filmakers.

5) Do you work for that kind of projects with people that are not part of cinema industry ? Computer programmers, digital video companies, independent developers, free software companies ?

Yes and no. I do things for Panasonic, get involved in design and new products. I designed a camera rig and now work with Manfrotto in Italy. I was involved a bit with Apple when they had their AppleMasters program. Things like that where it ties in with the creative process, otherwise I stay independent because it's quicker and easier.

6) Do you believe in creativity about very short films that could be broadcasted on mobile phones or Internet ? And why ? That kind of movies look like first Lumiere brothers movies (very short, funny…). Do you have any ideas about the future of movie theater in few years and the way that people will watch movies in few years ?

Not sure about phones and stuff like that - as a beginnning to a career it is ok, a way in. The problem is like you say, it's a bit jokey and one line. I think people will always prefer to see films in a group. Digital projectors make it possible to set up cinemas quite easily and in venues that are flexible, clubs and bars and even houses. This is a good thing. Also for poorer cultures it is more democratic and accessable.

6) Do you think that with weblogs phenomen on the Internet and now videoblogs we can see new formats, new kind of movie scripts for new supports and new tools of distribution (like peer to peer network) ?.

I don't know enough about this to comment intelligently

7) In which way Hollywood try to “control” that digital revolution, and her creativity. Is there in big studios today new departments, maybe research departments to develop a new way of making movies or is it still a domain reserved to independent production companies like your company ?

This is a political-economic-capitalistic issue. Studios have too mmuch money invested in the old technology to contemplate serious change. Change can only mean a scaling down, huge job losses, loss of control of distribution etc. It is therefore not remotely in their interest to do this. In fact it is in their interest to actively discourage digital innovation. The hi-def industry is just as high maintainance as 35mm and is encouraged because it is less of a threat. Any change will have to by-pass the Hollywood industry. The change is inevitable but will take longer than I thought because of these vested interests.

8) Do you think that digital revolution and your creativity and your talent brings to your movies a new panel of emotions, feelings Something that could be synchronized with the complexity of real life ?

I think so - I think it creates that possibility because the medium is recognized as somehow real, of the people, not something divorced from the everyday. You still have to be a good filmaker, you still have to know and understand the complexities of cinema and story telling, all the rules still exist to be obeyed or bent or disobeyed, it has invigorated a very unhealthy art.

9) What kind of project do you work on ? “Time Code” and “Hotel” are they a one shot experiment , a new form of telling a story, or something like “I can do it, you can do it”.

Both films asked (of me) a lot of fascinating questions. Whaqt if you took this idea in a different direction, what if you combine these 2 ideas. What if...what if.... I carry on with this dialogue and see where it goes by doing more films.Hope this is useful. Best wishes - mike figgis

A lire sur le site de la compagnie de Mike Figgis à Londres, Red Mullet, un entretien entre lui et Jeff Wall (le photographe).

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