Alien: Resurrection part of the Sylvain Despretz interview by Kent Hill for Podcastingthemsoftly.com


Kent Hill: Um, you also did some work on er, a film, one of the films I really love is er, you worked a couple of times with him, er Jean-Pierre Jeunet on City of the Lost Children and then on Alien Resurrection
 
Sylvain Despretz:
Right, so I worked quite a bit with Jeunet, erm, I must say on commercials actually, we did a, but people don't talk about commercials much but a lot of directors actually tilt the bulk of their bread earning erm, on, on shooting commercials. The big one was Alien, because working for him was, was a bit of a thrill of course, but then there was the idea of being on an Alien film, that was the erm,

Kent Hill: Yeah

Sylvain Despretz:
That was the big deal. The experience itself of working on Alien was actually, probably a big disappointment
.

Kent Hill:
Right

Sylvain Despretz:
In a sense that um, it was a movie that that came in with with a lot of swagger, you know when everybody was was, everybody at Fox, every body on the on the crew was um, was kind of drunk on the idea that "hey, we're on a big Alien film", and I think the attitudes were , were quite nasty, actually it was probably one of the nastiest films that I was involved in working on in terms of competing egos and back stabbing and a lot of very bad vibes on that film

Kent Hill:
Right

Sylvain Despretz:
I don't. I don't paint a very good recollection of it, erm, to say nothing of the final product.

Kent Hill:
Yeah

Sylvain Despretz:
Which we all know is not very good (chuckle)

Kent Hill:
Now, I remember er, there's a wonderful wonderfully comprehensive behind the scenes material on  the er, the alien discs, and I remember seeing you you were interviewed for it, and um, it seemed like there was a, it seemed like it was a film that uh everyone wanted to make except the right people and the it seemed like a very forced project.
(inaudible)

Sylvain Despretz:
Well, I'm not the ideal person to comment to the degree that I'm not senior executive and I'm not Jeunet

Kent Hill:
Yeah

Sylvain Despretz:
I'm just a cog, I'm a tiny little, you know, pawn in the game, but my impression, my impression of what was happening was that the director accepted the job after many people had turned it down because the script was considered quite poor which it is

Kent Hill:
Right

Sylvain Despretz:
And, and um, he accepted it because it was an honour for a French director who didn't speak a word of English to be asked to come to Hollywood and do an Alien movie.

Kent Hill:
Right

Sylvain Despretz:
I don't think that his analysis was that the material was great, and I remember him telling me in the beginning, um, "for me this is just an extended commercial" and that's how he put it.

Kent Hill: (chuckle)

Sylvain Despretz:
This is like one very long commercial

 
Kent Hill:
Right

Sylvain Despretz:
He didn't care what what what the script was like, his feeling was like "look, I'm here to do an Alien movie, I'll do what the studio wants, it's their job, it's their call.
"
 
Kent Hill:
Yeah

Sylvain Despretz:
And so, he didn't have a particular conviction about it but I think he was just there to practice a technical exercise which any director in his position probably would do, cause you know, it's a move up.

Kent Hill:
Right

Sylvain Despretz:
Erm,  the thing is, as much as it seems to us that studios are cynical and stupid, I think back then anyway, 1996

Kent Hill: Right

Sylvain Despretz:
The expectation of Fox was that any director who was brought on board would come in with a vision.

Kent Hill: Right

Sylvain Despretz:
And probably with a screenwriter and say "Here's where I want to take the material, here's what I want to do with it next ," and I think Jeunet didn't do that

Kent Hill: Right

Sylvain Despretz:
He said, "okay right, this is the script, let's do it"

Kent Hill:
Right

Sylvain Despretz:
And I think that they were taken aback by that

Kent Hill:
Okay

Sylvain Despretz:
Because most, most directors come on board a film and try to own it in some way

Kent Hill:
Right

Sylvain Despretz:
And they bring in a writer and they'll do their bit

 
Kent Hill:
Okay

Sylvain Despretz:
And I think they expected that, I think they naturally expected that there would be an attempt on the directors part to take the picture somewhere else, so that, so that they could curtail that attempt, shoot him down and neuter him, as they love to do

Kent Hill:
Right.

Sylvain Despretz:
And in that, in that case I think he took the joy away from them

Kent Hill:
Right

Sylvain Despretz:
The joy of neutering was taken away

Kent Hill: (chortle)

Sylvain Despretz:
Because he came in neutered in a way, he said "sure, fine"

 
Kent Hill:
Okay, good

Sylvain Despretz:
So, so what happened was the picture came out the way the studio wrote it and of course it's an atrocity

Kent Hill:
Right

Sylvain Despretz:
Cause what the Studio. Studios, you know they're bean counters really

Kent Hill:
Right

No comments:

Post a comment