"I never wanted to make another Mad Max movie, but you couldn't kill it..." - hmv.com talks Mad Max: Fury Road director George Miller
As Mad Max: Fury Road comes to DVD (it's out on Monday and you can pre-order it on the right-hand side of the page) we sat down with director George Miller to found out all about the movie's long journey to the big screen and his plans for a sequel...
How have you found the reaction to Fury Road and what does it mean to you?
"I never expected to get this response which seems to be pretty global. The biggest thing when you make a movie like this, the story can seem very superficial but when I read the reviews it's like they got into my brain and really understood what we are trying to achieve with the subjects and so I'm just really grateful."
Was there any point during the time between the third Mad Max movie and Fury Road that you felt that this film wasn't actually going to happen?
"Well the truth is I never really wanted to make another Mad Max movie, I had already done three and thought we were done with it but they live like imaginary friends in your head. The story just flashed into my mind. I kept pushing it away for a long time but it just kept on growing in those unguarded moments, when I was on an airplane on a long flight then I'd wake up and they'd start to play in my head and pretty soon I got excited about the story, but it took a long time."
What delayed it?
"It was green lit in three studios, three times but it kept falling away. I made other movies, but you couldn't kill it with the stick and here we are, we've eventually finished it and yeah as John Lennon said 'life is what happens when you are making other plans' and this is what happened to Mad Max Fury Road."
It looks like such a big ambitious film, was it a gruelling shoot?
"Yeah this is a film when everything is real, real people, real cars crashing into real desert and it's not a film which is best done in CG, it's not a green screen movie. We don't defy the laws of gravity so we went out there and shot it more or less in continuity, in a remote desert in southern Africa."
"It was 138 days of shooting and every day was a big stunt day and that brings its own sort of anxiety with it. Unless you are incredibly incredibly rigorous you are going to really hurt somebody but we had a fantastic crew, everyone was just so on top of it and as fatigue set in you had to concentrate even more, but we got through it without hurting anyone."
You mention the stunts, was there any sequence that you were particularly happy to have achieved?
"Well the biggest one was the final flip of the war rig at the very very end because that is massive amount of weight. I thought we would do it CG as we didn't want to risk a human being driving that thing but it was never gonna work as CG as all of the rest of the movie was real."
"I thought we could do it with a model that wasn't going to work as it was daytime. I thought we could do it remotely but we couldn't get the precision so we ended up doing it with Lee Adamson who was doing all the precision driving. It's one thing to pull off the stunt, it's another thing to land it in the sweet spot between two massive rocks and in front of the high speed camera going at 1000 frames per second and he landed it precisely."
What are the plans for the sequel We know you want to make one more at least, is it written, is it ready to go?
"They're written, we didn't intend to write them but we spent so much time creating the backstory for everybody and the world that we have two scripts ready to go but I have some other work to do before I go back into the wasteland. But we are talking about that with Warner Bros right now..."
Mad Max: Fury Road is out now on DVD. You can read our review of the movie here.