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FireflyJoss Whedon - "Serenity" Movie - Hamburg Press Junket - Fan Report Part 1
Monday 10 October 2005, by Webmaster
Meeting Joss Whedon in Hamburg! Part 1!
I was allowed to meet Joss Whedon and ask some questions in a junket with 4 other journalists. Here is the first part! The following parts will include Nathan and Summer as well!
We arrived at the hostility suite. I got the press book for the movie, the soundtrack and a long article about "Firefly" and "Serenity", published in the serious and (in Germany) well-known newspaper "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung". The newspaper called "Firefly" the best sci-fi show ever! Keep in mind, the show never aired in Germany and the DVDs will be released in November.
After some time of silence, I was able to talk with a woman from 20th Century Fox and she gave me a copy of the "Firefly"-DVD box, for reviewing it. I will have to send it back to her, but I can compare the UK and German version now. I was very reliefed, because I was able to start talking with some of the journalists. I even bothered one of them by saying, that the "Serenity"-article of her magazine had some mistakes. Soon, I had to leave Björn behind, only one person per magazine or website. I took my stuff, the camera and followed the others (all except for one were web-reporters). We ended up in a suite with a round table, with 6 or 7 chairs. And while we were sitting down, suddenly, there was someone else... Joss greeted us. (We were the second to last group. He must have had around 12 interviews already.)
Someone was in the wrong junket interview group:
You are not Arnold Schwarzenegger, right?
Q.:Are you still running for government?
Joss Whedon: Yes, well I led the people...
Q.: Why not?
Joss Whedon: Oh god... anybody ever follows me anywhere, they are doomed.
He asked, if the dictation machines are near enough, because he may mumble.
Journalist 1: OK gentleman, you are first!
Journalist 2: Ladies first, it’s usually.
Journalist 1: No, no no no, you are allowed...
JW: All right, eeny meeny miny, ok, go!
Q: Well, let’s start with something fluffy! When you got the go to shoot "Serenity", did you press the red button that Alan Tudyk gave you from the set of "Firefly"?,
JW: It’s real, I pressed it and it turned out, that it was just a prop and that nobody can hear me, so I had to use the telephone instead. I do have that, in my office, still. But, I think may actually have gone to my drawing, picked it up and pressed it. You know, I forgot about that, but yeah, I think, I acually did... but like I said, totally doesn’t work. You totally doesn’t install it right. After all that.
JW: Pointed at someone else. Go!
Q.: Me? All right... uhm... One of the first scenes was a very long shot, it was right in the beginning, how many takes...?
JW: Ah, well, it’s actually 2 very long shots, because we build the 2.. the top and bottom of the ship next to each other. So we had to hide a cut in there. Uhm, the first half took 30 takes and the second half took 16, uhm, and amazingly enough only two of them were because of camera problems, even though he was walking backwards upstairs for half the shot - the steady-cam operator Michael Moore was so great, it was more about just nuances of performance, long takes like that are terrifiying, because, if they get it right for a while, your stomach just starts to go like this, like what is gonna happen? What is gonna happen? Just make it through, please! And then you know, the last word, ’I know...’ there is River ’I know... we’re going for a...line?’ And you are like "NOOO!" It’s just horrible! I hate long takes and you know, I’m addicted to them.
Q.: So why did you do it then?
A.: I did it because...- and it was in the script, you know, moment for moment, including which wall is gonna fly, so we could bring the camera back - I did it because I wanted to structure the story so that in the beginning, we were in River’s world, and very fractured and we never know, where we are, we keep recalibrating and it is very unsettling and when we come to Serenity, I wanted to say, this is home, here we are, this is what it is. Here is the space, I’m showing you the whole space and everybody in it all at once, to connect them, so we understand, this is a real place and everybody in it is connected. We were fractured before and now, we are whole. However much we maybe...you know, falling apart, however tough Mal maybe talking, this is a space you can trust. This is a space that we find River confortable in, and that was sort of the mission statement. Although one person did refer to it as a victory lap.. that was kinda cute. GO! He pointed at me.
Q.: Uhm.. about the music...
JW: I shouldn’t be the only one, who is scared.
I showed him my "nervous t-shirt": I’m pretty damn... nervous.
JW: Oh way, wow, I didn’t know, you actually have a shirt that would reply to what I was saying.