While he was in San Diego for Comic Con, director Tim Burton spoke with Gina McIntyre, a contributor to the LA Times Hero Complex blog, about the process of filming Alice in Wonderland. Here’s a bit of that conversation:
Gina McIntyre: How challenging has it been for you on Alice in Wonderland since you’re marrying several technologies to give the film its unique look? But also, how liberating has it been to utilize these new tools?
Tim Burton: I don’t feel liberated yet, no, only because it’s a very strange process and I like what I like. That’s why I like stop-motion. On a live-action, you’ve got actors, you’ve got sets and that’s what I like. This is almost the opposite of that. You’ve got a lot of pieces and not until very late in the game do you see a finished shot. I think I’ve yet to see a finished shot. It’s quite a scary, daunting process. It’s exciting but it’s the opposite of what I’m used to. You see a piece of a shot and it’s like a puzzle. You’re trying to hope and make sure it gets to the right place but you’re only seeing one piece at a time.
Gina McIntyre: Did the process change how you worked with the actors?
Tim Burton: No. Because it’s such a long big process, the key with that is to try to keep that as energetic, as quick and moving as possible, because otherwise you just get bogged down in technology. We just didn’t worry about the technology to begin with and just started to shoot, so the actors could keep their energy and their focus. With these kinds of things you’re acting against an animated character or something that’s not there. [. . .]
This is the first time I’ve dealt with a lot of green screen and it drives you nuts. After a while you start to get kind of jittery and crazy. It’s a weird phenomenon. [. . .] The thing is, you can’t really deal with Method actors in that scenario. They’re in trouble. [. . . Y]ou’re going to be working in a void and you’re going to be dealing with people who aren’t there [. . .].
Gina McIntyre: How long is the post-production process, one year?
Tim Burton: Well, it comes out in March, so that’s when it will end. It will go all the way up to that. [. . .] I wish there were more shots done than where we are at this moment. It’s been daunting. If you saw how much was missing, you’d be nervous, too. [laughs]
The Zone thanks Emma for sharing the McIntyre interview; you can read it on the “All Things Alice” thread on the News & Views forum, or CLICK HERE. –Part-Time Poet