I'm not Akira Kurosawa. He used to write...He used to write a completely new spec script over a couple of nights. I'm not like that. It takes me a long time to put a film together that I want to make.— Duncan Jones
The most profound Duncan Jones quotes that will inspire your inner self
For me, two of my favourite science fiction films are Blade Runner, which is fantastic, and Terry Gilliam's Twelve Monkeys. Both of those were smart science fiction films hitting more of a medium budget, and I desperately hope there is an audience for that kind of film because I would love that to be my next film, on that kind of scale.
I want to do my Blade Runner, which is like a future Berlin film, which is like a thriller, but it's much deeper characters, I think.
I think I was brought up with games and I don't think that they're just Pac-Man or Space Invaders. I think we've moved on, I think that there are stories being told and worlds being explored.
The beauty of science fiction is its open canvas.
You can hypothesize about any element of the world. It doesn't have to be laser battles and things exploding, you can be JG Ballad and maybe just change one little thing about the real world and that becomes science fiction.
I played lots of games and I was a fan of gaming, so I was always looking for new games.
I want to have the illegitimate child of independent film making and the budget to make it. That's my aspiration.
One of the things I think is unique and signature about Blizzard is that whenever they do their games, and with Warcraft in particular, they take the things they love and put a twist on it. They showed that heroes can come from the most unexpected places, and as a player, you can play as a hero, on all sides.
In my opinion, having worked in the games industry and still keeping in touch with a lot of those guys, there was definitely a time when they saw themselves as the little brother of the film industry. But they kind of went off in a different direction and now see themselves, I think, as being far more interesting and ahead of the film industry. They haven't just caught up. They've gone off in a different direction and exceeded the film industry.
You know, in an ideal world, people would just be intrigued and go and see a film without knowing anything about it, because that's where you're going to have the most experience of a film, the biggest, the most revelation of a film. But at the same time, I think there are benefits of having seen a trailer where you actually look forward to seeing moments in a film knowing that they're coming up. I don't know which is better.
When we first made this whole idea this was going to be calling card film [Moon] and it was going to give the opportunity to make my first feature film. But it turned out a lot better, we just couldn't stop ourselves from going into it, and we are very proud that it turned into something that people wanted to see.
I think there is also a certain degree of expectation that's set up by trailers, where even if you know what's going to happen in parts of the film based on the trailer, you almost anticipate and look forward to those moments based on having seen the trailer.
I think we tried to make a film [Moon] that was about human beings as opposed to going from one special effects set piece to the next one, which is what a lot of science fiction films these days do.
I've worked really hard to build up a career on my own.
I turned 30 recently and it took me a long time to get the chance to make a feature film and do it on my own terms.
When I was a kid and I was being introduced to science fiction by watching movies with my Dad, Kubrick is one of those guys that we used to watch, you know, I watched Clockwork Orange at an age that was incredibly inappropriate, but he sat there with me and he explained what was going on and you know, I came to appreciate it even if I was terrified at the time.
Sam Rockwell has a fantastic sense of rhythm.
I'm a cruel man to myself.
Life and career kind of catches up with you.
When Peter Jackson did The Lord of the Rings trilogy with Fellowship of the Ring, not everyone had read Tolkien, and yet somehow with that scope and the spectacle of that fantasy, people were willing to give it a shot. And when they watched the first one, the characters drew them in and they started understanding the story. And then, all of a sudden, they were The Lord of the Rings fans, even if they never read Tolkien.
And as a first time director I needed to work with someone that I felt comfortable with, and that I could get along with. It was a perfect match [with Sam Rockwell]; I am so thrilled I got to work with him. He is a really nice and incredible guy.
Every time you want to reset your set and pull walls out and reset the lighting, you're burning up half an hour to an hour, and when you're trying to keep to a schedule, you're constantly having to reassess what's worth it and what you're going to have to give up in order to keep on schedule.
I was massively jealous but also excited when Tarantino did Inglourious Basterds, I'm a huge guys on a mission fan. Those kind of movies.
I had a real comfort with being on a set and in particular working with special effects and because of that background, it became much easier for me to base a first time feature film on a low budget cause I was sort of already knew how to do that.
Obviously, there's a big homage to Outland in Moon.
I obviously had Ridley Scott's response, which was great. But Peter Hyams really loved Moon and was really enthusiastic about it. He was also enthusiastic about the fact we'd remembered Outland and had remembered it fondly. I think, for him, it was like some kind of edification that there were people out there who loved his film. So, that was a really lovely feeling.
You are spending millions and millions of dollars of other peoples money when you make a movie. You have to at least approach it in a way where you can see how you can make that money back for the people who are investing.
As soon as I finished film school I was thinking about, how do I get to feature films? It took about eight years, and I'm still working. Feature films was not the end goal. Feature films was one of the stages. Getting to the point of the Coen brothers or Tarantino, where you're writing your own material and have the budget to do it properly, that's the end goal, and I'm close to that.
We rehearsed for a bit for an Indie film, which is kind of unusual, we had a week of rehearsals before we actually shot the films so we were able to really break down the script and kind of work through all of the improvisational things that he wanted to do, so he had a chance to really feel his way through before we actually shot it and I think that helped a lot.
The thing is that Warcraft has so much story available to it.
For the fans, there are some key stories they really want to see on screen. I won't be doing those.
Every film I try and make it the way I see it in my head, and it really just depends on the script and the people I'm working with or whatever interests me at that particular time.
Everyone wants to know what you want to work on and everyone wants to pitch you what they're working on. And that's just part of the process. And hopefully, at some point you find someone of like minds and you make a film.
You do look at a lot of movies and many characters seem to be interchangeable.
One of the biggest changes for me on a practical level of shooting the film was having a second unit.
Sometimes there's a disjoint between what works on the page and what works with visual story telling.
I do enjoy the puzzle-solving aspect of making a movie.
I really don't see CG as a goal in its own right.
I really do believe it's a tool. In the advertising industry I did a fair amount of CG, so I appreciate it for the tool that it is, and I think technologically where it's at now, you really can achieve most of your visual goals with either it or a mixture of it and practical effects.
Fantasy films tend to skew towards what Tolkien fantasy was, which is that the humans, the Hobbits and the cute creatures are the good guys, and everything that's ugly are the bad guys.
That definitely I feel is part of my generation: social networking, communication over the Internet, whether it's Skype or IRC or some form of text-based chat, text messaging.
I've been working my way to doing my first feature film for about ten years.
So I went through the commercials route and some people come from a theatrical background and some people come from a writing background, but I directed commercials
You have to be flexible enough to realize that, over the course of making a film for three and a half years, things are going to slightly change and drift, as you work out solutions to each problem as they come up.
The films that I loved growing up were the science fiction films from the late seventies and early eighties [films], which were more about the people and how they are affected by the environments that they are in. Whether they are sort of futuristic or alien of whatever they are; that was the science fiction that I loved. So that is what we tried to make, the sort of film that felt like those old films.
You go through different stages when you're working on the music in film.
At least, I do. You have a temp score, so you have music from other people, usually from other movies, to give you a sense of what the mood is supposed to be, what the atmosphere is.
There is this whole level of communication that I think our generation and younger is used to that does have this weird effect on people. It creates a familiarity that is possibly not always justified. I think that's interesting and I think it's nice to be able to incorporate it into films, because most of us can relate to that now.
I was doing the promotion for Moon in LA at the same time that Tony Scott was there with [The Taking of] Pelham 123. But obviously he was so concentrating on his own film that he didn't even know I was doing a feature film.
I was also a science fiction and fantasy fan, growing up, in games and books and movies. I love Tolkien and I love Dungeons & Dragons, so the opportunity to have a fantasy-based RTS, or real time strategy game, at that time, seemed cool. I started playing it, and the early games were simple, but fun and they had these great heroes.
Here in the UK the audience immediately reacts and they get the fact that: "What would be the most annoying thing in the world?" A Chesney Hawkes alarm clock!
Bill Pearson is definitely a man to talk to, especially in the afternoon when he's had a couple of drinks because he's got so many stories and anecdotes.
I think that I would like to have that kind of a budget [hundreds millions dollars] and I think the reasons for it are it gives you more time and it gives you the opportunity to be more ambitious with what you want to do with the camera and also how a scene works. I wouldn't want to direct those kinds of scripts.
My biggest difference with our film and those kinds of science fiction films is that they are going from one special effect set piece to the next, what we were doing was more of a character study. And I think that is the freedom that you get by doing an Indie film. You can only really do that with a lower budget. So I understand where the conflict is between those two priorities.
I think that idea of being far away from the people that you love is something that everyone can relate to.
We can't tell particularly smart stories if we want to keep our audience big enough to pay for these big spectacle films that we want to do.