SDCC ’10 Interview: Anderson on Resident Evil in 3D & More

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Why does Alice shoot quarters?

Warning: There may be spoilers ahead.

Resident Evil: Afterlife (set report) is just the beginning of the 3D adventure for director Paul W. S. Anderson.

He believes that not only is 3D cool for viewers, it represents a paradigm shift in terms of cinema along the same lines as the introduction of sound into film and the introduction of color. “3D is very exciting,” Anderson said at a Comic-Con press event. “Everything from now on for me is 3D. I am completely convinced it is the future of home entertainment and as well as cinema entertainment.”

Of course, it helps that Afterlife is one of the few movies that will be released that was actually filmed in 3D and Anderson is helping to promote the new technology. While working with a new technology was a bit problematic, Anderson says, the interesting thing is that it forces a director to compose images in a completely different way.

“We had big 3D monitors set and you wear the glasses and see the image in 3D,” Anderson said. “I moved the camera in a completely different way than I did in my previous movie. In Death Race, which is a modern action movie, I used a lot of the handheld action cameras, with quick cuts. In 3D, I didn’t want to do that anymore, I went for a more classical approach to film making with dolly and track and cranes and slightly slower choreographed moves. You get more fight moves in one take rather than going ‘Cut, cut, cut, cut.’ It really altered the way I shot the movie completely. It was exciting because after 20 years of filmmaking I felt as if I was making my first movie again.”

The evolution of 3D in film is an interesting thing for Anderson, after they wrapped Afterlife in December of last year, they knew they were making a 3D movie but it was no big deal. Then Avatar hit theaters and the world changed, Anderson said. Now all of Hollywood wanted everything to be 3D.

But, “we just went on with what we were doing which is making a quality kick ass 3D movie,” Anderson said. “It will really be the first live-action 3D movie this year, there hasn’t been one this year they have all been conversions. I think when people see what real 3D looks like they will understand why they spend an extra $5 a ticket.”

What will we see in terms of 3D from Afterlife? Anderson said from the very beginning he was already finding ways to work into the production design ways to enhance the 3D, interactive elements such as rain and smoke, things that normally would be backdrops in other films will take on a life of their own.

And then there are the quarters. Why do you need money in the post-apocalyptic world you may ask?

“You discover that Alice has these shotguns and she is making shotgun shells,” Anderson said. “Instead of pellets it is a whole load of quarters wrapped. So when she shoots the shotguns, you have these great slow motion shots where all these coins come out and they are flying heads over tails and plowing through the undead.”

And if you thought that the dogs had their day in the first three films, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

“I love the dogs,” Anderson said. “Every since I played Resident Evil 2 and the dog crashed through the window and I was holding my vibrating controller, it just terrified me. But I have to say after three movies with them there is a limit to what you can do with dogs. Then I played Resident Evil 5 and there were dogs again. But this time their heads split open and I thought ‘This is really freaky shit.’ That’s a great example of how the games influenced how I developed the characters in [Afterlife].”

With the buzz generated by Afterlife, what are the chances of a fifth Resident Evil film?

“We always take it one movie at a time,” Anderson said. “We put so much effort into them and it is a family affair. It is all about making the best possible movie now and then promoting well and getting it out there. Making sure it is seen in the right way. When the dust settles then you think about something else. For us, it is not a business, it is a passion. You don’t want to start talking about the next baby until you make sure this one is okay.”

Source: Peter Brown