Join SBIFF for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating an impact, part of 2010 SBIFF Directors' Panel: On Directing.
(Music playing.) Peter Bart: This is to Docter. So when I saw the first three, four, five minutes of "Up," I thought that was such a perfect, perfect picture that I would have been tempted to say, stop there, you have captured an amazing... (Applause.) Was these actually a discussion of releasing that separately at any point? Pete Docter: No, there wasn't.
I mean this was a tricky film to get going, because it was such an unusual idea, this idea of an old man flying his house was. We pictured ourselves in L.A. trying to pitch that at studios and I can't imagine what that would be like, but that's where I am lucky where I get Pixar, and it was really that sequence that kind of landed it. When we were able to pitch that and get our bosses, John Lasseter, to cry, then we knew we had something, and you know that's always the heart of everything we do, even they might be about bugs or cars or monsters or whatever, we are always trying to find some connection to us as humans, to express the human condition, and put that in some way that you haven't seen.
Peter Bart: And picking the voices, did you change the characters at any point after the actors were chosen for the voices? Pete Docter: Yes, and no. I mean, what usually happens-- This has been the case on every film from Toy Story on, is that we'll design the characters first, and then we grab little snippets of dialog, just the audio from other pictures that these guys have been in, and we play them and we look at the pictures, and we go, yeah, that sounds like the right guy. So that's of course Ed Asner, it was perfect. And with other folks, Christopher Plummer, once we cast him, the character did change.
We always try to write to the strengths of the actor, so Plummer brought this sort of rich, educated kind of angle that we weren't necessarily originally intending for that part, but yes, they definitely change the way the characters come off. Peter Bart: Todd, there have been so many legends in the Hollywood about a director who makes a picture that's confoundingly bigger and more successful than you imagine, and freezes. Do you -- (Laughter.) Todd Phillips: What? Pete Docter: Freezes.
Peter Bart: Do you have your next project all planned out, and do you feel any inhibitions about the fact that there is no way of topping a billion-and-a-half dollars or whatever "The Hangover" made? Todd Phillips: No, I mean I do think that for me, I've already shot the next film. We just finished about a month ago with Robert Downey and Zach Galifianakis who are in-- I mean, Zach's in "The Hangover," and for me it was actually the opposite. It was like, let me just go back at it, because I didn't want to-- and I have friends who are directors who some who have had huge successes and they said, just don't let it get you gun shy. Because again, for those of us up here, we make movies because we love making movies.
The money, whether it makes some. I've had ones that don't make money, I have had some that do make money. That's never the reason so we don't want that to let it affect your decision process. For me, I am constantly surprised that I am able to get paid to be a director. So I feel like, I just keep going, I love making movies, so I got right by-- I mean we were prepping, this movie is called "Due Date", we were prepping "Due Date" while "The Hangover" was first coming out in theaters, so we just went right into it. So yeah. Peter Bart: Quentin, we return to you. Your pictures are genre directed and you've done basically your turn on gangster films, on martial arts film, to a degree on westerns.
Now you're a big romantic. Are you going to do a love story next? Quentin Tarantino: Well, the thing is, I have done love stories. They've just been inside of my other movies. I mean the first script I ever wrote and it was pretty much made except for the very, very end, exactly the way I wrote it, was "True Romance," and that was a-- (Applause.) That title is not ironic. It was a complete romantic movie. Now it has all kinds of, well, at one point James Gandolfini almost beats Patricia Arquette to death, and then she has to blow him away with a shotgun and rip him apart, but that doesn't mean it's not romantic.
(Laughter.) And to me, the "Kill Bill" movies are tragically romantic. I mean I think you could look at "Kill Bill" as a metaphor for the dissolving of a marriage very, very easily. It's all right there. But it's going to be done my way, and I think everyone wants me to do it my way. (Applause.) Peter Bart: Kathryn, I observed the rhythms of film making are crazy making in a way. I mean, in Toronto when your picture was first shown a year-and-a-half ago, candidly, it didn't create that huge amount of excitement, and then it was purchased, and then not released for a while. Was there any point early on that you though yourself well, this picture is sort of going to get lost? Kathryn Bigelow: I think you-- It's certainly occurred to me, but it just kept kind of gathering a certain type of momentum, and I think there's so much-- or maybe I am projecting my own curiosity on to a conflict that's so abstract and so under-reported, and it's sort of an attempt to unpack it a bit. And so I think that as the conflict became more and more timely, and you know sadly, it continues to be more and more timely, that I think that curiosity and the momentum of the film seemed to be kind of commiserate.
How come you don't ask me about a love story? (Laughter.) Peter Bart: No way. Kathryn Bigelow: "Near Dark" is a love story I think? Peter Bart: Yeah? Okay, I'll accept that.