McG Talks Terminator Salvation
Posted 05.11.09 by BrentJS
How does a native of Michigan and the director of Charlie's Angels go about convincing the world that he's the man to update and expand upon the Terminator franchise? Well, according to director McG himself, through diligence and respect for the source material and the audience.
McG is painfully aware of the criticism aimed at him and his career path, but he's unapologetic about his past. In a recent interview, McG said:
You've got to earn your stripes and pay your dues, and I'm certainly willing to earn mine. Fortunately, I'm most comfortable in this genre, ironically. These are the films that I grew up on. This was my film school. This was my passion. So, I'm very comfortable working in this world. You just take the good with the bad, and you take your lumps along the way. On this picture, I tried to get away from being a cheerleader and really just let the film do the talking.
McG went on to explain that the fan base and respect for the audience were even important in making decisions about how the film was shot:
One of the things that we wanted to do, in this picture, was honor the audience and the passionate by staging and blocking the picture in a way that wasn't reliant upon cuts. I think cutting is a bit of a cheat, when say there's a bunch of cameras on the scene and you cut it together and make it work in post. We chose to go and scout the locations. Christian was a good sport, and we blocked the action very succinctly. The camera swings around to see a transport ship of Skynet flying away, Christian runs over to a helicopter and the pilot's been killed, and he gets in the helicopter to take off, all without a cut. The camera is now moving with him. The hole down below explodes, the helicopter crashes, he cuts himself out of the seatbelt, and crawls out to see a mushroom cloud, which is effectively the ashes of all the people he cares about, until he's interrupted with the hand on the shoulder of a T600. There were no cuts. And, we do that a great many times in the picture, in the spirit of saying, "We honor you, audience."
Terminator Salvation stars Christian Bale as John Connor, the man destined to lead the human resistance against Skynet's army of Terminators, Anton Yelchin as a young Kyle Reece, and Sam Worthington as Marcus Wright, a human-Terminator hybrid. It has also been rumored that Arnold Schwarzenegger will make a brief appearance in the movie, thanks to CGI technology and stock footage from The Terminator (1984).