It’s been nearly five months since I boarded the Good Ship Cinefex as senior staff writer, and oh boy, have I learned a lot.
The biggest lesson has been that there’s no such thing as a typical Cinefex assignment. Every one is different, and for a multitude of reasons.
Take Spectre, my first article for the magazine as a full-time member of the team. The schedule was such that, by the time I came to conduct interviews with Steve Begg, Chris Corbould, and the team of facility supervisors who laboured with them to put the latest Bond movie on the screen, the film was already in the can. Heck, I even had the luxury of seeing the damn thing before my copy deadline.
So, not only did I get to speak with people about work they’d already done, but I actually experienced the fruits of their labours for myself, while I was writing about them.
As I’ve since discovered, that ain’t always the case.
In our upcoming issue 146, due out next month, you’ll find my stories on Deadpool and Hail, Caesar!, plus my Q&A with Eric Durst, visual effects supervisor on Gods of Egypt. Each one of these assignments differed wildly from my secret service mission with agent 007.
With Deadpool, for example, I found myself speaking with director Tim Miller while he was still deeply immersed in post-production on the film.
He, along with visual effects supervisor Jonathan Rothbart, and the many other supervisors and artists I interviewed, was incredibly generous with his time, and more than willing to discuss a movie that wasn’t even finished yet … and which I certainly had no chance of seeing before submitting my final draft to Cinefex editor-in-chief Jody Duncan.
Hail, Caesar! was different. That was down not so much to timing, but to the production’s more diminutive scale, which saw me teasing details about the Coen brothers’ 1950s period piece from a single, small team at Psyop, rather than wrangling reams of interview transcript from multiple visual effects facilities spread around the world. As for Gods of Egypt – a late addition to our issue 146 editorial lineup – I had to turn that round at something approaching lightspeed, squeezing the back-story to a 2,550-shot show into the brisk and breezy confines of our Q&A format.
This week, I’m finalising my article on X-Men: Apocalypse. Different again? You’d better believe it. Scheduled for Cinefex 147, due out in June 2016, this one had me conducting interviews even as director Bryan Singer was posting photos on Instagram from a late pickup shoot, on a film that was still very much being put together, and very much under wraps.
My colleague, Cinefex associate editor Joe Fordham, wrote most eloquently about the challenges of timing in this appropriately-titled blog article – Timing. As the newest member of the team, I can now personally vouch that everything Joe said is true.
Now, as I turn my attention to the two films on my slate for issue 148, timing is still at the front of my mind. One of the movies, like Spectre was, is wrapped. The other is still a long way from completion. No prizes for guessing which one I plan to tackle first.
As for what those films are, well, I’ll keep that to myself for now. You’ll find out soon enough.
In the fullness of time.
Cinefex 146, published April 2016, will feature in-depth stories on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Deadpool, Hail, Caesar!, The 5th Wave, and Gods of Egypt.