11 de maio de 2012

A world where black magic is at work is not that different from high science fiction

Jon Spaihts, um dos argumentistas de Prometheus, deu uma excelente entrevista ao portal io9 - sobre o filme de Ridley Scott, sobre o estado da ficção científica, e sobre outros projectos. A entrevista pode ser lida na íntegra aqui (o que recomendo). Três destaques:

Why is it so hard to get Hollywood to greenlight space adventures like your Shadow 19 script? Video games like Mass Effect make insane amounts of money, so why is it so hard for Hollywood to commit to similar movies? 
There are some technical reasons why. In game engines, hard shiny surfaces are easy to render, while pliable or complex surfaces are hard. So in a game, spaceships, tanks and armored figures are very approachable subjects. It's a lot harder to render, say, a long-haired girl in a flowing dress chasing a shaggy dog through a garden. That's brutal geometry for a game engine. In games, scifi's easier to achieve than mundane reality. With film, the opposite is true. Anything available in the real world you can just point a camera at. Fantastic things have to be built, physically or digitally, and that's expensive. Scifi costs more in film. All that said: scifi blockbusters have made mountains of money, and are over-represented in the top fifty box office hits of all time. The mighty Avatar first among them, with the Star Wars films and others trailing behind. Clearly the audience will turn out if you execute well. I think there's a ready market for grand space adventures. But it's got to be a good story on every level: good characters, emotional arcs, sharp dialogue, comprehensible world, clear stakes… it's a lot to get right. There aren't that many people around who can do it well. 
Do you think films like Prometheus and Gravity could spark a new interest in big space epics that aren't based on an existing franchise? 
I want to say yes, but I think those aren't the films for the job. Prometheus "shares DNA" with a pre-existing franchise, and what I know of Gravity suggests it's a fairly grounded predicament movie, without the larger-than-life characters or fanciful story-world that would naturally give birth to a franchise. To launch a new franchise you need both a strikingly imagined world with a conflict built into its bones, and vivid characters with heroic traits that allow them to the be the backbone of a series of stories. See "Star Wars." 
How weird is it moving from hard science fiction to something like The Mummy, and do you think you have some room to expand the mythos of why there are mummies coming to life and chasing people around? 
In Arthur C. Clarke's words, "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." So a world where black magic is at work is not that different from high science fiction. You still need rules, powers, a world whose history and sweep of events extends beyond the borders of the frame. I'd never have taken the job if I didn't think I had something new to bring to it. I'm incubating a mythology I really dig – once more balancing the imperatives to honor the canon and the archetypes of the story universe, and to give birth to something new.

[fonte: io9]

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