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5 Questions with FINAL DESTINATION 5 director Steven Quale!

By InCinemas  /  04 Apr 2012 (Wednesday)

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Director Steven Quale talks about making FINAL DESTINATION 5, now available on DVD!

Q1: Were you a fan of "Final Destination" before getting involved in this film?

Quale: Yes. I originally saw the first film when it came out and enjoyed it a lot.  I thought, “This is a great, clever film that has a new take on the horror genre.” But I felt it wasn't quite aesthetically done to a slick, polished level.  It felt almost more like a TV episode type thing from some of the production value; but overall I thought it was great. 

Over the years I sort of lost track of the franchise because it kept getting more and more absurd, and I didn't like the absurd directions it was going and got busy doing a bunch of other films.  But when I had the opportunity to make this movie again, I said, “Well, let's go back to the roots of what made "Final Destination" so unique and fun.”

(Read InCinemas Review for Final Destination 5 - by Yun-Huei)

Q2: How did your experience in working with James Cameron help you to direct this movie?

Quale: My experience with James Cameron on all of his films allowed me to really understand how to use 3D effectively because I helped develop the camera systems that he worked with Vince Pace back in the documentary days. When we were doing Aliens of the Deep, a 3D Imax film with prototype camera systems, I learned exactly what you can and cannot shoot in 3D and make it effective; so that was very useful.  

Then on Avatar, when I was one of the visual effects supervisors and the second unit director, I was able to draw on that knowledge and further advance what works and doesn't work in 3D. So when it finally came to this movie, I could apply all those years of experience, and really focus it and make it the best that I think it could possibly be for this movie. I'mvery happy with the results.

[Image of director Steven Quale]

Q3: Have you seen the evolution of 3D? What is it now and what is your opinion of what should or shouldn't be shot in 3D?

Quale: I think the question of whether a movie should be 3D or not should be solely on the filmmakers, they should decide.  It's not whether a studio demands that you do 3D or not 3D, because if you force a filmmaker who really doesn't want to embrace 3D to do a 3D movie, they're not going to do a good job or care about it; so I think it's up to the filmmaker.  

Just like a filmmaker may choose to use telephoto lenses or wide angle lenses when they make a movie, same thing should be done with 3D.  I think eventually, as the camera systems gets lighter, cheaper, and easier to use, you'll see more and more 3D, and it'll be embraced.  It's not necessarily for every film, but I think it could enhance any film.  I think even a serious drama would be good in 3D.  It's purely up to the filmmaker.

Q4: This movie looks amazing. How much of it was special effects? How much of it was CG? How much was actually real live action?

Quale: A lot of people have been saying how good this film looks, and that stems from my sensibility of you don't have to spend any more money to get a simple close-up to look good.  You just have to have the concept and the knowledge of what it takes to make that close-up, or a medium shot, or any environment, look good.  If you have the knowledge and the idea to focus some of the energy to make it look really stylistic and good and natural, it doesn't cost anything more to do that.  

Grand visual effects and explosions and destruction sequences with the bridge, they all cost money, so you just have to be very careful in how you balance and weigh all of those things. I think this film by far has the slickest look of any of the "Final Destination" films. It's really cool. It's fun; and it has a spectacular bridge sequence.

Q5: I believe you took more or less about a week on each death from what the actors were telling me. Which is your favorite, and why?

Quale: Well, I can't say which death is my favorite. It's like your children. I will say that the setup for Candice's death in the gymnastic sequence I thought was really well executed. It's more of the tension building up to the death that in some ways is more engaging than the actual outcome of the death itself.

Get the DVD for FINAL DESTINATION 5 in stores now!

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