Ti West on ‘Pearl’ is influenced by everything from ‘Mary Poppins’ to Norman Rockwell
when X, writer-director Ti West’s return to horror, hit theaters in March 2022 and was a critical and financial success. It was produced for $1 million and grossed $14.5 million.
Mia Goth pearl Resonating with audiences, A24 soon announced that she would be producing her own classic film. This is her prequel set in the 1940s and delves into her bloody and insane past. Actually already taken.favorite X, is a killer movie set to kill. Called the third movie set in the 80s MaXXXineis under development.
I caught up with West to find out why he decided not to shoot period dramas in black and white, how the pandemic and Avatar hiatus helped him, and how he and Hitchcock Mary Poppins To of texas chainsaw massacre And Normal Rockwell.
Simon Thompson: I never thought I would be able to speak twice in one year.did you expect X very popular and pearl will it be that expensive?
West West: I hoped it was.we had the following idea pearl before making X But only for a month or two.when i went to new zealand X, there was a two-week mandatory quarantine at the hotel, so that’s when the Pearl script was written.Or if A24 didn’t give the go-ahead, it would serve as a character background for the characters and would be a great preparation for Mia. Obviously we wanted the former but you never know. It was a bold question because we had never made one X yet. All credit to A24. They liked the script and the plot, which already had all this stuff in New Zealand when no one could make anything. You make movies and build all these things, and then you tear them down when you’re done. It always feels weird and wasteful. We have already used all our money to build it.If X If it didn’t work out, I was supposed to make a sequel to a movie that no one was interested in.i believed pearl More than a sequel. It seemed more than that. It’s unrealistic for him to make two movies in a year, but it’s also unrealistic for him to make two movies at the same time and you and him talk twice. Very strange, but I’m okay with that.
Thompson: There are a few things I would like to bring up. The first is to ask what Plan B would have been if A24 backed out and said they didn’t want to release. Was this effectively an extra feature on the very long DVD?
West: It’s a “what if”, so it’s hard to say. It never happened. There are two popular versions. One is that we never made the movie because they could have said no. That would have been a 92-page backstory.There must be a world that no one likes X, but I don’t think it was. Either we made it and believed in it, or we didn’t. Both options were highly considered, and they believed in the project and me enough, so we started making the film.
Thompson: How long did it take you to put everything together, from the costume to the torso to the effects you wanted for the Pearl victim?
West: On paper, we had very little time.I think it’s during wrapping X Wrap party and first day shooting pearl, I was able to do that for at most 4 weeks.when we were getting ready X In December or January, Pearl didn’t have the green light, but we were planning as if we were making one. I’ve worked with many crews before, including DP Eliot Rockett and production designer Tom Hammock. X, we were making plans about what color we could paint the barn and plant Easter eggs.we were 90% ready for him X Meanwhile, Pearl was only 10% ready, but it’s time to start preparing. pearl, we already knew that part of the work was done. I didn’t have to worry about what the R&D would be. We already knew the barn would be a particular red from the swatches. I already knew the wallpaper I chose, but I hadn’t ordered it yet. It took her four weeks to order and install them, which is very short and hectic. It’s all a credit to the crew for being great.
Thompson: Perhaps the pandemic worked in your favor because the craftsmen were sitting around doing nothing for the film.
West: There were very few new works coming to New Zealand except us. we were very lucky. Avatar It happened to be on break, so the crew was around and available. New Zealand at the time was Covid-free once we entered the country, so it was a very practical place to make a film. We were able to get people to work for whom he had to wait six months for work to come back.
Thompson: Have you considered shooting? pearl in black and white? It’s set in the 1940s, so it’s probably one of the most representative movies of the time.
West: When I started talking to Mia, I thought about going black and white. The reason for making it black and white is that it makes it feel a little dated, but when you read the script, it reads like a movie you’ve seen, or it’s a bit heavy. Feel the weight of your farm misery like Berkmane.The main reason I first thought of it was thinking it might be black and white. X I had a blue wall. Well, it looks gray so no problem. It took a lot of wallpaper, cleanup, and a complete redesign to turn it into something this technicolor-inspired. lighthouse, Macbeth was out and there was Malcolm & Marie, so there happened to be a lot of black-and-white films. I was like, ‘Oh, why his fourth black-and-white film? My reaction to that was, “Oh, well, let’s go the other way. I wanted to tell a story with an out-of-this-world aesthetic.” Xso whether it becomes a very German expressionist black-and-white hunter night this kind of thing, this kind of thing Mary Poppins Stuff, it needed to be a big swing. I’m glad it worked out because it’s a better movie, but the short answer was, maybe on the weekend, because of the cost, I was like, ‘Black and white is what they want to do.’ I didn’t really care about the cost. There were many other such films.
Thompson: I would like to ask about the inspiration for this piece. Were you into 1940s horror and romance movies? A combination of the two?
West: It may come as a surprise, but I don’t know that horror played a big role because it was in the script. It was probably, in a way, the classic Golden Ages of Hollywood filmmaking and their tropes, and perhaps Hitchcock-like as far as suspense is concerned: Universal he was talking about monster movies and his B-movies at the time. I wasn’t thinking about what happened to baby jane It might come to mind, but it depends on your definition of horror. Committing to an almost Disney-esque aesthetic means that we were making something in our own world, so the references go out the window. , then made it crazy and disturbing.
Thompson: Pearl’s monologue at the end of the movie is great. How many times were you able to shoot it?
West: quite a few times. It was less than 10, but certainly more than 4. I don’t remember exactly. Roughly in area 6 or 7. I talked a lot with Mia about that. I was like, ‘Is this the kind of thing we’re going to do once? was very prepared and dedicated, so it was not difficult to ask her. was more difficult. It’s a great feat for an actress to have no room for error, even if the camera does something wrong. That was the most stressful. From the start of filming that scene, we had to make sure everyone was on deck. I didn’t just do a monologue. We did the scene from the top, so it was about 15 minutes or so when it was very important not to spoil anyone. You can’t do that. To Mia’s credit, I think 100% of the time she took them all front to back in a variety of more effective ways. I’d say maybe 4 takes of what’s in the movie, but I can’t remember for sure.
Thompson: I also want to talk about the dinner scene in the finale.reminiscent of texas chainsaw massacre.
West: texas chainsaw It was something.It’s funny because it came out a lot on the way X for an understandable reason.Looking down the hallway of the house Xyou can’t help but think texas chainsaw Because of the way the door works, it’s hard to imagine another way to shoot it.didn’t think much texas chainsaw I see the reference, but in the dinner scene. I had this weird crazy Norman Rockwell tableau kind of thing in my head. pearl There was a great emphasis on these traditionally sound pictorial images and recontextualizing them.
pearl It hits theaters on Friday, September 16, 2022.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/simonthompson/2022/09/15/ti-west-on-pearl-being-influenced-by-everything-from-mary-poppins-to-norman-rockwell/ Ti West on ‘Pearl’ is influenced by everything from ‘Mary Poppins’ to Norman Rockwell