Quo Vadis Mad Max?

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Re: Quo Vadis Mad Max?

Postby MWFV8 » Fri Sep 02, 2016 3:35 am

TheDarkOne#1 wrote:Recently saw 'The Rover' again. A shame this movie didn't do so well. But it's bleak, gritty and too close to reality for the average moviegoer.


Was going to mention this. The Rover was a perfect example of how poorly a true Mad Max would have done in theatres and that's even with a incredibly popular actor (at the time) on the cast and with Tarantino bigging it up where he could.

There just isn't a profitable marketplace for anything but comic book blockbusters these days. Sure, there's a few indie darlings that break through each year but no sane prodco is going to base a profit making strategy on that.

The best place right now for a true Max Max movie is within a indie game narrative or maybe a TV series.
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Re: Quo Vadis Mad Max?

Postby AquaCola » Fri Sep 02, 2016 4:54 am

MWFV8 wrote:There just isn't a profitable marketplace for anything but comic book blockbusters these days. Sure, there's a few indie darlings that break through each year but no sane prodco is going to base a profit making strategy on that.


Now and over the next few years people are going to get very bored with comic book films that all follow the same pattern. A bleak Mad Max story could do very well then. Its getting to the point where any film thats not about superheros is a fresh breath of air.

The opening post describes my feelings for Thunderdome well. To me it was the departure and unrealistic compared to the first two. FR to me was back on form for the most part.
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Re: Quo Vadis Mad Max?

Postby Dinki Di » Fri Sep 02, 2016 7:26 am

The burnout seems to be happening for a lot of people including me. Now the conversation among friends has shifted from "aren't Marvel/Bay movies great" to a morbid interest in "how much longer can they sustain this"

(Although I never thought recent Bay movies were great, and right now I have no idea why people are still watching Transformer films in droves. I guess some people like their eyeholes/earholes being drilled.)

When I watched Fury Road I remember I was the one coming out of the cinema not talking about the pretty pictures but about how I felt simultaneously exhilarated and depressed that smart use of film language and an approach that wasn't insulting my intellect is so lacking in so much else that Fury Road felt really good. At the same time the departure from the old Mad Maxes was all too evident.

I'll check out The Rover.
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Re: Quo Vadis Mad Max?

Postby Copwatch » Sat Sep 03, 2016 7:19 am

I mean, of course it's a different beast. What director or storyteller really wants to tell the same story over and over again? At the same time, I can't see much in it that's there to pander - the film was basically dreamed up twenty years ago as is (although I'd be curious to know what small changes the film's narrative went through in that time) - and unequivocally, it's a George Miller movie. In fact, the movie it bares most similarity to is his last, Happy Feet Two.

The Rover is a good film, but it has a very different perspective than any of the three earlier Max movies. It's a quieter, more nihilistic film - and to be honest, even in the finale of the first movie, Max was never as explicitly amoral and evil as Guy Pierce's character turns out to be, which is kind of the point of the The Rover.
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Re: Quo Vadis Mad Max?

Postby Taipan » Sun Sep 04, 2016 12:58 am

The more I read about George Miller's involvement with MM movies the more of an interesting image of Miller seems to emerge.

It really looks like George Miller's main focus are visuals, first and foremost. Whereas all the background stuff is usually sent over to the writers. Just to give you a quick example:

I've spoken to a few production members about MM and they told me that the whole 'rotoraider attack' scene that was ditched from Fury Road was mainly based on Miller's visual preference. Basically he only had a vision of a light emerging from the fog with a twist in that the oncoming light would turn out not to be a bike but a flying machine and it would fly over the War Rig. That was what he wanted and all the script writers, probably even including Miller himself had problems fitting it into the movie. This idea survived long enough to make it onto some early sketches and was ultimately ditched but still a piece of it remains in the movie where Max emerges from the fog after killing the Bullet Farmer.

Another instance, from an interview with Terry Hayes in 1985 in Fangoria:

"George says that I'm not allowed to join the visual club" Hayes laughs, "that I deal in words by nature. There's a lot of truth in that. George will go for whatever a terrific image will be, whereas I'm the one who will be ruthlessly logical. I hate it when people do things out of character or when something looks contrived (...) George pours an enormous amount of energy into visuals and sometimes falls down in the area of logic. So I think between the two of us we cover a fair view of the bases".


From my other conversations with the crew I was told that Miller was obsessed with WETA's (NZ design studio) imagery, which is why he insisted on incorporating their ideas into the movie, to a sold disapproval of Colin Gibson and other people responsible for designs.

Having said all that and taking into consideration the sheer process of making Fury Road, the way it turned out to be, Miller's preference of black and white mute versions of Mad Max, the 3500 storyboard panels, countless artwork, it pretty much tells that Miller is focused on the visuals first and foremost with Fury Road being the prime exercise in visual storytelling on the move. After all George Miller is only the director, and the future of Mad Max movies actually largely depends on the people who keep him from 'embarrasing himself' (this is an actual quote by Margaret Sixel and Brendan McCarthy). I'm not trying to downplay Miller's involvement but I'm starting to think that if he had his way with Mad Max movies we would stray away from the source material even further into the fantasy land and pretty images.
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Re: Quo Vadis Mad Max?

Postby MWFV8 » Sun Sep 04, 2016 4:26 am

Taipan wrote:I've spoken to a few production members about MM and they told me that the whole 'rotoraider attack' scene that was ditched from Fury Road was mainly based on Miller's visual preference. Basically he only had a vision of a light emerging from the fog with a twist in that the oncoming light would turn out not to be a bike but a flying machine and it would fly over the War Rig. That was what he wanted and all the script writers, probably even including Miller himself had problems fitting it into the movie. This idea survived long enough to make it onto some early sketches and was ultimately ditched but still a piece of it remains in the movie where Max emerges from the fog after killing the Bullet Farmer


As someone who works with directors, this is quite a common trait they have. They often imagine very visual and highly emotionally moments that carry a lot of impact but have absolutely no context to any story. Your job then is, as you describe, trying to shoehorn these moments into a cohesive script.
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Re: Quo Vadis Mad Max?

Postby MWFV8 » Sun Sep 04, 2016 4:32 am

Dinki Di wrote:(Although I never thought recent Bay movies were great, and right now I have no idea why people are still watching Transformer films in droves. I guess some people like their eyeholes/earholes being drilled.)


The problem is mainly the amount of noise in the marketplace and partly the demographic of the modern theatregoer. It's incredibly hard to get a movie mentioned in the media because so many people are trying to push their messages through. This is why remake, reboot, and franchise have become pretty much the language of the modern blockbuster - it's only these existing well known concepts, directors, and actors that can really make a lot of noise. The result is thousands of movies a year being released yet a public awareness of maybe half a dozen.

Fury Road played the market perfectly by turning the concept into something somewhere between a comic book movie and a Transformers movie and throwing a huge budget at it.
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Re: Quo Vadis Mad Max?

Postby mahenoguy » Sun Sep 04, 2016 8:43 pm

Taipan: sorry i only addressed half your original point , and i agree that the less Australian vibe and believe-ability are two very different issues with the new direction of the franchise . My Dad always teased me for being obsessed with MM2 when i was a kid . He would always say "what a crock "and would point-out 40 000 reasons it couldn't happen . I guess i was never that hung up on realism as i still picked it every time we would go to the video shop . That said though , I did struggle with a lot of the really O.T.T bits of Fury Road but I'm not sure If I saw MM2 for the 1st time at 40 years old I wouldn't have similar issues . Given the real world / really Australian vibe of most things on Television in Australia in 1981....I remember MM2 as being pretty over the top when it came out . I am with you 100% though in I wish MM2 was as fantastical as the Mad Max universe got , but i fear many of the comments are correct in that such a direction wouldn't have gone as well at the box office.....or even at the studio pitch !
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Re: Quo Vadis Mad Max?

Postby biolumen » Sun Sep 04, 2016 11:54 pm

Taipan, thanks for the tidbit about the rotoraiders. It's nice to finally hear the story behind that bit of concept art.

Taipan wrote:I'm not trying to downplay Miller's involvement but I'm starting to think that if he had his way with Mad Max movies we would stray away from the source material even further into the fantasy land and pretty images.


This is why I think the rumor of Miller being interested in making a "New Gods" movie for WB/DC might be legit. It would be his chance to run hog wild with his imagination using a massive budget. (He was also once working on a telling of Homer's 'The Odyssey' set in outer space). Given the studios' current attitudes, I don't think there that many other opportunities out there for Miller to flex his noodle like that.

Another example of Miller having to be reigned in was on Happy Feet when he wanted to have a subplot involving aliens from outer space who were dissuaded from "harvesting" all life from earth by the sight of dancing penguins. It was all in the script and they went so far as to develop concept art of the spaceship interior and other stuff before WB put their foot down and said "no".

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Re: Quo Vadis Mad Max?

Postby Taipan » Mon Sep 05, 2016 1:24 am

Exactly, biolumen

Just a little bit more info on Miller's visual side of things.

I'm not entirely sure when it started with Miller, it could've been around the time he didn't have storyboards for MM2 and he literally drew them up on the spot at night on the set to give everyone an idea of what he wanted visually, but the whole thing about Fury Road being exceptional in the fact that it was storyboarded in its entirety isn't anything new for MM movies. In fact that's what Ed Verraux did for MMBT. He was employed at first and explained to Miller that he works in 3 ways:

1. He gets rough sketches from the production and renders them.
2. He's given ideas by the production and comes up with his own designs.
3. He sits down with the director and designs the movie scene by scene.

And that's what literally happened - option 3. Verraux storyboarded MMBT in a very similar fashion as Fury Road, it's just that nobody seemed to care then I guess.

Just throwing it out there.
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