Empire Magazine Internship 1/2

I sat opposite the original Ted. His face conveys surprise as if he’s just seen up the skirt of someone bending over one of the spartan shields from 300 behind me. Atop of every computer there are miniature lego figurines from various different films, arranged in order of prowess or appearance through Star Wars.

There are never any vacancies. No-one ever leaves. It’s understandable. Everyone loves their job. Everyone is calm and collected – to the point where someone slates the latest Star Trek film, giving room for knit-picking and fierce debate over the representation of Khan.

Star Trek was incredible by the way. Expect a review shortly.

So far, tasks have including lots of transcribing, but in all honesty, this has been a labour of weird fetish love. It really is fascinating to listen to the interviews that these guys have with some of my all time film heros.

I soon came to regret my flippant comment to Helen O’Hara. When she asked ‘have you heard Pacific Rim?’ I responded with a rather cutting, ‘oh that film that is essentially just Michael Bay’s interpretation of Power Rangers…’ clearly a poor quip since she said that I was going to regret ever saying that. How does she know these things?

After transcribing an interview between Helen and Guillermo del Toro about Pacific Rim, I was embarrassingly rectified in my lack of vision. Hearing Guillermo talk about his influences from Japense Kaiju movies whilst living in Mexico, and his love of Gerry Anderson material, I began to see why this film could prove to be something different. Granted, there is narrative and a story arc even in the wrestling that I used to watch when I was eight years old, but that didn’t make it groundbreaking. In Guillermo’s own words it’s “soap opera for men.”

All in all, I’m rather looking forward to Guillermo’s take on including more verisimilitude in his CGI shots – making them less-than-perfect. A technique that  induces a sense of realism through imitating naturalistic filming parameters. Things like lights flashing on the lens, cameras breaking the water line, spray on the glass, and even amateurish zooms on a pull focus. (I should add that J.J. Abrams is also a big fan of this kind of cinematography in sci-fi films)

The interview with Shane Black and Drew Pearce was equally eye opening. It was amazing to see that Iron Man 3 managed to retain any context at all after all that editing. According to Drew, there would have been over six hours of footage had the script not been cut down. In the end the shot just over four hours worth, which eventually had to be edited down to one hour, 59 mins.

Check out the interview (wonderfully transcribed  I might add) right here.

I went straight to Twitter and got in touch with Drew Pearce, mentioning a little quip Shane had said about Asians – nothing racist, but it could have been misconstrued so it was omitted from the final copy. To my rather pleasant surprise, I actually got a response! In fact there ensued a little repartee for a brief while, as I was actually engaging with one of my favourite writers and more than likely a multi millionaire at the moment.

I managed to do some sub editing too for Liz Beardsworth, the production editor. She allowed me to hack away at the text, rearranging layouts, captioning images and re-writing some of the content to better suit the features. She also taught me some handy little tricks, like printing out each page – as for some weird reason, its like having another set of eyes looking over your work, looking at it from another perspective. Helpful nuggets of ‘journo-know.’ Just made that up. She was also kind enough to provide me with an open reference for prospective internships or future jobs. Cheers again Liz!


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