Posts Tagged ‘30ninjas.com’

Aasif Mandvi vs. 30 Ninjas Part 1

June 2, 2010

Dan Kaufman at 30Ninjas.com  just posted the first of a two part interview with Aasif Mandvi. Mandvi goes into detail about his past knowledge of Avatar: The Last Airbender, his experience with acting with “nothing”, and the similarities between theatric off-stage events and working with a green screen. He also talks about the rigorous martial arts training necessary to become Admiral Zhao. The best part was when Aasif and Dan talked about the shakesperian quality of the story, and how Aasif developed his own interpretation of Zhao.

DAN: Now, I get the sense that this whole project is kind of new territory for a lot of people involved. I mean, this is Night’s first adaptation of material that’s not his own. Aside from Spider-Man 2, this is your first huge, summer, tentpole action film. This is your first immersion into CGI, your first bad guy role…it’s kind of like dad is giving you the keys to the car for the first time.

AASIF: Yeah, yeah.

DAN: Was all this exciting? Intimidating?

AASIF: You know what? It was. It was all those things. It was exciting, it was intimidating. But you know, I’m thankful for my theater background. Because when you have CGI, people are always like, “How do you act when there’s nothin’ goin’ on? I mean, there’s a big screen of green, you know?” And I’m like, “But that’s what you do in the theater all the time.”

DAN: You act with nothing.

AASIF: I mean, in the theater, you’re standing there, and supposedly there’s a battle going on offstage, and you’re looking at this battle, and you’re going, “Ah-ha!” So it wasn’t that unbelievably weird. It was sort of like doing a play.

DAN: Right. And you had experience doing your one-man show, so… (more…)

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M. Night Vs. 30 Ninjas Part II

May 21, 2010

30Ninjas.com has recently published the second part of their interview with director M. Night Shyamalan, in which, Shyamalan explains the difficulty of creating a complete fantasy world.

JULINA TATLOCK: You know, one of the things that I love about your work is your ability to show the otherworldly within the everyday. And in Airbender, it’s almost the exact opposite.

M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: Right, right (laughs).

JULINA: It’s the human relationships and the characters that you can identify with — that humanity in them is the everyday, but they’re within the otherworldly. This is common in fantasy and anime, but did you have concerns about the believability? Or was that a difficult leap for you in any way?

NIGHT: Yeah, I mean, it’s always tricky with a pure fantasy. You’re gonna have an advantage in a movie likeTransformers where the baseline is still the contemporary world. The baseline [in Airbender] is not anything that we’re used to, so it’s very, very tricky. It’s all about the tone. And it took a long time to get the tone right; editing, re-editing, looking at it — and then just getting the CGI, because we’d been editing without [the] CGI [shots] for so long. It was a balancing act that took a long time because we also had the tonality issues that the cartoon played very young and very “slapsticky,” and slowly extricating the balance that was necessary to make it an appropriate representation of the source material, which was beloved, but my version of it and edging it up.

M. Night goes on to comment on his love/hate relationship with previsualization, and dealing with those moments of stress that made him feel like he had lost control of the movie. Be sure to check 30ninjas.com to read the rest of the article!