‘Mulan’ | Anatomy of a Scene

‘Mulan’ | Anatomy of a Scene


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‘Mulan’ | Anatomy of a Scene

The director Niki Caro narrates a battle sequence from her film.

Hi I’m Niki Caro, I’m the director of “Mulan.” Here we find Mulan, played by Liu Yife, returning to battle, this time no longer in disguise as a man. She has had a confrontation with the witch, Xian Lang, played by Gong Li, who has seen through her disguise and reminded her that she will die pretending to be someone she’s not. Mulan understands that if she’s going to survive and thrive in battle, that she’ll need to do so as herself. And so she sheds her disguise and returns to battle as a young woman. And her fighting is now so strong and so pure that she turns the battle around. When I joined this project, there was already a script. And the script did not include this sequence. But I really felt that we could really honor the avalanche in live action. And with all of our immense capabilities of the visual effects world, we could create something that was really quite fantastic. The sequence was really hard to execute in one really critical and basic way, which is that the sequence required us to have a piece of land that had a number of working levels. And so we spent many days location scouting really remote parts of New Zealand in a helicopter. And we found our battleground in the Ahuriri Valley, which is in the middle of the South Island of New Zealand in a place called Central Otago. The key for me to creating and executing a sequence of this size and scale and complexity was really the collaboration of some really singular women. Mandy Walker, the DP, and Liz Tan, our first AD. The sequence itself was created a couple of years before we shot it. We storyboarded it. We trained all of the horses for it. We brought in 80 Kazakh and Mongolian trick riders to be our Rouran army, because it was incredibly important to us that the people in our film were authentically the ethnicities that they needed to be for the storytelling. And it was like, as a director, being the conductor of a really brilliant orchestra. [AVALANCHE FALLING] [HORSE NEIGHING]

Recent episodes in Anatomy of a Scene

Film directors walk viewers through one scene of their movies, showing the magic, motives and the mistakes from behind the camera.

Film directors walk viewers through one scene of their movies, showing the magic, motives and the mistakes from behind the camera.



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