Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Graeme Harper Interview

Legendary Doctor Who director, Graeme Harper, has been interviewed by SFX. Harper mainly discusses his work on the next Doctor Who special, The Waters of Mars, which will be shown on BBC One next month. An extract from the interview;

Just how scary is The Waters of Mars?
Graeme Harper: “I’m not sure if it’s as scary as Blink, but it’s quite frightening – because it’s so real, I think. I hope so!”

How on Earth do you go about making water scary? And what were the challenges of shooting with that volume of water?
"I hope you think it is [scary] when you see it! It was very, very difficult. We had a difficult time trying to work out how to do the water… can you imagine, the volumes of water that we required, in a studio setting? How d’you get rid of it? If you want to do retakes, how do you get everything dry again?

“The kind of water effect we wanted was sort-of mystical, almost organic – well, it is organic, obviously! – so the difficulty was deciding with the visual FX guys which one out of the effect they were offering us was the right one. They came up with five or six different kinds of pipes, hoses and systems. And eventually there was one that we all – head of Drama Julie Gardner, Russell T Davies, Phil Collinson and I – all said, ‘That’s the one.’ There was a uniform yes to one particular effect, and that was the one we used.

“Now, how do you make it creepy? It seems to be alive, the water, by the way it follows the characters in the story. Sort of – we didn’t make a big thing of it in the story, but that’s how I shot it, so it was chasing people, following them and trapping them. The best effects you can get come out of seeing the enormity of the water, the relentlessness of it. I think where it becomes really creepy and you get the fear, is when it continues draining out of characters’ mouths.

“There was a very complex system of tubes and piping that they all had to wear within the prosthetics – and water was squeezed and pressurized through the tubes to give the volume of water we required to come out of the actors’ mouths on a continuous basis.”

Read the full interview here.


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