Comic-Con Live: Grind House Panel
by Alex Billington
July 22, 2006
11:42AM - Sitting around waiting for the transition over to the Grind House panel starting soon.
Panel includes: co-directors Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino.
Lots of big Tarantino / Rodriguez news on their horror feature, Grind House!
11:50AM - "Could everyone take their seats please." Time to begin for this panel!
11:51AM - Warm welcome to Robert Rodriquez! And now Tarantino!!
Robert: Before I even started Sin City I had my mind set on this kind of project. I never knew if I was going to make it longer than 60 minutes. I met Quentin and told him that we sholud do a double feature.
Quentin: I feel bad for the last generation, becuase they never had the "ghetto" theater. There were also always double features playing there. That is part of our idea here, is to do these kind of exploitation films but for larger audiences.
Quentin: "This is two fucking movies for the price of one."
11:58AM - Robert wants to show some footage and not let the "lazy fucks" who didn't wait in line to get in here to see it. They're hunting us down - even me (a blogger) - to not let me tell everyone what it is.
12:07PM - Amazing set of clips from the "first" film! Q&A with the audience. Rose McGowan and Marley Shelton make their way to the stage!
1 - Did you shoot digital, Quentin?
Quentin: Haven't shot mine yet! The reason why it looked so dirty (in the clip they just showed) was because in the old film houses they had one reel that traveled around the country and got dirty over the use (by the 30th viewing).
12:09PM - Tarantino wants to bring out some of the actors from his movie: Rosario Dawson, Sydney Poitier (daughter), Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Zoe Bell. Full table of panelists!
Quentin: "Every slasher film needs a killer." Announcing here the killer Kurt Russel.
- How did Quentin and Robert meet?
They met on a film panel back in 1992.
Quentin: We actually met in the lobby after the panel on violence in movies in the 90's (quite a coincidence).
12:21PM - John Carpenter may be working on the score for one of the features.
- What do the ladies feel about being the next version/generation of a "pin-up" model?
They all like it… Talking about the posters they have and their catch phrases on them.
- What new things have you (Robert) learned?
Robert: You learn new things everyday! When you shoot at night, you have to light everything. It's taken a lot of long nights to get it done.
- What's it like to work as an amputee?
Rose: It's been some work, but it's amazing what they're doing. If there are amputee fetishers out there, then this is the movie for them.
- For both directors, what's it like shooting down in Austin, TX?
Quentin doesn't want to leave his office. Rosario pipes in commenting on how he's decorated it and how "awesome" it is. They both say it is a great place to work with great crews and everyone loves being down there in the environment. Quentin: Copella's dream is Rodriguez's reality.
- Question about the state of independent film today and if its still possible to go the route they went and still be succesful?
Quentin: "Make Reservoir Dogs… I'm not even being a smart ass - that was a kick ass movie!"
Robert: There is a lot more competition than when he was working on El Mariache.
Quentin: Yea, but those crap movies aren't competition if your movie is "fucking dynamite."
12:34PM - Kevin Smith is late, so they've been allowed to go an extra 30 minutes.
- Was it hard to make Planet Terror, since it's hard to make original zombie movies?
Robert: He started writing it in 1997, wrote the first 30 pages back then. Then zombie movies started coming out, and when it came time to make this, suddenly he knew what to do and saw everything that hadn't been done with the other movies. There are so many different characters and all of them have a cool quirk about them.
Quentin: It feels like a zombie movie that John Carpenter should've made. It's like a Carpenter film with Copolla's Apocalypse Now…
- Digital versus film: finding the moment… Which can take you to that moment easiest, how can you discover that moment?
Robert: Sometimes they can find moments with digital because they keep rolling and rolling and rolling.
You find moments, but they're out of order. It's not a story from beginning to end.
- As an actor, what is the better medium?
Rose: Initially she was stressed out about wasting film, and Q/R laughed at her on set the first time.
- For Robert/Quentin, do they get into any other fights working as a duo?
Quentin: I'm almost embarrased that we don't at all. "It doesn't exist at all." He's so talented, that they should be getting jealous of each other, but they're "fucking badass." "It's a complete open house."
Robert: We're such good friends first, that nothing gets in the way.
- Tarantino, are you ever going to make a family movie for kids?
Quentin: I really like kids movies. It'd probably be like a kids movie you've never seen before. Not only would I like to make a "kids" film, because he's proud that adults respond to his movies the same way kids respond to their movies. "Maybe someday."
- For Quentin: will you be doing anything animated?
Yea, after he finishes this. Has an idea for two animated Kill Bill prequels. One is the origin of Bill, with all of his father figures: Hatori Honzo, Pei Mei, and Vajello. And another story with the bride in anime.
- Question about working with Kurt Russel.
Quentin: I've always wanted to work with Kurt Russel. Something that was so great with his Carpenter movies is the fact that there is a lot of actors who wouldn't do that. As serious as he is, acting is like a child. And there is a playfulness to do that. "You've never seen him like this before."
- For Quentin: how was it working with Uma Thurman and Lucy Lui?
It's just great working with her because she's one of my best friends in the world (Uma). Robert and him never fight at all, but Uma and him know each other so well that they could get pissed off at each other for a week at a time. Whenever they would fight it was like they were mom and dad and the crew were their children like "oh they're fighting again!" They would just "take everything personally."
- For the ladies: what are the differences between other projects and this and what were your thoughts?
Mary: I'm always happy to be working, but this was really exciting. She put all her effort into this and became obsessed with doing this. She put all her energy into it and it's the only film she cared about doing and is really ecstatic to do it.
Zoe: "I'm stoked…"
- For both: do you listen to music when you write?
Quentin: When I come up with an idea, I go into my record room that is entirely vinyl and find the beat of my movie. Once he finds the song for the opening credits, he knows he can make this movie. It's the point that once he passes he know the movie can be made.
Robert: I've written some, the music in the trailer was something I'd written.
- What's the difference between working with Robert/Tarantino and others?
Rosario: There's so much passion and interest from being story tellers. It feels like I'm working with people who are challenging themselves and their audience and for them to show up and make something amazing. It's not about the money it's about leaving a legacy behind and that's what I'm excited in doing.
Rose: "They're fucking cool!" Robert pushes her hard and she hopes she delivers.
Quentin: Has the rights to one of the last standing Chinese theatres and it'll play straight language Chinese films once he finishes filming Grind House. Per a question about that Chinese theatre in China.
1:07PM - That's all from the guys behind Grind House and the entourage of cast members! See you next year at the "Grind House!"
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