George Miller on Why His Mad Max Act is so Incredible - Latest Global News

George Miller on Why His Mad Max Act is so Incredible

George Miller directed breathtaking action sequences almost 50 years. It started in the late 1970s with his first film, Crazy Max, and continued throughout the decades until it reached a whole new level of awesomeness in 2015 Mad Max: Fury Road. Next week he takes things to a new level with Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, and io9 had the pleasure of speaking with the legendary filmmaker about his philosophy when creating and editing action set pieces.

“Well, I think the best analogy is music,” Miller told io9 in Los Angeles last week. “It’s a kind of visual music.” Read more below or watch the video here.

“It’s Visual Music” director George Miller on his filmmaking style

“It’s Visual Music” director George Miller on his filmmaking style

If you’d rather read about it, check out what Miller said here. “Well, I think the best analogy is music. It’s a kind of visual music. What it has in common with music is that it is time-based and therefore rhythm-based. There is an unfolding in this. It’s the same with music, the more I understand it, it’s almost mathematical in its structure. There must be a causal connection between one note and the next, one chord to the next. Otherwise there is no progress or flow. It’s exactly the same with film. There must be a causal connection between one part of the choreography, one shot and the next. So they form a whole passage, a whole sentence, if you will.”

Miller went on to talk about the collaborations with composers throughout his career that he was particularly impressed by. “I’ve been lucky enough to work with some really great composers and one of the things they do is recognize a kind of cadence in the performance, in the verbal delivery and in the rhythm in the way between the, what is being filmed and what is being filmed is where the camera dances,” Miller said. “It all has its own rhythm and there are certain beats that they pick up very quickly to write the music, so to speak.”

Miller with Taylor Joy
Picture: Warner Bros.

“I made a film in the 80s The Witches of Eastwick that John Williams scored,” Miller continued. “Then it was celluloid on a flatbed.
Now you can see all the music digitally…but he picked it up and just sat and listened. And he very quickly said, “Oh, you know, I see the beats and whatever.” And now I realize that’s it [composers] do it all the time. So there’s definitely a rhythm that’s very, very important to the way you put it together.”

But aside from flow, Miller revealed another thing that’s crucial in his action scenes. “Especially with action, I would say that the scenes are really driven by the story, which is driven by the characters and their desires and intentions and the way they come into conflict with each other,” he told It Must about increasing conflict. So an action scene is all about the character. It’s another way for characters to interact. And if you don’t have that, then it becomes a kind of empty calorie to watch all these movements and sounds just to pass the time, rather than somehow giving them any deeper meaning.”

Experience these rhythms and characters in full effect when Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga opens May 24th.


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