Script Example: Baz Luhrmann And The Great Gatsby
Baz Luhrmann’s film “The Great Gatsby” opened at the 66th Cannes International Film Festival. This film is the fifth work of this Australian director and also the fifth adaptation of Fitzgerald’s novel of the same name, written in 1925. Released on May 10, 2013, “The Great Gatsby” received mixed reviews, but despite criticism this film has earned $ 144, 819, 377 in America and $331, 019, 377 worldwide as of August 20, 2013, according to Box Office Mojo. In order to better understand the movie and message it reveals it’s always better to ask its creator questions, and Baz Lurman kindly agreed to give his interview.
Q: “The Great Gatsby” is your fifth movie after so-called “Red Curtain Trilogy” and “Australia”. What inspired you to screen Fitzgerald’s novel about the Roaring Twenties?
A: After my third work “Moulin Rouge!” I felt that I needed some rest. Sometimes the only way to overcome exhaustion is change of scenery. I decided to make a trip to China from Russia. Going in a train through lonely Siberian forests, I did not have any company except a bottle of wine and several books. That was the time when I read “The Great Gatsby” – and I suddenly understood everything. I understood that deep philosophical idea which Fitzgerald tried to convey to his readers. Many questions about life and the human role seemed to be answered in my head.
Q: For most people it seemed quite natural that you invited Leonardo DiCaprio for the title role of Jay Gatsby, as he had already appeared in your second movie “Romeo and Juliette”. Was the casting process any more difficult for you to pick actors for other roles?
A: I would say – yes and no. There were characters of which I knew at once who would be the best actors to play them. Leonardo DiCaprio was cast to play Gatsby and Tobey Maguire to play narrator Nick Carraway, but it was not until November 15, when I announced that Carey Mulligan had been cast to play Daisy. I do not deny that I considered several other actresses, among whom were Keira Knightley, Rebecca Hall, Amanda Seyfried, Blake Lively, Abbie Cornish, Michelle Williams and Scarlett Johansson. We also had some difficulty in casting for the role of Tom Buchanan, as we first considered Ban Affleck, but he had to pass due to some scheduling problems.
Q: Some of the critics did not approve the choice of music to the film – for instance, you used hip-hop tracks. What was the reason of this choice?
A: I just wanted to create “the feeling of the epoch”. You see, Fitzgerald used African street music – Jazz, which was “pop-music of the twenties”. I also decided to use African street music of modern time – and that is hip-hop. Fitzgerald wrote about “Jazz era”, and I believe we live in “Hip-hop era”.
Q: What do you think would be Fitzgerald’s opinion about the movie-version of his book?
A: I really hope he would like it. I think he would approve of my decision to make film in 3D format – he himself was fond of cinema, and liked all modern innovations in this sphere. In his novel he used several techniques, which are similar to those used in movie making – for instance, “I as a witness” technique, when the story is told from Nick Carraway’s prospective. You know, the best compliment for me was from Fitzgerald’s granddaughter, who told me she believed Fitzgerald would be proud of the film. In addition, I was very pleased to hear it.
Q: What are your plans for the near future?
A: I feel something similar to what I experienced after “Moulin Rouge!” I need some rest. Maybe I just spend time with my wife and my two children. Then we will see. I know that I have to get some new inspiration for my future work; I do not plan to stop doing what I really love to do.