Video:Alexandre Aja Interview - Mirrors at Comic Con 2008with Rebecca Murray
Writer/director Alexandre Aja adds another creepy horror film to his resume with 'Mirrors' starring Kiefer Sutherland and Amy Smart. Sutherland and Smart play siblings who discover there's something more than just their reflections in the mirrors.See Transcript
Transcript:Alexandre Aja Interview - Mirrors at Comic Con 2008Rebecca Murray from About.com Hollywood Movies at the 2008 San Diego Comic Con.
So tell me about this. You knew about myths of mirrors before you were interested in this or no?
Alexandre Aja: "Yeah, I mean of course. I mean everyone knows about Narcissus. Everybody knows about, you know, like our relation with mirrors or religion that's like cover all the mirrors when someone dies, and that kind of thing. But I didn't realize how big it was and how huge the mythology around the mirrors was, you know? And as soon as I start working on the project, I did a lot of research. I read a lot of books and I found out some amazing facts. Like people getting burned for witchcraft because they were owning mirrors in the Middle Age, medieval time. It was really like some strange fact like that, like Chinese mythology with mirrors. Not only all the ones that we know, but every people in the world since the beginning of time, they all have a very strange relationship with the image, with the vanity, with the mirrors, with that object that is everything and nothing at the same time."
From all the research that you learned, what were you able to incorporate into the Mirrors story?
Alexandre Aja: "I hope we managed to incorporate the maximum of it, you know? Like Narcissus is in the movie and a lot of stuff, and a lot of things that we are using for the mirrors are in the movie. I mean, the truth is that there are so many myths, there are so many stories and legends, that we could really, really, really make so many other movies."
So there's many other stories to tell. You could actually have sequels or spin-offs of this.
Alexandre Aja: "Yeah. I mean mirrors is a device by itself. You can do tons of stories."
Did it change the way you personally look in mirrors as you pass them?
Alexandre Aja: "Starting the movie I thought it wouldn't have any influence on me because I knew it was fake, but writing the script at one point I realized I was freaking out at the mirrors. And I was really [like], 'Get them away,' you know? Because they were like really working on me. Not because I was looking at myself constantly but because I knew they were here and I couldn't imagine some other stuff in the mirrors. But you know from the corner of my eyes I could imagine it being there, waiting for me."
When you're doing this is it mostly CGI effects? Practical effects? What did you end up with?
Alexandre Aja: "It's seamless effects. You know, it's a movie that you have to feel everything is realistic so there is some CGI, there is some kind of optical olfaction effect, but most of it is like you don't feel the effect - never."
Now there's a bathroom scene with [Amy Smart]. Does Kiefer have something similar?
Alexandre Aja: "Kiefer has a lot of stuff."
So you do put him through hell. It's not just Amy that you're making suffer?
Alexandre Aja: "Everyone. I think everyone in the cast, and Paula Patton as well. Paula, you know, is playing the other big part of the movie. She was playing the wife of Kiefer. She had a huge part and she was getting through a lot of trouble."
You said the bathroom scene was one of the first scenes that you thought of. Why set it in a bathroom? What was it about the idea of a bathroom and this girl that just grabbed you?
Alexandre Aja: "The bathroom is always the place where there is mirrors, you know? That's the one where we all have that kind of every day meeting with ourselves. So that was like the place where everyone meets each other every day so it was the unique place. We had to do something in the bathroom."
How big of a challenge was it to actually film in front of the mirrors because it seems like that would be a pain in the butt and yet you decided to do a movie about mirrors?
Alexandre Aja: "It was so easy in the writing and then when we start prepping the movie we realized how hard it would be to never see ourselves."
Did you ever catch anything and you had to go back and shoot again?
Alexandre Aja: "We were very careful in the shooting and we did a great job in prep to avoid ourselves in the reflection."
And you're going to do Piranha in 3D. Is the technology there now that really catches the audience? It used to be cheesy 3D.
Alexandre Aja: "The new technology is amazing. It's a new tool that you don't have a headache anymore. It's really coming out of the screen. It's not like an effect. There is a lot of changes. Everything is turning to 3D in the next 15 years – TV, sports, everything."
Is it more of a challenge for you as a director when you're doing it in 3D?
Alexandre Aja: "It's huge. It's like making two movies."
Why are you putting yourself through that?
Alexandre Aja: "I don't know. I'm kind of a masochist. I mean, every movie is a challenge and I realize that they are getting bigger and bigger and bigger, which is good at the same time because that keeps me awake. It's great. It's hard. I hope I will survive Piranha."