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Dreams: 2013 News Blog

Edited by Phil Stubbs


January - April
At the start of the year, Terry Gilliam had just finished principal photography on The Zero Theorem in Bucharest. Now the filmmaker set to work on the postproduction in London, which would take until August.

Shortly after arriving back in the UK from Bucharest, Gilliam was interviewed by Flicks and the City at the British Independent Film Awards. He spoke about his experiences shooting The Zero Theorem...


At the end of January, Holly Gilliam blogged her father's first published work... in the Courier newspaper from the director's high school, Birmingham High School in Los Angeles.

In early February, Nicola Pecorini - The Zero Theorem's cinematographer - updated his website with images from the picture. Included was an image of Gilliam and Pecorini with actors Emil Hostina and Pavlic Nemes, who appear as two vicious clones - Slim and Chubs. Also, there was a design for the Church of Batman the Redeemer - which was pasted on sets in Bucharest.


On 21 February, animator Bob Godfrey died. He was an animation inspiration for Gilliam. On his facebook account, Gilliam wrote, "The great Bob Godfrey, who taught me all the things I shouldn't do in animation, is no more." Below is a clip of when Gilliam appeared on Bob Godfrey's 1974 BBCTV show, The Do-It Yourself Film Animation Show.


In March, the ADR work was done for The Zero Theorem. This is where the actors rerecord dialogue to accommodate script changes or to improve the quality of the soundtrack. The actors were able to perform this from New York City, Berlin, Bucharest and London.

On April 4, Gilliam attended an event at Windsor Castle where the Queen was awarded a BAFTA for all she has done to support the British Film Industry. Also at the event was George Lucas, Billy Connolly, John Hurt and Idris Elba.

Holly Gilliam announced on 25 April that she had a publishing deal with Canongate Books to compile a book of her father Terry's artwork from throughout his career.

At the end of April, Gilliam lent his name to a campaign to help save the film studios in Bray. Model work for Dr Parnassus was filmed there.

May
On May 1, Gilliam's return to opera was officially announced by English National Opera. In a BBC News report, Gilliam is down to direct Benvenuto Cellini, an opera by French composer Berlioz - who wrote Gilliam's previous ENO success The Damnation of Faust.

On May 5, Gilliam attended the Cape Town Film Festival in Los Angeles. At the Egyptian Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard, the filmmaker took part in a Q&A session alongside a screening of 12 Monkeys. Here's a report from Entertainment Weekly.

Ray Harryhausen died on May 7. Gilliam said on his facebook page, "The ultimate craftsman, a magician whose hands gave life to inanimate stuff, a god to some, and the sweetest man I ever knew."

Gilliam with Ray Harryhausen at Harryhausen's 90th birthday party

A long conversation between Gilliam and poet Mick Burrs was added to YouTube this month. The two were students together at Birmingham High School in Los Angeles in the late 1950s (and both contributed to the Courier newspaper blogged by Holly Gilliam). Burrs joined Gilliam in the canteen at the film studios in Regina, Saskatchewan during the shooting of Tideland in Canada in Autumn 2004.


In May, Dreams conducted interviews with crew members from The Zero Theorem: Dave Warren (Production Designer), Mick Audsley (Editor) and George Fenton (Score).

Five months into post production, Warren said he was still working on the project. "On this one it's been much more full time [in postproduction] - going into editing every day, issuing notes. He [Gilliam] looks at shots, he makes all sorts of creative notes to the effects vendors. We do that by Photoshopping on top of a film frame, and getting it back to the vendor. Saying we think it needs to be slightly darker here, more light coming in here." Discussing the initial references for The Zero Theorem, Warren said that he remembers getting an email from Terry which gave the equation, "Neo Rauch + Ukelele Ike = The Zero Theorem"

In the middle of May, Mick Audsley said that The Zero Theorem was locked pictorially, but was awaiting delivery of visual effect shots. He added that the project was into its second week of sound mixing. Of the effects shots he said, "about half of them are complete and approved. And the other half are due in the next three weeks. And we are recording music in a week's time. We begin the final mix at the start of June for eight days. So the sound will be complete by the end of that following week. The picture delivery is a little bit behind, but we are optimistic that it will all be done in the next month. The picture's nearly done - and we'll see what we've got."

On the score, George Fenton said, "Obviously there is, inherent in the title, this unsolvable conundrum, and the attempts to realise it by him are done in front of a computer screen. So I thought that irrespective of the constraints of the budget - which are highly constraining actually - I thought that much of the score should be realised in an electronic way. Not to mean necessarily that it should be mechanical, but it should have electronics within it.

Is this Terry Gilliam?
"There's also a wide-ranging, almost iconoclastic quality to the film; its attitude to the visuals seemed to be slightly Brechtian. I wondered if it should have a theatre band / Kurt Weill / kind of angular music. So I had these thoughts going around in my head, and then actually I developed a few bits and pieces in various parts of the film."

On 15 May, Variety reported that Gilliam is to executive-produce a new picture by Canadian filmmakers Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski. Titled The White Circus, it will star Chloe Moretz and Asa Butterfield who appeared together in Martin Scorsese's Hugo. The White Circus is due to start shooting in Germany and Serbia in February 2014. The filmmakers' Academy Award-nominated short can be seen on YouTube.

Gilliam accepted an acting role in the Wachowskis' new feature film, Jupiter Ascending. Gilliam announced on his facebook page on 16 May, "Off at dawn tomorrow to pretend to be an actor in the new Wachowski's film, Jupiter Ascending. It's a small but vital part (or so I'm told)." The work lasted just one day. Perhaps the image on the right is a made-up and costumed Gilliam on his way to the set.

After his time with the Wachowskis, Gilliam went to the Cannes Film Festival to assist with the sales on The Zero Theorem. On 18 May, Screen International ran an interview with Gilliam about the pic, where the director said the following about his lead actor Christoph Waltz, "We hit pay dirt with Christoph. He is never off the screen - he is the movie. I told him when we met that he would be the guide through the story. His performance is incredible and quite unlike anything he has done before. It’s a lonely, internalised character. He’s like an everyman for the modern world."

At the end of May, the work on The Zero Theorem's sound mixing was ongoing. Pictured at the desk in Theatre 2 at Twickenham Studios is Andre Jacquemin, Terry Gilliam, Craig Irving and Mick Audsley. Click on the image for more detail.

June
Postproduction on The Zero Theorem continued. In June, Nicola Pecorini came over to London to work with Terry Gilliam on the grading. Also, further work was performed on the sound mix and the visual effects shots.

The Daily Beast published a video interview with author Neil Gaiman on 20 June. At the start Gaiman discusses Terry Pratchett's capacity to work given his Alzheimer's condition. He goes on to discuss the possibility of their novel Good Omens becoming a film with Terry Gilliam at the helm. At one point, he seems to suggest that he knows more than he is allowed to say...

For a brief period in June, a trailer and 10 minutes of spoiler-heavy footage of The Zero Theorem were available on a website, which appeared to have been made available to assist with sales activity for the picture. The clips were soon taken down, but appeared at various websites for months afterwards. This was covered on a number of websites including The Playlist.

In June, there was a Secret Cinema event based on Terry Gilliam's picture Brazil. A film of edited highlights has been added to YouTube, and is included below. There was coverage in Screen International and also in a local Croydon newspaper.


Gilliam said the Secret Cinema event was “a wondrously mad and spectacular undertaking. The huge array of actors played their roles to the hilt as we roamed the labyrinthine, bureaucratic spaces. And like all overconfident systems, what could be more appropriate for the film’s director than to be trapped in a malfunctioning lift between interrogation floors. Torture, I suppose.”

July
Early in July, Gilliam attended the Ischia Film Festival and the Umbria Film Festival in Montone.

In mid July, it was announced that The Zero Theorem would play in competition at the Venice Film Festival at the end of August/early September. Also, Empire magazine published new images online from The Zero Theorem.

There was a session promoting The Zero Theorem at San Diego ComicCon in July. Amy Gilliam appeared with Dean Zanuck and Zev Foreman to present footage and also to screen the following short film, courtesy of the NSA...


The Comic Con appearance was reported in several places, including IO9, Motion Captured and Collider.

As of 22 July, everything on The Zero Theorem was complete except for some VFX shots. These needed to be done and integrated into the final film in time for the World Premiere at the Venice Film Festival early in September.

Hollywood Reporter ran an article on 22 July that suggested that Gilliam's feature film 12 Monkeys was going to be adapted into a television series.

The September 2013 issue of Empire appeared in the racks on 25 July, and included a four-page report on The Zero Theorem. Journalist Dan Jolin spent a day on location in Bucharest to witness an Africa-themed party.


August to December
further updates to follow in the next few days



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