As promised, we are running the second part of our interview with Duncan Jones. This half will feature more content specifically relating to Source Code, which hits theaters this Friday. Mr. Jones went on record about the experience filming a bigger studio project, what concessions were made on Source Code and Moon, and directorial decisions regarding the plot of Source Code. Now that you are thoroughly excited for Part Deux, join us after the jump for the interveiw’s conclusion. Spoilers are ahead, so be warned…
Q: What were some of the major differences between working on a small film like Moon and one with a much larger budget?
A: There is a certain agility on an independent film, we were working with six shooting days a week, and a much smaller time frame. Stuart (Fenegan) and Sam (Rockwell) and I came together and made a lot of decisions about how the film was going to turn out, working within that compressed time frame.
Q: Did you have to make any concessions on Moon with a smaller budget, and any with Source Code within the studio system?
A: We had to make lots of concessions on Moon, but that was part of the plan. We knew what we wanted, and we really stretched the budget to include all of the things we needed, especially some of the special effects shots we needed. For Source Code, we were more ambitious, and even though our budget was larger, we had to be realistic. We had to work to fit in all of the points, but it wasn’t a struggle, we just had to consider that as part of the plan.
Q: What was it like working on a larger set with a bigger crew and budget?
A: It was a challenge, but a lot of excitement working with a group of great actors. It was fun coming to work and having all of these great toys. Our train set was really cool, having a train we could shake, and having all the gear to shoot what we wanted.
Q: Were you worried that it would be difficult to make a trailer for a high-concept film like this without giving away major details?
A: I was nervous about the trailers, for both films actually, but I learned a lot about cutting trailers on Moon. I thought the team did a great job on this one (Source Code). My job partially is to promote the film, but not to tell the trailer cutters how to do their job.
Q: Can you describe a bit about the decision to delay some of the exposition and keep information from Colter and the audience?
A: Ben Ripley had a script that had some really good pacing. Colter is given information at the same time as the audience, so when they have questions, as he has questions, they are answered as they arise. You and he are really learning at the same rate. The script and pacing really pull you along quickly, and the learning curve is really about rate and pacing.
Q: What were the troubles and challenges with shooting similar but slightly different scenes that were repeated throughout the film?
A: We had a great continuity director, and you really have to keep a close eye on scenes. We had a sort of strategic graph for the re-visitings of each scene. We had to get through the narrative, without too much repetition. Each scene on our graph would break down to how it was different visually from the once before it. What are the plot points? What new information do we have?
Q: A lot is being made of the ending of the film, did it go through any changes?
A: We are kind of getting into spoiler territory here (laughs). I really pushed for the ending we have now, I think it was appropriate, there was one thing that I needed to tie up, if you had the sweet ending, and Colter has lept into reality, there has to be a real Colter in a box somewhere, just his reality wouldn’t make sense. I really like how it turned out.