Director Jon Chu Talks “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” 3D Conversion and Bruce Willis’ Improv Skills
“G.I. Joe: Retaliation” director Jon M. Chu stops by What’s Trending to chat with Shira Lazar and Milana Vayntrub about converting the upcoming film to 3D, working with Channing Tatum and The Rock, and how this film will blow the first out of the water!
For his first action movie, Chu’s “G.I. Joe” was actually shot in 2D and then converted to 3D for the screen. But he’s had experience with these dimensions from his last two films. “Depth has been a part of my storytelling for a while,” he says. “When you shoot 3D, you make your depth choices while you’re shooting […] In post conversion, you make those decisions after the movie’s been edited.”
“Bruce [Willis], coming on to set, he would just start making up lines.” Chu says of improvised content in the film. “My job was just to stay out of his way and get it on film.” Even The Rock’s “Damn ninjas!” line, which gets a huge laugh, was ad libbed on shooting day.
Speaking of the recent influx of Asian filmmakers in cinema, Chu says, “I think it’s more a matter of technology than anything else,” citing easy access to creative materials. “I got to make my first student film on digital because I got a beta camera from Panavision.”
Regarding the appeal of the G.I. Joe franchise, Chu says, “Ultimately, they’re really relatable guys […] I think that’s the charm of what GI Joe has always been about,” he says, noting the name of an “average” Joe. “Anyone can be a hero. It’s what you stand for. It’s what you stand up for. It’s what you are inside.”
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