Several weeks ago I arrived at the DNA production offices for a meeting with Andrew Macdonald. I was told he was running late, but I was welcome to go into his office to wait. I walked in and there was a guy sitting at a computer.
He said, ‘Hi, I’m Alex.’
‘Oh, hi!’ He looked like he might be an Assistant Script-Typer or something.
‘Are you Brian’s wife?’
‘I met him the other week.’ My husband, Dr. Brian Cox, is one of the Science Advisors on the film. He met everyone here way before I did.
‘Yea, we went out for dinner and had a great time.’
Brian went out for dinner with Andrew Macdonald, Danny Boyle and Alex Garland… wait, this is Alex Garland?
He was not at all what I imagined. I was expecting a pale, skinny, guy, perhaps a bit of a hippy (the whole ‘The Beach’ thing), definitely a bit nerdy. In fact, he’s rather attractive, if I can be girly for a moment here *ahem*.
I’ve had several conversations with him over the past few weeks and really like him a lot. He’s intellectually confrontational in a way that I’ve only ever seen in my husband and other high-energy particle physicists I know. He is extremely intelligent and seems like the kind of person who will never stop pushing himself to know more about the world, the universe and his place in it.
Apparently, though, he hates having his photo taken and hates being filmed even more. He basically values his privacy. Any time I’ve had a video or stills camera around him, he’s run off, but I grabbed this shot of him and when he sees it here he’ll probably come in and demand that it be taken down… but until then, here is the seriously cool Alex Garland.
Edited 16/09/05 11:23am:
Ha! He just emailed me and asked me to take the photo down… Don’t worry, I’ll try and sneak another one up when he’s not looking.
Things have certainly turned around here. I arrived and everyone was milling around, chatting. I got to the bottom of the steps which lead to the set and saw Danny at the top on his way down.
‘Hi, Gia! How are you today?’
‘Fine, Danny. How are you doing?’
It’s going to be a good day.
There is absolutely nothing cooler here than wandering around on the spaceship.
They’ve been filming some of the Zero G scenes so the big main set is empty. It’s huge and cramped and beautiful and industrial and certainly much better lit than a real spaceship.
Once you’re inside you are completely immersed in the world. It’s entirely enclosed. There are no windows. Everything there looks like it has a function except, of course, for the little human touches. A pair of socks on the floor. A photograph of a family. A tiny basketball hoop on the wall. A hairband on on the shelf next to the bed.
There’s a kind of sad feeling to the empty set. It feels like it’s been abandoned.
Since Wednesday they’ve been filming ‘zero G’ stuff with the stunt doubles in space suits connected to wires. I went down to the studio just before lunchtime to have a look at what they were filming. Right as I arrived Danny Boyle ran off to another set for a few minutes.
When I first met Danny a couple months ago I recognised him the first second I saw him. While we were talking with Andrew Macdonald, I couldn’t stop trying to think of all the directors I know by sight. They were asking me serious questions about the web and I had ‘Scorsese, Coppola, Spielberg, Lucas, Hitchcock, Houston, Cronenberg, Lee, Herzog, Tarantino, Allen, Boyle…’ running through my head.
Oh. Apparently, they’ve just now decided to re-shoot everything they’ve shot with the space suits over the past couple days. They’ve said they want to make it look better.
No one here is going to make do with ‘good enough’, everything has got to be amazing.