Alex Gar­land

Writer and direc­tor of Ex_ Machina

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Dvd & blu- ray -

Was it dif­fi­cult to find a lo­ca­tion suit­able for Nathan’s idyl­lic home?

It was, and we only found it late in the day. We didn’t have a lot of money to play with so we be­gan look­ing around the Alps, but the Alps is quite choco­late- boxy. That led us to Nor­way and even­tu­ally we found this amaz­ing val­ley. We were re­ally lucky. Some of the other lo­ca­tions we were look­ing at... I think the film would have suf­fered. What drew you to the lead trio of ac­tors?

I knew Domh­nall very well from Never Let Me Go and Dredd. I didn’t know Os­car and Ali­cia, but it didn’t feel like a big leap of faith. They have some­thing in com­mon be­cause they’re both ac­tors that re­ally van­ish. The Ali­cia that you see in A Royal Af­fair is fun­da­men­tally dif­fer­ent from Ava and the Os­car from In­side Llewellyn Davis is com­pletely dif­fer­ent from Nathan. How much of Ava is vis­ual ef­fects?

It de­pends shot by shot, but broadly speak­ing: hands, feet and face are prac­ti­cal, and in­creas­ingly ev­ery­thing else got swapped out. The vis­ual ef­fects were run by this guy called An­drew White­hurst. What he and his team at Dou­ble Neg­a­tive did was pretty re­mark­able. They were in­tent on sup­port­ing the film against all rea­son, re­ally. I couldn’t have asked for more from them. The film rests mas­sively on the shoul­ders of the ac­tors, but hugely on that ef­fects team. If they’d fucked that up none of it would have worked. Jor­dan Far­ley

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