While at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival I landed an exclusive video interview with Kill List and A Field in England director Ben Wheatley. He was in town promoting his latest film High Rise and during my extended video interview he talked about the way he likes to work on set, his preference for camera coverage, his editing process, the making of High Rise, his experience directing Doctor Who episodes, his next film Free Fire (which is a crime drama set in Boston in the 70s), plays some “Save or Kill”, and so much more.
If you’re not familiar with High Rise, the film is adapted from the J.G. Ballard novel of the same name and it’s filled with characters that exists in a very chaotic world filled with drugs, booze and sex as Wheatley chronicles class warfare in the confines of a 1970s-set apartment building. The film has an all-star cast featuring Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, Luke Evans and Elisabeth Moss.
Here’s what Ben Wheatley had to say followed by a time index of the interview:
- 0:20 – Reveals his process of storyboarding a movie versus finding a scene in the moment.
- 1:07 – Talks about his preference for camera coverage and how it changes from film to film.
- 1:37 – Gives the synopsis for High-Rise and the film’s background, stemming from the J.G. Ballard novel.
- 3:20 – Reveals the test screenings for the film and whether or not he has final edit on it.
- 3:35 – Talks about the length of the assembly cut of the film and how much was edited out.
- 4:44 – Reveals more on his editing process.
- 4:30 – Talks about his preference for shooting on film or digitally, and why he feels that way.
- 6:30 – Talks more about the lenses he used on the film and their importance on set.
- 7:37 – Comments on his experience directing Doctor Who
- 8:08 – Reveals what he changed on set, specifically on the TARDIS and the Tommy Westphall snow globe.
- 9:50 – Talks about his upcoming project Free Fire, the 1970s-set crime drama set in Boston.
- 11:10 – Compares his close-quarters action scenes to The Raid and how it’s portrayed more realistically.
- 11:45 – He updates just when that film will be ready for the festival circuit.
- 12:10 – Wheatley plays ‘Save or Kill.’