Exclusive: Matthew Modine On His Full Metal Jacket Diary iPad app, Kubrick, Nolan, and more


Following our news item on actor Matthew Modine’s Full Metal Jacket Diary iPad app, Mr Modine was kind enough to answer a few follow up questions for Cinetropolis on working with director Stanley Kubrick, how the app came into being, his recent experience working on The Dark Knight Rises, and more. To visit Matthew Modine’s Full Metal Jacket Diary site, click here.

Christopher Nolan has rapidly become one of the most exciting and challenging directors working in American cinema, and is often compared, both favourably and not so favourably, to Stanley Kubrick. As someone who has had the privilege of working with both,  (The Dark Knight Rises, Full Metal Jacket) do you feel the comparison is warranted? What similarities, if any, have you found in their processes?


Comparisons aren’t necessary. They are different men from different eras. But since comparisons are inevitable let me try and find a few. First, the most important aspect I found was that both directors have a very tight and intimate producing team. Nolan takes it further, as he collaborates with his brother on writing. Second, both share a deep passion for storytelling. Nolan is clearly more elaborate than Kubrick. Kubrick was more precise and seemed to always work toward simplicity. The least amount of cuts. The least amount of camera set-ups. Nolan may, over time, work towards this style, but for now, like his generation of filmmakers, he relies on cuts (edits) to set a scene’s pace and his film’s rhythm. Third, I believe they are both very good at casting their projects. Finding the best actors available to tell their stories. This is something both share with director Robert Altman. 


What was it like to work on such a huge production as The Dark Knight Rises?


Wonderful. And this may surprise you. As big as the film is, with all the people and crew members involved, when you were on set, it felt as intimate as a small independent film.


Your Full Metal jacket Diary was originally a limited edition steel-encased book. Can you describe the thought process and practical challenges behind turning it into an iPad app? Was it a difficult exercise?


The book was a very special, limited edition (20,000 copies). I wanted to create a collector’s item and a book that Stanley Kubrick would think was smart and beautiful. When I was asked by a young artist (that worked for Apple Computer) if I would be interested in making it into an “app,” I wasn’t sure how it could be done. Adam Rackoff explained how he would have me record the dialogue, add music, sound effects, do high res scans of all the original negatives, add additional images of personal letters, newspaper clippings, and production items, it all started to open the doors for a new kind of film experience, one we are calling an “app-umentary.” What has been created exceeds our goal, which was to create something Kubrick would be proud of. 

Matthew, his son Boman, and app producer Adam Rackoff


Could you envision Stanley Kubrick embracing such an idea?


Absolutely. Don’t forget. In 2001: A Space Odyssey, Kubrick pre-envisioned the iPad. You see them in his film. More than 40 years before they would become reality. 


Your diary app probably gives one of the most intimate accounts of, not just the making of a Stanley Kubrick film, but an actor’s own creative process, and difficulty separated for such a long shoot from loved ones. Have you any particular abiding memories from that time?


The beauty of time is that it is kind to the past. When I look back on the experience of making the film it is very rewarding. I am honored to have had the opportunity of working with Kubrick on a film that stands the test of time. 


You used Kickstarter to help fund the app design and release. I’ve noticed that Samantha Fuller is using the same approach to help fund her Centenary tribute to her father Sam Fuller, “A Fuller Life”. Can you envision a growth in indie-funded film documentaries / shorts funded this way over the next few years?


Kickstarter is very democratic and defines capitalism – in the best way. Propose a project or object that you think is cool and unique and see if anyone is interested in supporting it. I love it.


You recently wrapped on JOBS, where you play Apple business partner John Sculley to Ashton Kutcher’s Steve Jobs. Your production got a head start on Sony’s rival, scripted by Aaron Sorkin, and even had the advantage of filming in the same humble garage where Apple began.  How will your film treat their business relationship?


We won’t know until we see the film edited and in theaters. The film you make is all so often so different from the film you envisioned and shot. I always try and do my very best when I work. Most everyone on a film set does the same. And we all hope that all the effort and time is something magical. Let’s hope jOBS catches lightening in a bottle.


Matthew Modine, thanks for your time!


Thank you


Originally posted 2012-08-29 22:34:28. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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