When Francis Ford Coppola revealed a few months ago that he wanted to present his upcoming horror film Twixt in a way “that’s never been done before,” it turned some heads. While he isn’t normally one to do anything radical, he’s experimented in the past — just look at his 3D short, Captain EO — but never really to a point that would be seen as groundbreaking. After learning that the plans would be unveiled at Comic-Con, it became my most anticipated panel of the entire event. They’ve now been shown off, and it seems even more interesting than anything I had predicted.
The basic plan calls for both the filmmaker and composer, Dan Deacon, to go on a 30-city tour with it, where they’ll re-edit the movie and soundtrack as audiences are watching it play before them. This was demonstrated when Coppola took out his iPad and played around with footage that the crowd had just seen, changing things up. An examples that’s being cited pretty heavily is the soundtrack — one version had Tom Waits narrating, but when the footage was shown again, Coppola could be heard delivering the same lines.
Another way things were mixed around was how the actors were presented onscreen. In one take, Val Kilmer was in front of a computer, trying to write; the next one had him making more jokes, having a little more fun. I don’t know if it sounds like massive changes, but it seems to be different enough where each audience will have unique experiences with the picture, based on where and when they see it. He compared it to how a conductor would work based on the reaction of the crowds, and that this would allow him to “perform the film, a different version for each audience.”
As for the 3D, which we’ve talked about before, the director expressed his opinion that not every scene in a movie should be in the format, hence his more limited approach to it. Even though he said that he “took the glasses off during Avatar,” only wearing them “during a sequence that looked like it took advantage of the process,” it’s clear that he likes the gimmick, but at the same time, he doesn’t “like watching 3D with glasses.” My favorite part of this whole event may be his quote about how 3D isn’t the only new thing that movies can do, because it’s a medium which is not only “at the beginning in many ways,” but one that also “has some real surprises up its sleeve.” He seems fully intent on delivering a few of those.
I have to say that I’m absolutely thrilled at the guy’s plans, and he sounds right on the money when it comes to there still being so much available at a movie’s disposal in terms of innovation, something that essentially nobody is taking advantage of. My favorite part of this story might be that this isn’t some young director out of film school trying it out; this is a man who’s been working for half a century, crafting some of the most highly-respected films of all time. Him branching out and getting a little crazy is rather commendable, in my opinion. While Kevin Smith wants to “change the face of film distribution” by doing risky things like being acquired by Lionsgate, a real filmmaker is needed to shake things up. I don’t know exactly when this is happening (although we have heard around Halloween), or how much it will cost; all I know is that I plan to be there to take in the madness, and I hope the same goes for you.
Also starring Elle Fanning, David Paymer, Ben Chaplin and Alden Ehrenreich, Twixt will be released whenever and however the hell Coppola wants it to be released.
What do you think of Coppola’s plans for presenting Twixt? Has the movie caught your attention more, now that his techniques have been displayed?
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