So a bunch of us Internet punks & punkettes
got to go to a special press conference
for online and radio people with Tom Cruise and Steven
Spielberg. I got there super early for the free food
and the schmoozing and the gossip. I heard a couple of
things about Jude Law and found out about a whole lot of Internet sites that are run by assholes. Plus, I
played this Game Boy version of the new Minority
Report game. I stunk at it but I think you need
three hands to play. They also had these awesome
chocolate covered corn flakes. Those were awesomely
good. Especially with free Diet Coke and my favorite
bottled water, Fiji.
Then we went down to the hotel's conference room. I grabbed Fiji water and stuck it in my pocket
and then sat down and waited. Anyway, as Iím sure we all know, if you put a bunch of people in a room, one person
will always, and I mean always, emerge as the one who
makes a lot of jokes. In our room it was this one dude
from radio. I think his name was Bill. Anyway, he made a lot of jokes. I think he was
trying to get sent to principal, Iím not sure. All I
can say is that the two most powerful entertainers in
world were super nice guys. I was only allowed to ask
a couple of questions so I couldnít ask my favorite
one which is, ďHey Tom/Steve, has anyone ever cut
you off in traffic and then you called God on his
private line and asked him to squash them like a bug?
And if so, what is Godís number or at least his area
code?Ē But you take what you can get.
Steve & Tommy (as Iím allowed to call them
now) walked in and noticed that their table was far away
Steven Spielberg: Why are we so far away from you
They both pick up the table and move it closer to
Tom Cruise: The union is going to sue us. How you
Tom doesnít wait for an answer before he sits.
Do you think there is a pre-determined future and
if so is there a danger in knowing too much about it?
SPIELBERG: Itís almost a religion. Is the future
predetermined or can you make the choice and control
your own destiny? I think it's a matter of individual
belief. There are times when I believe that stuff is
out of my control and I am following a path and other
times when I feel really good about myself and I feel
feisty and I can take the world by storm. I go back
and forth depending on my mood.
CRUISE: I'd like to know about the future. I like
the questions that Minority Report poses like
Ďare there choices?í I believe we have them. Iím
interested in the future and I was excited when Steven
said he wanted to make this movie fifty years in the
future. Whatís the world going to be like? Itís
something that the audience can identify with and itís
not too far off. That fascinates me.
Minority Report, A.I. and Vanilla Sky
all have similar themes - subjective reality. Is this
a coincidence that you both got together at this time
to make this film?
SPIELBERG: I appreciate that there may be similar
themes; I donít quite see them because I think the
story of the reality in Minority Report is
clear. There are no ultimate realities in A.I.
or in Minority Report. They all have a time
sequence in all those films. Vanilla Sky was
delicious; you had to figure where you were at all
times. I think that movies that mess with the brain
are movies that Iím hungry for right now. Iím
hungry for something that allows me to take my brain
to the movies as well as my stomach for all the fast
turns and effects. As I get older I demand substance.
Thatís what I tried to do with Minority Report.
Minority Report has a very Brian De Palma
[director of classic thrillers like Dressed to Kill
and Blow-Out] feel. Itís a thriller number
one, and then there are tracking shots over rooms plus
the idea of different angles of a murder. What do you
think of that?
SPIELBERG: Brian De Palma and I both learned from
the same teacher. Alfred Hitchcock [laughter from the
room, Tom Cruise laughs especially hard].
Iím wondering how much public response affects
SPIELBERG: Do you mean in previews?
Like box office.
SPIELBERG: That doesnít affect me and it never
really did. It certainly doesnít affect which movie
Iíll make either. Whether Iím coming off a hit or
a movie that isnít perceived as a hit. It doesnít
change my mind; I donít think, ďI need a hit to
follow a film that didnít make any money.Ē
CRUISE: You never know what will do well.
SPIELBERG: Weíll be okay with Minority Report
because we have great tracking. But we donít know
how long it will last. I make movies; Iím one of the
people who donít read what the box office is on
Monday and Tuesday. Iím more concerned about if the
movie is any good.
CRUISE: Since you never know what will happen. It
really comes down to whether or not you want to invest
your time in a story your interested in. You hope that
the studios make their money back with a return
because ultimately there is a responsibility that we
have. None of the choices are based on that though. Iíve
known Steven for so long and then to be working with
him you see how his instincts are. Heís obviously a
gifted filmmaker but it all serves the story.
Janusz Kaminski [cinematographer for Spielbergís
last six films including Minority Report] does
such great work on your films. Do you have a
particular favorite shot in this movie?
SPIELBERG: I set my camera and pick the lenses and
then Janusz lights the shot. Thatís our
relationship. I tell the story through the camera.
Thatís what Iíve doing my whole career. Januszís
job is to come in and light it so that the lighting
tells the story as well. The one shot that I think is
a great combination of camera placement, lens choice
and lighting, is the shot when Agatha [Samantha
Morton] is embraced by John Anderton [Tom Cruise] and
sheís looking over his shoulder as they have a
conversation. Itís two profile shots.
CRUISE: I loved that too. It was Samanthaís first
day of shooting. And she showed up and she was like
lightning in a bottle. We were rehearsing, she did one
take and Steven and I went behind the set and went ďYeah,Ē
and we were high fiving each other. She was just on
SPIELBERG: Sheís like a silent movie actress.
CRUISE: Amazing face. [To Steven] You had never
even seen that set before. He had seen it in pictures.
But he moves so quickly and set it up quickly. I
remember when he found that profile shot and
immediately, he told me to look at it. I just love
that shot. Weíre hoping that it becomes a newspaper
SPIELBERG: Itís going to be post-opening
CRUISE: You look at a film like this and itís got
a tremendous production value but those shots at that
particular moment with both characters that are going
in different directions, itís exciting. Not just
because itís a great shot but it tells a story and
thatís what excited me. Mr. Spielberg has those
incredible visual abilities. [Spielberg and Tom laugh]
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