A Conversation With Battle Los Angeles Director Jonathan Liebesman

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Battle los Angeles, the gritty war sci-fi drama, directed by Jonathan Liebesman has captured audiences throughout the world with its realistic raw portrayal of a nation, a world, on the brink of annihilation.

Nearing the 200million mark worldwide, the war drama starring Aaron Eckhardt, Michele Rodriguez, Michael Pena, Ramon Rodriguez and Bridget Moynahan, has continued to gain ground since it exploded into the box office three weeks ago.

Having the opportunity to speak with Battle Los Angeles Director, Jonathan Liebesman during the film’s press junket, held at the Santa Monica Casa Del Mar near the site of the original Battle over Los Angeles, I found him charming, warm, and friendly. He's a fellow NYU alum and we spoke on the film, the ups and downs of the creative life, and the future.

 

Janet Walker: So Jonathan, Great movie. I enjoyed it.

Jonathan Liebesman: Thank you Janet.

Janet Walker:  I saw it at SONY about a month ago . .

Jonathan Liebesman: Oh you did.

Janet Walker:  Yes and then I saw it again last night and still enjoyed it. So two times around and it is still a good movie. 

Jonathan Liebesman: Thanks, Janet, I really appreciate that.

 

Janet Walker: We talked a little bit this morning about how you filmed it in documentary style when I first describe it was more like a staccato movement. So tell me why you chose that style?

Jonathan Liebesman: Well, I think one of the main inspirations of the movie is embedded war footage and you know, a lot of the stuff you see on You Tube from Iraq and Afghanistan as well, that was kind of the start I drew from it kind of informed a lot of the way the movie was shot.

 

Janet Walker: I remember you saying “You fought like hell to get the movie.” Describe what that process was like? 

Jonathan Liebesman: I mean, you know anyone who’s ever tried to get a job in their life knows what it’s like to go in for an interview and it’s a job you really want you’ll do anything and if you have to get a job in this economy it’s the same for a film director or anything. So, the project and are you saying what’s it like?  I went and I shot stuff and I worked hard I put CGI effects in shots and learned how to do that with software and brought it to the studio and there were four other guys in the running and so therefore I went and did more and thought, ‘Oh, what would that look like in Santa Monica?’ Go to Santa Monica, shoot shots there, and put things in shots there and then ‘What about downtown?’ Go to downtown do the same there.

 

So I was running around just doing everything it took. I remember I was editing an independent film I had just done and I’d go back maybe 8:00 or 9:00PM somewhere in the evening and then I’d start working on my presentation for Battle Los Angeles until I would fall asleep.  So the thing is with just really about what I could do because it felt like my shot to do something that I really wanted to do.

 

I remember when I got the movie, I couldn’t believe I got the movie it was kind of like, when you get something, I can’t believe they gave it to me. It’s like you’ve have those situation where things don’t work out?

Janet Walker: Yes.

Jonathan Liebesman: Well this was one where somehow and I don’t know why it was working out. Where everything I did I would visualize they’re going to love this, I going to go in and they’re going to love this and they’re going to call their boss and that guy will like it to and stuff like that would happen and I’ve been on the other side a lot before where I would always be the guy that was losing out. It felt like, what’s that saying, ‘Life is opportunity; and hard work and  . .

 

Janet Walker: It sounds like you weren’t really on the short list for the film?

Jonathan Liebesman: I was if it were a thousand names long.

 

Janet Walker: Tell me a little bit about yourself. How did you get started; you’re a filmmaker so how’d you get started?

Jonathan Liebesman: I went to NYU Film School, South African Film School and then NYU Film School.  I did a short film there, got an agent, did a couple of horror movies, sort of went to Director Jail for a moment, did an independent film; got Battle Los Angeles.

 

Janet Walker: Wow. That’s great.

Jonathan Liebesman: Yes. I’ve been all over the map making my way here.

 

Janet Walker: So did you come up with the idea of Boot camp?

Jonathan Liebesman: No Boot Camp’s been used on SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, they sent actors to Boot Camp on Black Hawk Down, it was a common thing on movies that I’ve liked. I wanted to try and be at that same level and so we got as tech advisor, Sgt. Major Jim Deever and done these Boot Camps before with Clint Eastwood on Flags of Our Fathers and Sands of Iwo Jima and so we did the same thing with our actors. And it was great because I remember the first shot we did they had to run out of a bus onto the freeway and I thought, ‘Oh shit, they look like Marines.’ And that’s what Marines would do. Oh, cool and it made it worth it.

 

Janet Walker: Ramon said you got him in and the schedule was changed and he was going to die today.

Jonathan Liebesman: That’s right the scheduled change and I said, ‘You’re going to die today, Ramon.’

 

Janet Walker: Describe that he said it was a difficult process. But you tell me how you saw it.

Jonathan Liebesman: I don’t know. I probably saw it completely different. I was like, ‘Shit, Ramon the schedule just changed and we have to kill you today.

Janet Walker: Oh wow.

Jonathan Liebesman: This is some genius trick by the director to unnerve me and make my performance amazing. Or it was some dumb stupid idea. It was probably a logistical thing but he . . . I loved working with Ramon. It was a really good vibe. Aaron was super dedicated as a professional actor just amazing to watch.

 

Janet Walker: What were the challenges that you encountered other then getting the film?

Jonathan Liebesman: I think a big one is, you’re dealing with fourteen principal actors in every scene. Challenges asking the tech advisor what these marines would be doing. So you can play a scene and everyone has something to do and it doesn’t look like a mess. Logistically, planning out those scenes was time consuming on the day and then having to shoot them out.

 

Janet Walker: How about when you edited in all the Aliens?

Jonathan Liebesman:  You know what’s interesting I saw that more as an opportunity. What I mean by that is I could take footage that I had shot, almost like ground footage, and add things into it that would fit into what was there and make things up. You know we did have marines dressed up in these tracking marker suits and they would run around so their actions in the camera would have somewhere to go and the animator could refer to their movement.  But the most fun, I think is taking the footage in Post that isn’t meant to be used for anything. Like there’s a lot of footage I use that with a camera bounces after a take and that’s the part I would use and like Aliens up on a roof. And it was like, ‘Oh, shit’ and that for me was those most independent part of it. I love the Special effects part of things. It was a hell of a lot of fun taking normal looking footage and changing it and being amazed at movie magic. I loved it. I’m like obsessed with it even now. I’m still sending shots to marketing that I’ll do. I’ll finish working on Clash [of the titians 2], I don’t know like 9:00 at night, and once or twice a week I’ll do a shot at night or footage on the hard drive in LA and send them the shots in marketing. I can’t get enough of the whole world of Alien invasion in the normal urban area. It’s just cool.

 

Janet Walker: Were the Aliens CGI or did you us character?

Jonathan Liebesman:  No, it’s CGI but it’s based on a person’s performance within a frame. On the freeway, for example, when they are shooting at the Aliens those are all REP people who have been painted over by the Alien.

 

Janet Walker: The people wore the tracking suits?

Jonathan Liebesman:  Correct. And the animators would look at that and put a CGI creature and match the animation.

 

Janet Walker: Okay.

Jonathan Liebesman: So they had tactics and stuff and that was very important to me were called Alien Reference Performers or ARP and they act as performers.

 

Janet Walker: So at the end. When there was this massive piece of metal, the mother ship.

Jonathan Leibesman: That was designed by Ty Ellington and Paul Jared. That’s fake.  We purposely tried to use textures which in my opinion I think are rendered most realistic. We were trying to get people to say, ‘Wow that looks very fucking real.’  So were using steel textures. I find that CGI looks the best in daylight. So I think, specula hits, like if you look at this chair you see hitting in the highlights you see so often trying to confuse your mind.

 

Janet Walker: So you said this morning that you weren’t sure if they talked about a Battle Los Angeles II.

Jonathan Liebesman:  I think you have to see if people want to see it; to see if the movie opens.

 

Janet Walker:  Have you been, the movie is going to open. ..  have you been in script talks?

Jonathan Liebesman:  The movie is going to open. The audience needs to have a genuine response and I’m sure SONY feels the same. They don’t want to spend money on things they don’t want to see. You know how it is things are it looks like they’ll open and they kind of do and then it dies out and you kind of have to let it live a little for a bit and then go if people want to see another. I have a lot of ideas where I would like to take things. But it just it has to perform.

 

With the global box office speaking volumes clearly the sequel to Battle Los Angeles, may just be a phone call away. 

For more information on Battle Los Angeles: www.battlela.com

 

 

 

 

ковролин
грузчики киев
yarema.ua

Haute Tease

  • John Wick: Chapter 3-Parabellum Review - Heart Racing Fast Action, Solid Entertainment

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    John Wick: Chapter 3- Parabellum, from Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment, presents the third installment in the assassin trilogy, as Mr. Wick, now banished, must find his way back to the place where he can atone for his mistake.

     
  • Chinese Officials Demand Malaysian Government Turn Over Evidence in Missing Airliner Search

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced that the Malaysian government has officially ended the search for MH370 declaring the doomed airliner lost somewhere along the southern corridor in the Indian Ocean south of Perth, Australia.

     
  • Utah Woman Charged in Six Newborn Deaths

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Megan Huntsman, 39, was arraigned on murder charges stemming from the serial slaying of six of her seven newborns who were found stuffed in boxes in the garage of her Pleasant Grove, Utah home.

     
  • Kristen Bell, Bobby Flay, Taye Diggs, Tom Colicchio and Naked Juice Do Some Good with Their Selfies

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Grab a Pineapple, squeeze those melons, take a selfie holding your favorite produce and post with the hash tag #DrinkGoodDoGood, and Naked Juice, the delicious fruit and vegetable drink, will donate up to 10 lbs of produce to needy communities.

     
  • LUXE Rodeo Drive Hotel Earns Prestigious AAA Four-Diamond Rating

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    BEVERLY HILLS (June 30, 2014) –The Luxe Rodeo Drive Hotel has been selected as a recipient of the prestigious AAA Four-Diamond Rating.  AAA, a not-for-profit federation that services more than 53 million members in the United States and Canada, approves only five percent of its 29,000 properties for this distinction.

     
  • The Newspaperman: The Life And Times Of Ben Bradlee Review - Intimate, Honest, Revealing

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Newspaperman: The Life And Times Of Ben Bradlee, from HBO and Kunhardt Films, presents Ben Bradlee, a trusted friend and confident of President John F. Kennedy, in his time the most feared editor of Washington Post, and an admitted womanizer.

     
  • Luxe Home Swap Review - Stylish Home Exchange Vacations

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Imagine holidaying in a luxurious Tuscan villa, Parisian loft or Hawaiian beach retreat - all for less than a night in a hotel.  Well, imagine no more and vacation wherever and whenever you like through Luxe Home Swap, the world’s leading site for stylish home exchange vacations.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Trump/Turkey, Perry Resigns, G7 Meet, Brexit, Elijah Cummings, 2020 Debate, Tulsi/Clinton, Sanders

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Trump is being credited with "forthright leadership" in the brokering of a five-day cease fire between the Turkish government and the Syrian Kurds who fought along the United States during the ISIS insurgence.

     
  • Money News: US, London, Asian Markets Rally; France, India, Canada Close Down

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The DOW Jones Industrial Average, NASDAQ, the S&P 500, London and Asian Markets, rallied to cheer investors as analysts announced leading indicators reveal an upcoming Bear market, even as markets exhibit steady gains across the board, is imminent.

     
  • The Trip To Spain Review – Fun-Filled, Michelin Rated, A Gastronomy Orgasm

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Trip to Spain, from IFC Films and Revolution Films, presents the third road film, that have our companions headed to parts unknown to write reviews from the premiere, off the beaten path, restaurants for marketing and film promotion.

     
  • New Horizons Spacecraft Completes Pluto Fly By

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The National Aeronautics and Space Agency, (NASA), in an historic mission, released the first ever photos of Pluto’s surface culminating the nine year effort to bring to the world images and collect data from the furthest planet in the solar system.

     
  • Forest Live UK Concert Series Adds The Rainband to Summer Line Up; Band To Open For Kaiser Chiefs

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Kaiser Chiefs' frontman Ricky Wilson, a fan of the Manchester based band, personally phoned vocalist Martin Finnigan to ask The Rainband to join the lineup on Sunday July 3rd 2016 at Delamere Forest as part of the Forest Live Summer Concert Series.  

  • Miami At Night Book Review – Captures the Silky Colors and Pulsating Heat of The Magic City

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Miami At Night, from Schiffer Publishing and author Bill Brothers, bring together a vibrant nocturnal explosion of pulsating neon’s rising with the dusk filling the nighttime skyline with golden, enchanted sunsets, truly magnificent cityscapes bursting with life.

     
  • The Academy Announces Naming Of The David Geffen Theater

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    BEVERLY HILLS, CA – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today that it has received a $25 million commitment from The David Geffen Foundation for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. The gift was made as part of the Academy Museum's $300 million capital campaign and is the  largest commitment received to date. In recognition of this gift, the Academy will name the Museum's premiere-sized theater The David Geffen Theater.

     
  • Terrorist Attorney Lynne Stewart Receives Holiday Pardon

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Lynne Stewart, the famed New York Civil Rights attorney arrested for smuggling messages for a blind Egyptian sheik serving a life sentence for plotting to blow up New York City landmarks, has received a compassionate release.