Christopher Nolan's 'Interstellar' Inspired by Movies He Saw Growing Up

Christopher Nolan

The 'Dark Knight' director also talks about digital filmmaking, 3D format, CGI, and the possibility of tackling a TV project.
Christopher Nolan discussed his latest project "Interstellar" at CinemaCon, the annual gathering of theater owners in Las Vegas. In a Q&A session moderated by The Hollywood Reporter's film critic Todd McCarthy, the director said the upcoming film was a tribute to the movies he watched when he was a child.

"For me it's about harking back to films I saw when I was a child," he said. "I grew up in an era that was the golden age of the blockbuster, where something being a family film could be very broad and universal. I feel like that is something I want to see again. Something that looks at where we are as people and where we might go."

Nolan, who filmed "Interstellar" in 35mm and IMAX, preferred film to digital. "Film is the best way to capture an image and project an image," he reasoned. "It's because it just works and works well." He added, "As far as innovation and experimentation, I'm in favor of any technological innovation, but it will always have to exceed what came before. None of the new technologies have done that."

He's not a fan of 3D either. According to him, it "gives a much more individual feeling for a screening" and "it's not the best thing if you're looking at a shared audience experience." Though so, he loved Baz Luhrmann's 3D film "The Great Gatsby" because it created "an atmosphere that washed around you." Despite his reluctance to use the format, "anything that gives filmmakers new tools is a good thing," he said.

In the next movie, Nolan wanted to "give audiences an incredible immersive experience." In addition to shooting it in IMAX more than any of his previous flicks, he has "very ambitious sound mix plans." He said, "The technical aspects are going to be more important than any film."

On top of that, he tried to use as many real environments as possible rather than altering it with CGI in post-production. "I want to capture as much in camera as possible," he explained. "It's a much higher quality than if you shoot on a green screen." That's why he built the interior of a space shuttle for some scenes. "We shot it like a documentary," he added. "I think it paid huge dividends for actors.... Though it put a huge burden on our visual effects guys to be well ahead."

When asked of the possibility of working on a TV project, the director said, "Never say never, but I love movies. Lots of great things are happening in TV but we're not here to talk about a TV."

"Interstellar" is "about using a worm hole to travel through other places we could never get to." It stars Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Casey Affleck, Jessica Chastain, Bill Irwin, Matt Damon, Michael Caine, David Oyelowo, and more A-list actors. It is due November 7 this year across the country.

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