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The Terminator – Other Voices (Documentary).
Part 4 – The realise.
(From "Terminator" Ultimate Edition. Disc 2)
English subtitles.


J.C. - James Cameron (Movie’s director).
B.W. – Bill Wisher (Add’l dialogue / Cameron collaboration).
S.W. – Stan Winston (Terminator makeup effects creator).
G.W.J – Gene Warren, Jr (Fantasy II VFX Supervisor).
A.S. - Arnold Schwarzenegger (Actor).
L.H. – Linda Hamilton (Actress).
M.B. – Micheal Biehn (Actor).
G.A.H. – Gale Anne Hurd (Producer).
J.V. – Joe Viskocil (Visual effects pyrotechnicial).
M.G. – Mark Goldblatt (Film edition).
B.F. – Brand Fiedel (Composer).

("THE TERMINATOR: THE REALISE").

M.B.: I don't think the studio knew what they had. I know they didn't.

B.W.: If they did, they would have thrown more money at it.

G.A.H.: The studio perceived it as a down-and-dirty action exploitation film.

J.C.: Like a Charles Bronson film, one week in and out.

G.A.H.: After, let's say, the negative word of mouth.

J.C.: I made the statement that, as a science-fiction film, we should sell it on its own merits. That's a particular audience. He said, "This is not a science fiction film." I was dumbfounded.
I said, "Yeah, it is." He said, "It's not." I said, "It's a science-fiction film." He said, "You can't sell this as science fiction. Star Wars is science fiction." "If you promise that, people are going to feel betrayed if they go into a theatre and it's this." I said, "It involves time travel and robots, two mainstays of science fiction." "Science fiction isn't necessarily about space travel." He didn't get it.

G.A.H.: When we began to believe we had something, it was the very first screening, and our very first advocate was Lindsley Parsons from Film Finances, who came to us and said, "This is a really good movie." "You guys have put something on screen here that is not only a good action movie but it's an important action movie." There's no way when you're making your first film that you have any objectivity at all about what you've captured.

M.B.: You never know how a movie will do until it gets in front of an audience. You never know how it's gonna do.

G.A.H.: And then we showed the film to the actors' agents. And both Ed Limato, who represented Michael Biehn...

M.B.: And he was a person who saw that movie and said, "We have to get this screened in town and get a buzz going on it."

G.A.H.: He saw the movie and he got it, as did Lou Pitt, who represented Arnold Schwarzenegger. They got it, and they are the ones who insisted that Orion screen the film for critics. When we started getting the response, Jim and I realised that we had touched a nerve, that the film was not being perceived as just a down-and-dirty exploitation film, but a film that had something to say, that connected not only with audiences but with critics as well.

A.S.: (To James) When the movie came out, the first that happened was that they said, "My God. We have as many women seeing the movie as men." "We should change our ad campaign." I said, "I told you this would happen."

J.C.: (To Arnold) But they'd already spent all their ad money and they didn't spend any more. The ship had sailed.

A.S.: They were frantically running around and coming up with ways of letting women know that it is a movie they can also enjoy.

G.A.H.: It was impossible to anticipate that the film would get the kind of almost universal positive reviews that we got, and that the film would open up and maintain the same box office week in and week out for a number of weeks.

A.S.: It's just that sometimes things click with the audience and you produce something or you create a character that really hits home.

T.: I'll be back. (Scene from movie).

J.C.: One shock of the film was that people related to the Terminator so much. I think it's because there's a lot of pent-up rage and frustration. A lot of it is because we're in a crowded urban society and job pressures, and people don't get to act out these fantasies. We're in an age of weapons where you can't punch somebody without them shooting you. You can't yell at somebody on a freeway without them shooting you with an AK-47. There's a lot of rage and hostility. The Terminator was a release for that. I think we're also reacting to this dehumanisation or programming ourselves to interact with strangers. I think that's why the android myth has become so popular in recent years and recent films. It sort of answers that question. If nothing else, it says we have become so dehumanised that a machine could pass for human easily in our society.

B.W.: But anybody who thinks that Terminator is a cynical movie didn't get it. Far from it. It's a film that says the least among us is probably the most important person in the world.

J.C.: The suggestion is that whether you're male or specifically female, you'll have capacities that others around you may not recognise and you may not recognise in yourself. But if put to the test, they will emerge.

L.H.: It wasn't just shoot 'em up, blow 'em up. There was a love story that was a lot larger than life. I think it drew a lot of people to us that ordinarily wouldn't have liked the picture.

G.A.H.: Part of it was timing. Part of it was that we really did deliver a good film and a film that, at the time, became part of the whole zeitgeist of America in 1984.

("CAMERON").

J.C.: I was fairly new to that process. It was exciting to me. I was totally focused on the whole process. I thought, "I need to do a film myself as director." "I need to create this. I can't pay somebody to do it. "I don't have any money, so I'll do everything myself." Necessity is the mother, as they say.

A.S.: He wants to do everything because he has such a clear vision of what he wants to see.

M.B.: He was very, very precise in what he wanted, and meticulous. He wanted it his way. He wanted to get what he wanted. He wanted his vision up there.

B.W.: He really does know what he wants. He's not throwing a baby director fit. It's because he knows how it should be. I would say about 98 percent of the time he's completely right.

B.F.: It was no accident. He really understood frame by frame in that picture, and when I look at it now, I can see how much he was putting in and how much Jim knew what he was doing.

L.H.: He is a taskmaster, but it is all for something.

B.W.: It's a good challenge and he brings your game up.

J.C.: I wouldn't call myself a workaholic, but when I'm on the set, it's 100 percent focused. When I'm making films, it's 100 percent focused. I'm a workaholic for a period of time.

B.W.: He's the first on the set, the last to leave. He's standing when everybody else has passed out.

A.S.: You see him ending up running, with the smoke machine creating smoke in front of the camera, and then putting on blood and trying to do your make-up although the make-up department has already done the job, but he then has to improve on it somehow.

M.B.: Jim's explaining the bluescreen camera to the guys, what they should be doing. These guys have done special effects all their lives. "Having trouble? This is how you fix it."

G.W.J.: He understood. You could talk about things, how to do 'em and what you wanted to do.

M.G.: Jim understands that the technology is there to serve him.

M.B.: He did that with everybody. Camera, sound. He knows everybody's job better than they do. He's better at it than they are. Sometimes he gets frustrated because of that.

A.S.: He's a control freak, basically.

L.H.: It's just his style.

M.B.: I've always said that he can't act, as far as I know, so he's always gonna need us.

G.A.H.: The great thing about Jim is that he is not only great at screenwriting, but he's an artist as well.

S.W.: It was the art of storytelling, and that's the brilliance of Jim Cameron, the brilliance of Terminator 1. I've done things over the years that are better technically than Terminator. Not a lot of stories that were better than Terminator.

B.W.: If you wanna know everything you need to know about Jim Cameron's films, go look at Terminator 1, because it's all there. All the essentials are there. Everything that he has continued to grow into and to expand, all the roots of it are there.

J.V.: It was the vision of Jim Cameron that everybody sunk their teeth into, in the way of wanting to make something good out of it. We were having fun and there were challenges.

M.G.: I'm happy to have been part of it. We all did our jobs. We did well. It shows the power of good acting and good story-telling. That's the best accomplishment that we collectively came to on that film.


Text by Shman.


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