Inception DVD Interview part 2

Inception DVD Interview part 2

Starring: Leonardo Dicaprio, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, Michael Caine
Director: Christopher Nolan
Producer: Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan
Writer: Christopher Nolan
Rated: M
Running time: 148 mins

Acclaimed filmmaker Christopher Nolan directs an international cast in this sci-fi actioner that travels around the globe and into the world of dreams. Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is the best there is at extraction: stealing valuable secrets inside the subconscious during the minds vulnerable dream state. His skill has made him a coveted player in industrial espionage but also has made him a fugitive and cost him dearly.

Now he may get a second chance if he can do the impossible: inception, planting an idea rather than stealing one. If they succeed, Cobb and his team could pull off the perfect crime. But no planning or expertise can prepare them for a dangerous enemy that seems to predict their every move. An enemy only Cobb could have seen coming.

Special Features:

- The Inception of Inception - Christopher Nolan shapes his unusual concepts for 'Inception'
- The Japanese Castle: The Dream is Collapsing - Creating and destroying the castle set
- Constructing Paradoxical Architecture - Designing the staircase to nowhere
- The Freight Train - Constructing the street-faring freight train

RRP $39.95
Bluray RRP: $49.95

Dom Cobb
A single idea from the human mind can build cities. An idea can transform the world and rewrite all the rules.

The earliest filming was done in Tokyo, where Saito makes his unusual business proposition to Cobb and Arthur, setting the story in motion. Opening on a skyscraper heliport, the scene transitions to aerial shots from Saito's helicopter. Although that seemed fairly straightforward, Chris Brigham contends, "It was actually somewhat complicated because Tokyo has very strict rules about where and how high helicopters can go. But it helped that we had a lot of cooperation from the local officials, who were terrific."

"Christopher Nolan has wanted to film in Tokyo for a long time so we appreciated the opportunity," says Thomas. "We love the city; it's such a sprawling, vibrant place and Christopher Nolan really wanted to capture that on film."

Production then moved to one of Christopher Nolan's favorite bases of operation: Cardington, a converted airship hangar, north of London. There, the mammoth stage could accommodate the sizeable yet intricate sets that would test everyone's perception of up, down and sideways.

One of the most complicated sets was a long hotel corridor that was able to rotate a full 360 degrees to create the effect of zero gravity. Designing and building it required a partnership between production designer Guy Hendrix Dyas, special effects supervisor Chris Corbould, and cinematographer Wally Pfister.

The filmmakers originally envisioned the hallway at 40-feet long, but as the plan of action grew, so did the set's length, ending up at 100 feet. The corridor was suspended along eight massive concentric rings that were spaced equidistantly outside its walls and powered by two giant electric motors. "I've built revolving sets before," Chris Corbould offers, "but nothing as big or as fast." Once the set was up and running-or rather turning-it could spin up to eight revolutions per minute.

Chris Corbould also worked closely with Pfister to determine how to place cameras in the revolving set. "I prefer handheld cameras, but it turns out I couldn't hold the camera while rolling upside down," Wally Pfister deadpans. "So Chris Corbould and Bob Hall, from my department, devised a way to mount a remote control camera on a plate that ran on a track underneath the floor."

Since the entire length and breadth of the corridor were often going to be in camera range, Wally Pfister could not have traditional movie lights hanging from the ceiling. Instead, he says, "We came up with a practical lighting scheme using sconces and pendant lights that were on dimmers, which gave me a lot of flexibility."

Apart from the corridor, there was also a revolving hotel bedroom set, which had its own challenges. Chris Corbould explains, "The room set was smaller lengthwise, but there were only two rings, so there was a lot more weight on each ring."

In designing the inside of the hotel sets, Guy Hendrix Dyas and his department had to bear in mind that there would be actors and stunt people working along every surface. "It became very apparent to me that if we were going to be bouncing people around the set, it needed to be made of soft materials," Guy Hendrix Dyas says. "Fortunately, there are contemporary hotels that use leather and fabric to dress the walls, so we incorporated those soft finishes with padding underneath. We also had to make sure that objects like door handles and light fixtures would break on impact so no one would be hurt."

That was good news to Joseph Gordon-Levitt and members of the stunt team, who spent a good deal of time negotiating the dizzying set for a major action sequence. Prior to filming those scenes, Joseph Gordon-Levitt spent weeks in training and rehearsing the action with stunt coordinator Tom Struthers and his team. Tom Struthers says, "Normally, we would have to use a double for this kind of work, because when a set is revolving like that it can throw you around like a washing machine and be pretty disorienting. But Joseph Gordon-Levitt was strong and flexible, and we trained him to develop his upper body and core muscles. He worked really hard and did exceptionally well."

"I definitely got in better physical shape than I've ever been in my life," Joseph Gordon- Levitt states. "I had to be fit enough to pull it off, and I also had to learn to keep my balance and carry out a fight scene while jumping from surface to surface. In order to get it done, I couldn't think of the floor being the floor and the ceiling being the ceiling. I had to think of it like, 'This is the ground. Okay, now this is the ground. And now, this is the ground.' It was just that the 'ground' was always moving under me. That was the mind game I had to play to make it work. That was also the most fun because no one else was controlling me; it was up to me to keep my balance. But the wires were a different story," he adds, referring to other gravity-defying shots.

There were actually two versions of the corridor set erected at Cardington: one that rotated; and a duplicate hallway that was built vertically, so that its length became its height, so to speak. Joseph Gordon-Levitt had to wear a harness and wire for the scenes done in the vertical corridor, as well as in the hotel room set where he had to maneuver in mid-air. "Gravity and I went head-to-head a lot in this movie," the actor kids. "But I loved it. I got to fly, which-I don't think I'm alone in saying-has always been a dream of mine."

Christopher Nolan states, "I was delighted that Joseph Gordon-Levitt wanted to do it all on his own, once it became evident that his skill was such that he could do it safely. It was a huge advantage in fusing the action with the character because with every punch, every kick, every bit of action, it's all Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Arthur."

"I think a big part of why Christopher Nolan is so successful is that he strikes a really encouraging balance between having everything thought out and being open to spontaneity," Joseph Gordon-Levitt remarks. "I saw it every day when, in the midst of these gargantuan technical feats, he made sure to leave space for the actors to be creative and prioritise their performances."

Simulating zero gravity also influenced the work of costume designer Jeffrey Kurland and his department. Jeffrey Kurland notes, "The clothes in those scenes could not be hanging down because, without gravity, they would be floating. We had to do things like wire shoelaces to make sure they were standing straight out and tack down the men's ties so they didn't flop around at random."

Like the vertical corridor, the set for the hotel's elevator shaft also defied convention. Utilising Cardington's existing infrastructure, the crew built the elevator chute horizontally along one uninterrupted wall of the hangar. Wally Pfister then oriented the camera so the elevator looks like it is moving up and down. To complete the illusion, the elevator cables had to be kept taut with absolutely no slack.

Putting everyone even more off-kilter, Chris Corbould and Guy Hendrix Dyas masterminded a hotel bar set on a gigantic gimbal that enabled the entire room to tilt and then slowly right itself. Chris Corbould says, "I've done many gimbal sets where you see everything shaking and it's mayhem. This was quite different because as the whole rig was tilting, all you're seeing are the angle of the drinks and the hanging lamps moving in unison. It really achieved the surreal effect Christopher Nolan was looking for."

Guy Hendrix Dyas adds, "It was quite a large structure to tilt fully. In simple terms, it was basically a seesaw controlled by two pistons that could be raised and lowered to get the platform to slant. I believe the entire set tilted to approximately 20 degrees, which doesn't sound like much…until you try to stand on it."

Leonardo DiCaprio attests, "In the scene, Cillian Murphy and I had to carry on an intense conversation while the entire set was tilting. We had to hold on so we didn't slide off, but we couldn't react to it in the way you normally would; we just had to focus. It really does something to your perspective."

In addition to filming at Cardington, the company also used several locations in and around London, including: the Flaxman Gallery at the University College London, where Miles introduces Cobb to Ariadne; the Victorian-era Farmiloe Building, where they created Yusuf's pharmacy; and the modern steel and glass lobby of a former gaming company, where Arthur demonstrates the paradox of the Penrose steps to Ariadne. Dyas says, "We designed the staircase in the same style as the existing stairs in the facility, so it looks as if it was part of the background."

Leaving England, the production relocated to France, where the scenes included a pivotal conversation between Cobb and Ariadne at a Paris bistro. The spot was actually a small bakery, which Guy Hendrix Dyas and the art department turned into a quaint sidewalk café. At a specific moment the entire area literally blows apart. Filming the explosion involved the close collaboration of Chris Corbould, Wally Pfister and Paul Franklin.

One obstacle was that the local authorities in Paris do not allow the use of actual explosives, no matter how controlled. Instead, Corbould's department used highpressure nitrogen to create the effect of a series of blasts that blow up the surrounding shops and stands and, finally, the café itself.

Corbould says, "We knew Leonardo DiCaprico and Ellen Page were going to be in the middle of the explosions, so we made everything out of very lightweight materials. Still, we did weeks of testing before I felt totally comfortable with it. And on the day we shot the scene, it was like the two of them were in their own safety zone; even the paper cup on their table didn't move. It was a great shot."

To ensure that they got the shot, Wally Pfister's team employed six cameras to capture the sequence from different angles. They also filmed it at the highest possible frame rate because, the cinematographer explains, "Christopher Nolan wanted the explosions at the most extreme slow motion we could get, given the outdoor lighting-about 1,000 frames per second, more than 40 times the normal speed of 24 frames per second. In general, Christopher Nolan has never been a fan of slow motion, but there are scenes in this film that demanded it."

The super slow motion made the debris appear to momentarily hang in mid-air. Paul Franklin's visual effects department then augmented the sequence. "We painstakingly added more destruction and flying debris-in particular the bits of masonry, glass, and other objects that would have made it too dangerous for the people in and around the scene at the Paris location," Paul Franklin details.

Visual effects were also integral to completing other critical sequences where Ariadne begins to discover the infinite possibilities of building the world of the dream, including a scene on the banks of the River Seine where Ariadne recreates the landmark bridge called Pont du Bir-Hakeim.

By far, the most exotic milieu for the "Inception" cast and crew was Tangiers, Morocco. The coastal city doubled for Mombassa, where Cobb tracks down the best forger in the business, Eames, who, in turn, introduces Cobb to the pioneering chemist named Yusuf.
The "Inception" cast and crew arrived in Tangiers in early August, when the first thing that confronted them was the unrelenting summer heat. Nevertheless, Chris Brigham comments, "The great thing about Morocco is that there have been a number of big films shot there, and they have a talented local crew. Any time you are on location where they have experience with large productions and the people are comfortable having filming going on around them, it's a big advantage."

"Morocco is very inspiring from a visual standpoint," adds Wally Pfister. "The architecture is so completely different, with wonderful streets and corridors that gave us a fantastic canvas to play with. It really is a feast for the eyes."

Christopher Nolan says he has reason to trust the cinematographer's instincts. "I've worked with Wally Pfister on a number of films now, and he has an extraordinary eye. He is also always motivated by the concerns of the story and not just the look of the film. That makes him a tremendous creative ally in determining how we progress from one shot to the next to advance the audiences' immersion in the world of the film."

One progression-a pulse-pounding foot chase-was shot along the narrow streets and alleyways of Tangiers' historic Grand Souk. Jordan Goldberg relates, "Cobb is trying to get away from people who are trying to catch or maybe kill him. It was probably a hundred degrees that day and, take after take, Leonardo DiCaprico was running full tilt. He committed himself completely and made it feel incredibly real."

To capture the pursuit, Wally Pfister says that he and Christopher Nolan engaged in what he calls "a kind of guerilla filmmaking. Christopher Nolan loves that style of shooting and so do I. There are certain scenes where it applies more than others, and the chase was definitely one, so we used a combination of methods: we jumped on the back of an ATV with a handheld camera and flew through the streets with Leonardo DiCaprico running behind the vehicle; we did a bit of Steadicam work; we had wide overhead shots; and I did some shooting on foot, running backwards with a camera on my shoulder trying to keep everything in frame."

Among the other scenes filmed in Morocco was a riot that was shot in the middle of the main market of Tangiers. The uprising was staged in three sections, with a mix of stunt people, members of Chris Corbould's effects unit, and many local extras. "They pretty much wrecked everything in sight, but it was all done safely and it looked perfect," Tom Struthers says.

Los Angeles
Crossing the Atlantic, filming on "Inception" proceeded in the Los Angeles area, where some sets were constructed on a Warner Bros. soundstage, including the interior rooms of Saito's Japanese-style castle. Perhaps the most striking set was the magnificent dining room with its golden-hued, patterned walls and its ceiling covered in dozens of lamps. Guy Hendrix Dyas notes, "The walls of the dining room are based on a theme of pines and hawks, which was inspired by the Nijo Castle, built around 1603.

But the sets were not intended to be any kind of historical reproduction; they also include other types of Japanese architecture, as well as Western influences. They are an amalgamation of different styles to give more of a general sense of Japanese culture rather than anything specific."

Another design element that was influenced by Japanese culture is the tuxedo Jeffrey Kurland created for Saito. Ken Watanabe says, "With the tuxedo, Jeffrey Kurland wanted to evoke the feeling of a Japanese kimono, so he combined Eastern and Western fashion in a very interesting way. All of the suits he made for me had a very beautiful silhouette."

Emma Thomas states, "Jeffrey Kurland did an amazing job with the costumes on this film. "Nothing came from the store; every item of clothing was designed as an extension of the particular character who wore it-from Arthur's conservative, tailored suits and dress shoes to Eames' more flashy wardrobe. I especially loved what Jeffrey Kurland did with Mal's costumes, like the gorgeous, flowing gown we first see her in. She is the femme fatale and her wardrobe reflects that."

The Japanese castle sets also included a dramatic two-level great room with a beamed ceiling, large picture windows, and solid wood staircases going up to the overlooking landings.

Chris Corbould reflects, "It was a beautiful set. You know, I often feel sorry for production designers because they build these really fantastic sets…and, nine times out of ten, we end up destroying them," he grins.

"That was our running joke," Guy Hendrix Dyas replies. "My people go to great lengths to meticulously build these beautiful set pieces and then Chris comes in and blows everything up. He did it to us again in Calgary…but he does it so well, how can I complain?"

True to form, Chris Corbould's team, including special effects coordinator Scott Fisher, rigged the castle set to collapse, culminating in torrents of water smashing through the picture windows. To flood the set, they used pressurised water jets, 12 on each side. Chris Corbould explains, "We triggered them sequentially so we had a progression of water coming from the back of the room to the front."

The special effects group produced another kind of downpour for a thrilling multivehicle car chase staged on the streets of downtown Los Angeles. To generate the drenching rain, the team rigged spray heads from the tops of the surrounding buildings. "It was definitely more than a drizzle," Chris Corbould says. "Everybody on the set was getting soaked all day long, including Christopher Nolan, who was right there in the middle of it. He set the example for the whole crew."

Emma Thomas attests, "Christopher Nolan's philosophy is that if he's asking the actors and crew to do something, he should have to do it, too."

The main problem with filming the rainstorm in Los Angeles was that it was typically sunny without a cloud in the sky, which posed certain lighting issues. "After weeks of praying for it to be overcast," Wally Pfister jokes, "I finally gave up on that and started doing my homework to figure out how to shoot around the sunlight. I had great help from my fantastic key grip, Ray Garcia, who actually plotted the course of the sun for that day and then-using cherry pickers and guys on rooftops-set up a series of black flags that acted as louvers to block out the sun as we moved. It was incredibly efficient."

The rain was not the only incongruous thing in downtown Los Angeles that day. Christopher Nolan and his crew also brought a freight train down the middle of the street. The director says, "The sequence with the train was a particular element that was important to get right because it's a surreal image, but you want it to feel real. So it was a question of balancing the peculiar nature of a train running down a city street with the reality of it smashing into cars and the like. It is the kind of grand scale physical effect that I think can take an action film to the next level and make it jaw-dropping for the audience. No matter how big the action is, it has to be based on things people can relate to. Then you just have to exaggerate it about a thousand times," he laughs.

Being miles from the nearest train tracks, it was obviously not feasible to drive an actual train down the street, so Tom Struthers came up with the idea of configuring a train engine on the chassis of a tractor trailer. However, the largest wheelbase they could find was still too short. Picture car coordinator Tyler Gaisford says, "We stretched the frame and drive train and then added a steel decking and bolstered the suspension to hold the extra weight, which ended up being about 25,000 pounds."

The train was crafted as a replica of an actual freight train. Guy Hendrix Dyas says, "Parts of our train were manufactured from fiberglass molds taken from real train parts so that everything had the correct look and texture. Then it had to be matched in terms of color and design."

Building the train was one thing, driving it was quite another. Tyler Gaisford clarifies, "Any time you have a vehicle that's 60 feet long, about 10 feet wide and 14 feet tall, you're going to have problems with handling, and the turning radius was notably absent. Also the driver had very little visibility because we built the structure around the cab, so we ended up putting little screens inside and we had cameras, front and back and on either side, which the driver could use to navigate."

That driver was Jim Wilkey, the same person who drove the truck that did the famous flip in "The Dark Knight." "He's just the best," Tom Struthers puts it simply. Another, more traditional, vehicle that becomes a centerpiece of the story is a white van that carries the main cast through some harrowing action sequences. Tyler Gaisford specifies, "There were actually 13 vans used over the course of production, and a lot of work went into modifying each one, based on how we were utilising it-whether for interior or exterior shots, underwater, or in the rollover scene."

The van used for the rollover was mounted on a rig that allowed it to rotate with the actors strapped inside. Tom Struthers reveals, "They all had five-point harnesses under their costumes, like a NASCAR driver, so it was safe and comfortable. And they were all very game: after one time around, they were all ready to go again."

Ellen Page confirms, "All the stunts I got to do on this film were an absolute blast. I love that stuff. As we were filming, I kept thinking that I couldn't wait to see it all come together because I think it's going to be really exciting, and I hope people go and enjoy the ride as much as I did."

One of the vans was also specially prepared to go under water. "We removed the engine, drive train, and all liquids, and then steam cleaned it inside and out to eliminate any contaminants because of environmental considerations," says Tyler Gaither. Other Los Angeles locations included a warehouse in downtown Los Angeles, which became Cobb's team's Paris workshop; the water tank at Universal Studios; the harbor in San Pedro; and an area in Palos Verdes, where they built parts of the exterior of Saito's castle.

Moving to Calgary, Canada, the final leg of principal photography took place on a mountain near Banff. The location manager had discovered a ski resort called Fortress Mountain, which had been closed down. The fact that it had accessibility but was not open to the public made it an ideal filming location.

The majestic mountains also provided a breathtaking landscape…in more ways than one. Guy Hendrix Dyas recalls, "During scouting, we sped around on snowmobiles and the air kept getting thinner and thinner. At one point, the guides told us, 'You need to be seasoned skiers or mountaineers to go further up to the higher peaks.' They didn't know it, but that was like throwing gasoline on a fire," he teases. "The moment the words left that guy's lips, I thought, 'Oh no. Why did you have to say that?' Immediately, Christopher Nolan was like Shackleton: 'Right! Off to the next peak!' It was hilarious. We went as high as we could go within the safety confines of Fortress Mountain, but it was important to Christopher Nolan because he wanted that spectacular natural backdrop."

Several months before filming on Fortress Mountain commenced, the crew began erecting an austere multi-level structure, which had the imposing appearance of an actual fortress. The frigid temperatures hampered the crew's efforts because "the moment the paint left the tin, it was already frozen solid," Guy Hendrix Dyas says. "They had to devise a kind of lean-to that allowed them to heat an area long enough to paint it. Then they kept moving it as they went."

Because of the location constraints, it was also impossible to use conventional construction vehicles. Without access to heavy machinery, the crew had to build the entire structure almost entirely by hand. Additionally, despite its outward appearance, there was absolutely no concrete used to make the fortress. Instead, it was fabricated out of untreated spruce to ensure that there would not be any lasting impact on the environment.

Once the set was built, there was only one thing missing. Emma Thomas shares, "About a week before we were leaving for Canada to film an enormous snow sequence, there was still no snow. Christopher Nolan had come up with some contingency plans of what we might do if we didn't have proper snow, but nothing would have been as good as the real thing. Then about two days before we arrived, it started to snow. So we felt very lucky.

But be careful what you wish for because, from that moment on, it didn't stop."

In addition to the snow, high winds whipped across the terrain, sometimes causing whiteout conditions. Nevertheless, the filmmakers used the prevailing atmosphere to their advantage. Wally Pfister states, "When there were adverse conditions, the only thing to do was to embrace them. We made it part of the photography." Christopher Nolan agrees, "It was unbelievably cold and we were often shooting in a virtual blizzard, but I think what that adds to a scene is incalculable. Just being out there in the real conditions adds veracity to everything you do."

Many of the action sequences in Calgary were accomplished on skis, which meant the actors had to be able to navigate the slopes to some degree. Tom Hardy remembers, "Christopher Nolan asked me if I could ski and, for a moment, I was tempted to say yes, as any actor would in the situation: 'So, Tom Hardy, can you ride a horse? Absolutely. Can you fly a plane? Yes, certainly. Do you ski? Oh, professionally,'" he laughs. "But I didn't say that, because I knew I couldn't ski to save my life and I would be found out as soon as we hit the slopes."

Christopher Nolan confirms, "Tom Hardy never actually told me he could ski. But when I asked him if he knew how to ski, there was that very telling long pause where you realise someone's deciding whether or not to tell you if they can ski…which I took to mean no. However, he got up to Canada in advance of us and took some intensive skiing lessons. He wound up being pretty good, which was helpful on camera."

The skiers on Tom Struthers' stunt team all had to be advanced, so he assembled some of the best, including two extreme skiers. Tom Struthers says, "I had one guy, Ian McIntosh, who makes his living skiing avalanches and doing hundred-foot jumps off of glaciers. He was unbelievable."

Christopher Nolan and Wally Pfister also relied on experts to shoot the downhill and cross-country action. The cinematographer recounts, "About 85 percent of what we shot in Calgary was done with handheld cameras. I did some of it, but I am an amateur skier so it was hard for me to conceive of even getting down those hills, much less doing it with a camera in my hands. We brought in Chris Patterson, who specialises in ski photography for movies and commercials. What he was able to do holding that camera amazed Christopher Nolan and me. He delivered some spectacular footage."

There was also striking footage taken from the air, with the aid of helicopter pilot Craig Hoskins and aerial director of photography Hans Bjerno. Both previously worked on Christopher Nolan's "Insomnia," "Batman Begins" and "The Dark Knight." Wally Pfister says, "Between the wind and the snow, they braved some tough conditions and did a phenomenal job." Christopher Nolan says, "I think we experienced a number of extremes, from burning sun to heavy rain to incredible snowfalls, and that's something we were after in making this film. We took our actors to the top of mountains and under the water and all over the world, and they rose to every challenge marvelously. I am a great believer in getting out there on location and confronting an environment because it brings so much to the credibility of the action. And, at the end of the day, I think it adds something to the feeling the audience has of being taken someplace they haven't been before."

Leonardo DiCaprio relates, "For the actors, it was so intriguing that we were essentially experiencing all of this for the first time, just as the audience will be. As a group, we were on this epic journey and were in a constant state of discovery and surprise. I think that's going to be one of the most exciting things about watching this movie-realising that there are unlimited possibilities and you never truly know what could happen next."

Dreams feel real while we're in them.
It's only when we wake up that we realise something was actually strange.

After the cold of Calgary, the filmmakers welcomed the warmer clime of Los Angeles, where Nolan reunited with his longtime editor, Lee Smith.

Lee Smith notes, "Christopher Nolan enjoys the process of editing and is very decisive about what he's looking for. It also helps that he has a remarkable memory for everything he put on film, no matter how long they shot. His recall never ceases to amaze me."

"I love working with Lee Smith in the editing room," says Christopher Nolan. "He's a perfectionist- he gets excited about the finer details of putting the film together. He is also incredibly fast, which is a huge advantage to me, and he has an innate ability to look at a sequence and gauge whether it's going to work for an audience."

"There is so much raw footage on a movie like 'Inception,' I have to rely on my gut in determining what works," Lee Smith says. "My first instinct is usually the one we agree on. I find the less we analyse it, the better chance we have of getting to the heart of the story."

Collaborating with Christopher Nolan for the third time, composer Hans Zimmer used music to get to the heart of "Inception." Hans Zimmer emphasises, "My focus was constantly on the emotional world of the story because, even when all is said and done about the astounding visuals, I think that is one of the great strengths of the film." Christopher Nolan states, "I always want Hans Zimmer to be inspired by the picture, but I also like to hear where his imagination would go in interpreting the ideas of the script. Based on that, we start finding interesting points of synchronisation between the movie and the music."

Hans Zimmer says that his first conversations with the director were about the arrangements and the orchestrations. "We talked about wanting big waves of sound, which would require more brass than strings, so I put together a huge brass section. We recorded them separately because there was no way that strings would have survived the onslaught," he smiles.

One of the string instruments that Hans Zimmer did spotlight was the guitar, played by legendary musician Johnny Marr, the guitarist for the seminal band The Smiths. Hans Zimmer acknowledges, "The idea of incorporating a guitar in the score can be a little tricky because guitar and orchestra don't always gel. But I kept thinking of Johnny Marr, who has influenced a whole generation of guitarists. The great thing was that as soon as Johnny Marr played the first few notes, it was exactly how I'd imagined it…only better. And that's what you expect from a great artist."

Another great artist who is heard in "Inception" is singer Edith Piaf, whose voice "serves a function beyond the score," Hans Zimmer says. "I love that Christopher Nolan wrote Edith Piaf into the script because there is a timeless romantic quality to her voice." Christopher Nolan remarks, "One of the decisions I had to make early on was regarding our use of the Edith Piaf song. Due to the nature of its place in the story, should it be handled by the sound department or Hans Zimmer? I decided to give it to Hans Zimmer because the song was going to have to weave into the score at some point, and he is a genius.

Inception DVD Interview part 1

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