It was a crazy scene at the Spike TV Scream Awards red carpet last night – and cast and crew from the upcoming Saw 3-D showed up in droves. Outside of questions about the new format, the main thing on my mind was whether or not this would truly be the last film in the series. Like, what if it becomes the highest-grossing ‘Saw’ sequel yet? Huh? How ’bout that, Lionsgate? Of course, everyone I spoke with on the red carpet last night told me that yes, this will indeed be the final film in the franchise. Like, for seriously.“They were very careful about calibrating how they were gonna announce that, so they’ve like underlined it with, ‘The final chapter. Yep, this is it. Seriously. Not kidding.’“, said co-writer Marcus Dunstan, who was penned the last four films with his partner Patrick Melton. “Will we ever hear from the man John Kramer again? I’m sure. These things get re-booted and all that jazz, [but] this is the end of this storyline.”
Betsy Russell was also there, flouting some major cleavage and clearly fresh off a date with her little friend Mystic Tan.
“[It will] tie up a lot of loose ends, and it’s gonna be taking it to the next level, which is always great“, she told me. “I’ve been told this is definitely the last one. It’s over and done for this ‘Saw’ franchise.”
By the way, she’s also apparently been living under a rock for the last couple of years (or maybe all the chemicals from those spray-tanning sessions have started seeping into her brain) or otherwise she’d know that Saw 3-D is in fact not, in her words, “the first movie ever to be shot in 3-D…it was history-making.” Umm…hmm.
Russell’s co-star Tanedra Howard, the Scream Queens winner who’s returning as Simone for her second film, told me she’ll be wearing a prosthetic arm in this one (due to her character’s unfortunate fate in the first movie) and that we’ll see more traps than any other ‘Saw’ movie that’s come before to make full use of the film’s 3-D technology.
“I can say that this ‘Saw’ has a lot of traps. Eleven, to be exact“, she said. “Most of them have maybe four to seven, this has eleven traps. Best 3-D technology I’ve ever seen.” And yes: “It will definitely end. There will be no more questions. Everything will come full circle. People will leave full, they won’t be upset. It won’t be like ‘Lost’ or ‘The Sopranos’ or anything like that.”
Ouch! That’s gotta hurt, Damon Lindelof!
Chimed in series star Costas Mandylor on the series’ supposed finality: “I have been told [it's the last one], yes. Kinda bittersweet, you know? But as long as the fans are happy, that’s the main thing.”
As for shooting in 3-D for the first time, I can’t tell you how gratifying it was to hear people involved in the film actually admitting to the arduousness of the process instead of sugarcoating it. Yes, friends, 3-D is indeed a fucking bitch to shoot. Said star Sean Patrick Flannery, coming off his first outing in the series:
“It was a little bit taxing. Every time the camera moved, they had to recalibrate it, which took 20 minutes on the lens alone. So after every shot, I had an hour downtime. Which kinda gives you the feeling, the pace that you’re doing, like a $100 million Schwarzenegger movie. Because I literally shot a scene a day. I’ve never done anything like that, you know? Where you go and you shoot one angle, and then you [have downtime] for an hour and a half. And then [you do] another angle.”
“It was a little bit harder, because of the different cameras that they use“, said Tanedra. “[It wasn't] the regular cameras they were using. So…they keep re-shooting, and re-shooting, and re-shooting. It’s kinda like, ‘oh my god, do you have it already?’ But when you see it back, it’s so worth it.” Let’s hope so.
We should all be grateful, of course, given that most of the recent films released in the format have suffered from the crappy post-conversion process. I asked super-friendly director Kevin Greutert about his thoughts on these piss-poor 3-D bastardizations.
“I agree that 3-D post-conversion from a 2-D film is not as satisfying“, he stated frankly. “And that’s kind of an understatement. We had to convert some footage from earlier ‘Saw’ films to incorporate them into flashbacks in this film. And it doesn’t feel as rich. And in some cases, it actually gives you kind of a headache. So I’m a big advocate of actually shooting in 3-D. It’s not that hard, and it’s not that much more expensive. I think the return makes it well worth it.”
If you’ll just allow me to take a quote “out of context” for a second (i.e. completely twist Greutert’s words around altogether): ‘Saw 3-D will give you a headache.’ Print it! Hey, I don’t say these things, I just write what I hear.
So, Kevin, will all our questions be answered in this bitch?
“Not only will all your questions about ‘Saw’ be answered, but I think everyone’s lives will be enriched just on a general level of meaning.”
But of course.