Monday, April 24, 2006

Great Interview with Andy Garcia

MoviesOnline has posted a great interview with Andy Garcia about The Lost City. An excerpt that explains just some of the obstacles that Mr. Garcia had to overcome to make this movie is below:

Q. This was like a wait and hurry up project because it took you so long to be able to get the money and make it and all of a sudden, bam, you gotta go, you got 35 days to shoot it. What was that like for you?

A. Well, we prepped it in 6 weeks, you know, once we had the decision that we got the banking from my partners, Tom Gores and Johnny Lopez. And they said, ‘No, we’re going to make this movie. We’re good, and this is the budget. It’s $9.5 million.’ And that’s all in with the bank loan, the interest and everything. The $9.5 million… I don’t have $9.5 million to work with. I said, ‘OK. But if we’re going to do it, we’ve got to shoot no later than June 1st because if we wait any longer, the hurricane season really kicks in and it will be raining every day, and I wouldn’t put you through that financial risk. You know, we’ve got to get in there before…you know, it’s going to be in the Caribbean.’ So we made a commitment to hit those dates. Bill Murray jumped in. Dustin Hoffman always told me, ‘If I’m available, I’ll do the movie.’ Figuring I’ll never be available. (laughter) So I said, ‘You’re available?’ And he goes, ‘Yes, I’m available, but you’ll have to come to my daughter’s wedding.’ So we went to the wedding and then we flew together to the Dominican Republic. But, so, they jumped on it, and obviously, the rest of the cast … It was very… We’ve been waiting sixteen years to make the movie so we had six weeks to prep the film, and we then didn’t get bonded until the last two weeks before we started. The movie can’t get financed without the bond because the bank loan won’t kick in and all that stuff. So Mr. Gores was sending checks, you know, personal checks every week to meet the payroll knowing that, you know, waiting for the bonds.

So this is how… You know, six weeks to prep a movie is like… to prep even a contemporary movie… is very difficult. Let alone a period piece in the Dominican Republic with cars that don’t have engines in them. (laughter) So you know, we had …we were so blessed. I can’t tell you how lucky…how all the stars lined up for us. First of all, it never rained. It rained only one afternoon. We lost the scene that we shot the next day so I picked it up. Then we had…most of the cars that we found, they weren’t operable. They had told us, ‘There’s plenty of old jeeps in the military’ and stuff like that. But we went there, and they hadn’t been turned on for 30 years, you know. They’re all rusted, and I’m going ‘Oh, my God.’ We got one jeep in the movie that worked really well so that’s the jeep you see in the entire movie. (laughter) And we had Batista’s car that worked which was a beautiful white caddy, and two black cars to follow it. And my car… we found the red car. And just about every other car in the movie was pushed into place. And I don’t think, if you watch the movie, that you see that. These are just some of the logistical things that you have to deal with, and I knew always that it was going to be difficult and very problematic, you know, trying to shoot this movie in 35 days. And no matter how welcoming the Dominicans were and all that, we were still in a country that doesn’t have the…we don’t have the accessibility to as many cars as we would have here and things like that. There were going to be snags, but as I said to Frank Mancuso, I couldn’t have made this movie without his organization, without him taking care of my back. I said, ‘I want to be in the position to have those problems, because if not, I’m just still talking about the movie.’ I said, ‘We’ll solve the problems, but I just want to be there. Throw me some problems, will you?’
Remember The Lost City opens on this Friday April 28th.

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