Jerry Bruckheimer Talks Sorcerer’s Apprentice

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is just around the corner in preparation of its release, here are few Question and Answer with Jerry Bruckheimer .

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice opens in theaters and IMAX July 14, 2010.

Q: What inspired you to do this project? Why make this type of film now?
A: I love contemporary stories that have a magical element. “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” takes the traditional film about magic further in that it starts in the past and comes full circle to modern times.

Q: Describe the tricky relationship between Balthazar Blake and Dave Stutler.
A: Balthazar has been searching through the centuries to find his apprentice. When he finally finds Dave he is frustrated because Dave is so reluctant. Dave wants to be a scientist, not a sorcerer. All he wants to do is work in his lab and conduct experiments. He doesn’t want Balthazar in his life chasing him around telling him that he is the true descendant of Merlin. So through the course of the movie you see the relationship build between the two of them. Balthazar gives Dave the confidence that he needs to not only be a great sorcerer, but a great man.

Q: What can audiences expect from this film?
A: I think this film is like the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies in that there’s something for the whole family. You can take your grandmother or your 6-year-old brother to see it and both will enjoy it. It has so much humor and action. It is a great story with great actors. When you have such wonderful actors like Nicolas Cage, Jay Baruchel, Alfred Molina, Toby Kebbell and Monica Bellucci you just love watching them on the screen because you never know what they’re going to pull off. They are all very exciting and unpredictable.

Q: What makes Nic Cage such a widely acclaimed and in demand actor?
A: Nic Cage is one of our greatest actors and he has an Academy Award® to prove it. Let’s face it. He is so versatile and he has done some really interesting work. He is an artist who can switch back and forth from doing the small independent pictures to the very commercial work that reaches a much broader audience. He does both so well because he loves what he does. I have been lucky enough to work with him seven times. We have a great camaraderie together. He is a generous and brilliant man.

Q: After producing a string of blockbuster films starring Nicolas Cage, what would you say you admire the most about this renowned actor?
A: I admire his professionalism. He is always prepared and he is always ready. He has a very inquisitive mind and he is so well-read. He studies everything in real depth and he has got such an amazing breathe of knowledge. He doesn’t just come to the set and say that this doesn’t work. What he’ll do is say I am not comfortable with this, but how about I do it this way? As a filmmaker you really respect that commitment.

Q: Why is Jay Baruchel the right guy to play the pivotal role of the reluctant apprentice?
A: I have always been a fan of Jay Baruchel. We cast him in a television show many years ago. Jay is not only a brilliant actor, but he is also a wonderful comedian. He has a wonderful sense of humor and a quirky side to him that I think audiences will love.

Q: Describe working with the young Australian actress Teresa Palmer.
A: Teresa Palmer is just a beautiful young lady and a wonderful actress. We were very fortunate to put her in this film. It is exciting to showcase a young actress’s talents in a film with such a wonderful cast that includes Nicolas Cage, Jay Baruchel and Alfred Molina.

Q: Describe why Alfred Molina was selected to portray the villain, Maxim Horvath.
A: Alfred has a great comedic touch. He is also very sly and interesting to watch. You never know what he is going to do. He always comes up with these wonderful adlib lines that are humorous, yet scary. What is great about Alfred is that he can scare you and make you smile at the same time.

Q: After producing your third film with director Jon Turteltaub, what would you say is the secret to your successful relationship?
A: Jon is a wonderful craftsman and a great storyteller. He knows how to develop characters and that is what you want from a director. He is a consummate filmmaker and we have been very lucky to work with him in the past on the very successful ‘National Treasure’ films.

Q: Can you give a sneak peak at some of the mind-blowing special effects in this film?
A: We have this fantastic parade in Chinatown, where the dragon comes alive. We have this amazing car chase through Times Square where the sorcerers use their magic to morph their cars from one kind to another, such as transforming a 1935 Rolls-Royce Phantom into a Ferrari. In another scene, Balthazar uses his magic to make the eagle gargoyle on the Chrysler Building fly. In another, the famous Charging Bull sculpture in Bowling Green comes to life. The special effects team on this film is the best in the business. John Nelson is our visual effects supervisor. He won an Academy Award® for his work on “Gladiator.” He can bring things alive that normally don’t look like anything, but when John touches them they become magical. John Frazier is the special effects coordinator on this film. John worked with us on “Pearl Harbor,” “Armageddon” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.” He is the master of his craft and won an Academy Award for “Spider-Man 2.” If you can imagine it, John can figure out a way to do it.

Q: Would you describe yourself as an apprentice or a sorcerer?
A: I never feel like a sorcerer. I am still an apprentice. I am still trying to learn what I am doing here. If I don’t get up and learn something every day, then it is not really a successful day. I learn from the great directors, writers and actors that I work with everyday. You get a different perspective from each individual and that is wonderful. I make it a point to surround myself with talented people. The magic comes from all these people. I just throw them all together.

Q: Take us through the process of being a producer on a major motion picture?
A: The set is really run by the director. As a producer you are there to facilitate what the director, the actors and the crew need. You keep an eye on the overall picture. A producer makes sure that the ship is sailing the same course that we originally set out to sail. Sometimes you get waylaid a little bit, but in general the producer’s job is to just try to keep it straight.

Q: You are an award-winning producer with an illustrious career in the entertainment industry, but despite your success do you still get nervous?
A: I’m always nervous. I always want it to be better. I am especially nervous when a picture opens because I never really know how audiences will react. The audience knows – I don’t know. My greatest reward is watching an audience enjoy what we do—seeing the look on their faces when it really works. That’s the exciting thing, because then you know you have done your job.

Q: What is the key to good storytelling?
A: Clarity is the key to good storytelling. Clarity is the magic. I think the worst thing that can happen in a movie is when you lean to your mate and you say, “What just happened?” At that point you are gone. You are lost. The clearer you can make your story, the more effective you will be.

Q: What actor have you not had the chance to work with yet?
A: I can’t begin to name all the fantastic actors that I have not worked with yet. There are too many to count. Hopefully we will develop material they will want to do. For example, Jake Gyllenhaal is somebody I wanted to work with for a long time and I finally got the chance to work with him on “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time,” which came out at the end of May.

Q: Do you believe in magic?
A: I do believe in magic. I think what we do is magic. We take ideas from one simple line on paper and turn them into films that travel around the world and entertain people. That is magic to me.

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