On August 3rd, BrainLazy took a trip over to the Apple Store in SoHo to attend a Q&A with the stars and creators of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. The whole staff is impatiently awaiting this upcoming Super Hero\Video Game\Romantic Comedy hybrid, so any chance to get a taste to hold us over was too good to pass up. You’ll be able to watch the whole thing via the “Meet the Filmmaker” podcast soon, but if soon isn’t soon enough, then read on for our take on the event.
The event started with the ceremonial handing out of the swag. There was actually some good stuff to be had, if you were lucky or early enough to be in the seats. They tossed out things like vinyl copies of the excellent soundtrack (more on that later) along with the usual hats and shirts. Other things, including a mysterious white packet, made the rounds in the front row, but those of us suckers in standing room only ended up with nifty little lanyards with codes for ringtones.
The guests of honor took the stage: Edgar Wright, Michael Cera, Jason Schwartzman, and Anna Kendrick. For those of you who have never seen Michael Cera in person, the man knows how to work the crowd, instantly ingratiating himself to the Apple crowd by bravely declaring “Fuck PCs!” Things got ugly when he tried the same stunt with Harry Potter. So let that be a lesson to you: Harry Potter fans are in full force in SoHo.
We had two main lessons from the event. The first was that music is a big focus in this movie. There are several fictional bands, and actual artists were tapped to provide them with a signature sound. The music of “Sex Bob-omb” in the film, for example, is actually original compositions by Beck. Though it should be clear just from a glimpse at the trailer, there is heavy video game influence in this film, and this is reflected in the music as well. Many iconic songs and sound effects make their way into the movie, including one track from the Legend of Zelda that Edgar Wright had to get sign-off from the all mighty Miyamoto himself to use. Music permeates everything in Scott Pilgrim. Fights happen during musical numbers, fights BECOME musical numbers, and some fights ARE musical numbers.
As that last sentence would indicate, the second focus of the film is the fight scenes. With a name like “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” and a plot that involves defeating seven evil exes, one would hope there would be some fisticuffs. In this case, the movie makes use of “Hong Kong” style fight scenes, put together with the help of actual members of Jackie Chan’s fight team. This means tightly choreographed, lightning fast combat that has as much in common with dance as it does with busting faces. The scenes were constructed in a unique way, shooting tiny sections of the fight repeatedly until they were perfect, then pasting them together into the final sequence. Video was taken of the full routine as performed by stuntmen, then each successful segment produced by the actors was inserted into the footage as soon as it was finished, providing near real time feedback on their performance.
We got to see some scenes from the movie, including one spectacular fight scene that was worth making the trek over to SoHo all by itself, before the night ended with some unintentional hilarity. The sound system failed, coinciding almost perfectly with the end of the aforementioned action sequence, leaving only Jason Schwartzman’s mic working. As a result, the remainder of the Q&A involved the passing of the one good mic between the four of them. I guess everything in the Apple Store has reception issues. (BUUUUUUUUUURN) Technical difficulties aside, the event managed to rev my already rampant desire to see this film into near mania. I simply must find a way to weasel BrainLazy into press screenings in the future…