Occam’s Razor: An Interview with the Author
A science fiction adventure novel
Michael James Martineau, author of “Let’s Get Rowdy!” and “SancZOOary”
Located deep within the mysterious Bermuda Triangle and Atlantis
areas of Andros Island in the Bahamas, this story explores
the possibility that Atlantis once existed, swirled within a layer
clairvoyance, psychic connections, and water-breathing visitors
from another world, all of which was put into a breathless,
Search the high seas to find the answers to this eternal question …
The Scince the Occam movie Razor is based on the novel, the publisher at the time, IBC (Internet Book Company) was able to get an exclusive interview with Michael about what it took to make a movie of this magnitude.
IBC. You told us that almost half of the Occam’s Razor novel contains material that is not in the film version. Knowing how intense and exciting the book is, you were able to maintain the same level of intensity in the onscreen version if it’s only half the story.
MJM. Yes, because the movie is not really half the story. Tea
IBC. Was it difficult to write a script and a book that explores the mysteries of the open sea?
MJM. No, because I love the ocean and I am not afraid of it. Also, I have been a diver for years, and much of my free time is spent exalting the West Indies, the Bahamas, and the US Virgin Islands, where I lived for a time, once I left the world of racing. show as an agent for rock stars around the world. Incorporating the diving and underwater exploration sequences into the film was not difficult once I had the premise of the story and where it would go locked in my mind.
IBC. After reading Occam’s Razor, it’s hard to imagine making a movie with so much action on, in, and under water. Will most of the water action be done with special computer effects?
MJM. This is an interesting point that reminds me of a production meeting we had in the early planning stages of this movie. With a water movie involving the amount of stunts (both land and water), this one has our director of choice has always been Al Giddings. Al’s reputation as a cinematographer, producer / underwater director has earned him worldwide recognition. His film credits include: the James Bond films on water, The Deep, The Abyss and the unchained monster involved in the making of “Titanic.” As a filmmaker with his extraordinary abilities, Al firmly believes that if you can use real sights and actions, then don’t go to the computer. Computer generated images are an amazing resource to use as a back-up position when it comes to capturing impossible shots, but they shouldn’t be used as a general rule of thumb, because ‘real’ on screen is always better than ‘illusion’ if it can be done. . With this philosophy in mind, we decided that two directors would be used to make this film: a general director who would be responsible for the final cut, but would focus on all water activities, and a second director who would be solely responsible for the land portions of the filming. After making this decision, we spoke with Steven Lisberger, who had had some experience working with water, but had also done the computer classic “Tron” with Jeff Bridges.
When Lisberger and Giddings got together it was like mixing oil and water. You can’t imagine what it was like for Lisberger to tell the world’s greatest ocean filmmaker that he wanted to do the most great scenes with marine mammals inside computers without even getting close to a drop of water. It was a scathing creative clash that ended with Lisberger heading to the airport and Giddings bringing out the technology he wanted to use in this film that no one had seen before.
IBC. Well knowing that special effects will be kept to a minimum with this movie, how do you pretend to have whales, dolphins, sharks, turtles, and tons of other fish around all the divers when you’re shooting?
MJM. I know it sounds difficult but it is not. In meetings with Giddings he suggested that we find a small cove in the Bahamas and capture it. By that I mean that we would put a transparent fishing net as a monofilment that is used on the fishing line, so that both the fish and the camera lenses cannot see. Then once we’re done, we literally fill the cove with tons of fish and marine mammals, include the crew, the actors, and the cameras, and shoot.
IBC. You make it look easy. Isn’t it dangerous to work in deep water?
MJM. Yes. It is totally incorrect to say that there is no danger of making a movie underwater. However, if certain rules are followed, the ‘hazard factor’ can be reduced to a viable minimum. For example, if you dive in less than 10 meters or 30 feet of water, you do not accumulate what many call bottom time, which means that the risk of expansion of the gases that accumulate in the bloodstream is quite non-existent. When Al Giddings filmed “The Abyss” with James Cameron, they worked in 10 meters of water most of the time and Al said there were days when they were underwater for almost 8 hours straight. The obvious question that comes to mind next is how can you make 30 feet of water look like hundreds of feet? Simply put, the answer involves being careful where the camera is pointing. Under-exposed film makes daylight appear various degrees of darkness, etc.
IBC. There are many dolphins in this story. How will you get them to do things in front of the camera?
MJM. Believe it or not, with a little work, most dolphins are easy to work with. Flipper and “The Day of the Dolphin” were not imaginary stories with rubber dolphins. For example, near our underground site in the Bahamas there is a place called The Underwater Explorers Club where people can interact and swim with live dolphins in shallow water. In the movies “Zeus and Roxanne” and the new “Flipper” some of these mammals were used. Sometimes you can draw a simple pivot on a board with a grease pen, show it to the dolphin and with a little luck and patience they will swim up to the cameras and do the trick. Where there is a trick too difficult for the trainers to teach the dolphins, we bring robotics.
MJM. Yes, as in mechanical dolphins exactly the size, shape and color, with the same body language as the real ones. Do you remember “Splash?” In that movie, Oscar-winner Don Pennington used 6-foot-long robotic dolphins to do the swimming and underwater movements, radio-controlled from the surface with the same type of joysticks that people use in video games. Remember the dolphins celebrating mother shiup’s liftoff at the end of “Cocoon”? That was Pennington using free-swimming radio-controlled baby dolphins.
IBC Are underwater sets difficult to build?
MJM Not at all. Most of them involve basic wire and wood frames with quick-drying foam sprayed on the surfaces, which are then stained with non-toxic paints, sagged, and weighed to keep them from floating. Most of the movies that involve caves, tunnels, or large rock surfaces are casts sprayed with foam. If you think about how long it would take location scouts and production managers to find real caves that fit the scripts, it gets funny.
Need to mention barge, underwater lights, soundtrack interaction.