Judging by the box office success of "Mission: Impossible - Fallout," and fans' near-obsessive behavior when it comes to consuming all things about this movie, writer-director Christopher McQuarrie is scary-good at what he does.
He is a character-first, detail-oriented filmmaker -- even when it comes to putting together the opening titles to his "Mission" films. In advance of the film's release on Blu-ray this week, we talked to McQuarrie about how he and his team crafted "Fallout's" titles and the one thing about the titles for the first "Mission" movie that you probably never noticed.
Moviefone: What I love about your "Mission" movies, is that -- like the original series -- your opening titles contain little shots and snippets of the events we are about to see. Now, this may be a nerdy question, but -- how do you go about selecting the clips for those?
Christopher McQuarrie: That's a really good question. If you look at the first "Mission: Impossible" -- Brian De Palma's -- he shows you everyone of the characters that dies in the movie, in the order in which they die.
Wow. Never picked up on that.
Yeah, if you watch it you'll see there's actually a storytelling motif going through it. I only noticed it around the time I was making "Rogue" and we were rewatching it and looking through those credits.
I remember when, on "Ghost Protocol," [director] Brad Bird... he had a whole idea of shooting misdirections within his titles. Getting shots specifically for the opening titles that were slightly different -- from a different angle of a piece of action. And you learn very quickly you don't have time to get those. You're racing very quickly, always trying to beat the clock, and you run out of time. And what I did when I came to it was -- we found these guys called Filmograph -- an amazing video effects house in Los Angeles -- and they came and sent us two concepts for the titles [for "Rogue"]. And I liked both concepts so much, I said: "You know what? We're gonna use both concepts. One at the beginning, and one at the end." And they absolutely nailed it. They did it so well, they got two jobs out of it. And out of that, that's where we developed the "curtain call." The idea of seeing the characters come back at the end of the movie. And that was something unique to "Rogue" and then Fallout. In fact, it's the only connection -- stylistically -- that "Fallout" has in common with "Rogue."
So what we do -- [Editor] Eddie Hamilton and I -- we say to Filmograph: "You tell the story back to us [in the opening titles]." And we give them the whole movie. And they take little clips and they throw things at us and we throw things back at them. And we more or less feel our way through it by the energy the images are giving off. And how they are juxtaposed. And we like to do at least one giveaway in the credits. We like to do one thing where we are tipping our hand a bit. If you're paying attention, there's a little bit of a spoiler in there.
You can check for that spoiler on the "Fallout" Blu-ray, which is available now.