“Make It Cool Or I’ll Kill You” — The Apocalyptic Cars of MAD MAX: FURY ROAD

“In the MAD MAX world they worship machinery,” says Director/Screenwriter/Producer George Miller in this featurette about the insane vehicles in MAD MAX: FURY ROAD. To deliver these incredible machines, Miller turned to production designer Colin Gibson, saying “Make it cool or I’ll kill you.”1250584678943245483Gibson treated the assignment as if he were casting actors, looking for individuality and distinctive traits. “We wanted to find things that were iconic,” Gibson tells Jalopnik. “Cars that had a particular resonance in Australia, and then design them as the boys would’ve.” 1250584678635445931The cars needed to look right, but they also had to perform. “Cars were a metaphor for power,” says Gibson. “Forget about hunkering down in a bunker—come the end of the world, steal a V-8, steal a gun, you’re gonna last a little longer.”  Miller insisted on everything being practical: “We decided to shoot the film old school, with real vehicles and real people,” he says.1250584679344646827“The vehicles are almost an extension of the characters,” Miller continues. As a result the film is filled with “cars brimming with personality and with an absolute minimum of technology,” writes Damon Lavrinc in Jalopnik. “They had to be shells to impose and convey each of the character’s motivations – stars unto themselves that could stand alone, and also stand up to the sheer lunacy of what Miller had planned.”1250584679088716459Case in point: Charlize Theron’s War Rig, shown above, being attacked by men on long, high tensile steel poles. Those are stuntmen on the poles, not mannequins or CGI humans.1250584679022559403Gibson says, “We basically tried to build the vehicles the way it would have been done in the apocalypse.” His guys built 88 individual cars; at the end of the day, counting backup cars plus the variations that got blown up or ripped apart, they created 150 vehicles in all. 1250584679257699243The film was photographed by John Seale (THE ENGLISH PATIENT, WITNESS, DEAD POET’S SOCIETY) who came out of retirement to shoot the picture. His goal was to immerse the viewer in the action. “It’s always been a part of my work philosophy to…make it as smooth as possible for the audience to view it, because I feel if you can do that you’re going to suck the audience out of their seat and… put them in the situation. And you’ve got to hold them there, you know?” Seale tells Hitfix. “This was all part of George’s philosophy, to get them in the movie in the first two shots and hold them there for another 112 minutes.”1250584679496028331Tom Hardy stars in the title role (originated by Mel Gibson.) He’s joined by Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Rosie Huntington-Whitely, and Zoe Kravitz.safe_image