More Tales from the Brothers Quay

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Was it always clear that the integration of the automata would allow you to insert the animated sequences?

Stephen Quay: Actually, it was always there. There was initially animation throughout the film.

Timothy Quay: We cut so much out. We had to cut tons out because the film was massively over-length in the first cut.


Timothy Quay: We were told that it could only be 95 minutes, max.

This was by decree of Keith [Griffiths]?

Stephen Quay: No, the German funders [at Mediopolis].

Timothy Quay: Along with the French and the English [Terry Gilliam was also an executive producer on the film]. Keith was sort of pulling his hair out, like we were, in a way. He was very supportive, of course, but it wasn't a great experience.

Stephen Quay: We were talking with Jan [Svankmajer] the other night and we asked him, "How many days did you have to shoot [Lunacy]?" He said, "60 days for the live action, 70 for the animation." We had only 30 days to shoot the live action and it was just so rushed. Keith said, "Do you want to do it or don't you?" And we said, "Of course we want to do it!"

Timothy Quay: He had a crew of basically, at most, 30 people, including the drivers, but the majority of the shoot was about ten or eleven people. We had 44 every day to motor about with.

And where was the live-action photography done?

Timothy Quay: All in Leipzig. We worked in a wonderful studio there. We had no complaints at all because they were fabulous. We were working exclusively with students all the time.

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