Interview with Jerry Bruckheimer, Producer of “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” – J!-ENT Interviews and Articles

December 1, 2010 by  

With the upcoming Blu-ray and DVD release of “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment on Nov. 30th, J!-ENT will be featuring interviews with cast members, producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Jon Turteltaub. In our fourth featured interview, we feature producer Jerry Bruckheimer who is known for producing blockbuster films such as the “Pirates of Caribbean” and “National Treasure” films, TV shows such as the various “CSI” series, “Cold Case” and “The Amazing Race”,

Here is a Q&A interview with Jerry Bruckheimer who talks about “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” and working with Nicolas Cage, casting Jay Baruchel and more!

You’ve worked with Nicolas Cage on numerous projects, including The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. What is his appeal?

I love the professionalism of Nicolas Cage. He’s such a professional actor. He’s always prepared and he’s always ready. He’s got a very inquisitive mind and he’s very well read. He studies everything in real depth and he’s got an amazing knowledge in a very broad spectrum, which is something I wish I could have myself. He’s also one of our greatest actors. He’s extremely versatile, he’s won an Academy Award, and he’s done some really interesting work over the years. He’s an artist who can switch back and forth from doing small independent pictures that are in his heart to movies that will appeal to a much broader audience.

Do you ever disagree with how Nicolas approaches a role?

There are always issues that come up during the shooting of a film. There will be a line or a certain move in a plot he doesn’t feel comfortable doing, but those are the things you work out with an actor. You want everyone to feel comfortable about who the character is and what the character says, so it’s great that he voices his opinion. Nick is wonderful because he writes some of his own dialogue in his movies. He doesn’t come up to me and say, “This doesn’t work.” He’ll say, “I’m not comfortable with this, but I could do it this way.” He’s always got great input.

What does your role as a producer involve on a movie like The Sorcerer’s Apprentice?

I’m involved with the process of developing the screenplay with the writers. I’m involved in the casting and I also hire the director with the assistance of the studio. I’m very involved in the preparation for the filming and once the filming starts, I’m certainly there. However, I’m not there all the time; I leave that to the director. I look at all the dailies and if I feel that we’re missing something, I’ll certainly have a discussion with them. I also get involved in the editing with the director, I get involved with the composer, with the sound effects crew, with the mixing team and with all of the promotions, so I’m involved in every aspect of making the film.

Which part of the filmmaking process is your favorite?

I think the editorial process is the most fun because that’s where you mold the clay. You have all this wonderful clay you’ve filmed and now you have to mold it into something that’s effective and entertaining. That’s what I love to do the most.

Do you feel like a sorcerer when you make movies?

I never feel like a sorcerer. The magic comes from all of the people that I work with. I just throw them all together.

Why is magic and sorcery so popular?

People always like to look at things that they don’t understand. I think that’s always fascinating to an audience. It’s entertaining to try and figure out what’s going on.

What’s magical in the world today?

I think what I do is magic. With this movie, we have taken ideas from one scene in an animation and we have turned it into a film that has traveled around the world and entertained people. To me, that’s pure magic.

So when did you last feel like an apprentice?

I’m still an apprentice. I’m still trying to learn what I’m doing here. I think you should always try to learn, especially from the people around you. That’s why I surround myself with talented people. You get a different perspective from each individual you work with – and that’s wonderful to me. If I don’t get up and learn something new every day then it’s not a successful day in my eyes.

Why are classic tales of good versus evil, like The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, so entertaining?

Because tales of good versus evil involve a lot of drama. When you have villains, you’ve got drama because you’ve got somebody pushing against your heroes. It always takes a great protagonist and antagonist to make a good film – and I certainly think we have that with The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.

Can you talk about the casting of Jay Baruchel in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice?

I’ve always been a fan of Jay Baruchel. In fact, we cast him in a television show years ago and I’ve always thought he was an exceptional actor. He’s got a wonderful sense of humor and a quirky side to him that I think audiences love. I think he’s going to go far.

Is it true that you have an interesting compilation of photographs taken on your film sets?

That is true. I always shoot pictures on sets because I love capturing images of the films we make. I have a nice collection of photographs and I even had an exhibition of stuff we shot on Pirates Of The Caribbean. It ran in a few countries in Europe and hopefully they’ll do it again at some stage in the future.

When did your passion for photography start?

When I was about 6 years old, I had an uncle who was a photo buff. He would always buy new cameras and I ended up with one of his old ones. There are loads of photos of me with that camera around my neck when I was a child, so I was always taking pictures from the time I was very little.

As a child, did you have a magic box of tricks?

I certainly did have a magic box as a child. I wasn’t very nimble at it because the tricks would fly all over the place, but I was certainly fascinated by it.

Did you dream about becoming a filmmaker from a young age?

I did. I was always thinking, ‘I want to be part of the magic that goes up on that 100-foot screen… How do you get involved in that?’ It took me a while to figure it out, but I finally got there.

Did you have a back-up plan in case you didn’t make it as a filmmaker?

I don’t know what my Plan B would have been. I have no idea. To be honest, I didn’t even know what my Plan A was. I just kept moving forward and this is where I ended up.

What dreams do you have left to fulfill?

Well, I’ve recently started a video game company, so that’s something we’re working on at the moment. We’ll have to see where that goes.

Did Disney have an impact on your life as a child?

I think Mickey Mouse had an impact on every young kid when I was growing up. I watched a lot of cartoons when I was growing up, along with the animated features like Snow White. I am a big fan of all the wonderful classic Disney animations that my parents took me to see. I’m also a big fan of Disney.

Your recent work with Disney is very family-oriented. Do you have any harder-hitting movies in the pipeline?

I have a range of projects in the pipeline and some of them certainly involve hard-hitting subjects. My company recently bought a book called Horse Soldiers, which is about the first soldiers that entered Afghanistan right after 9/11. The book tells their story and that’s something we hope to bring to the screen at some stage. It’s pretty hard-hitting and is similar to the stories of Black Hawk Down and The Hurt Locker.

You’re also working on the fourth Pirates Of The Caribbean movie. What can you tell us about it?

I’m very excited about the new Pirates movie. It’s a wonderful combination of very imaginative writers and a fantastic director, Rob Marshall. Good material draws good actors and good directors – and that’s certainly the case with this project because Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz and Jeffrey Rush are amazing.

What does Rob Marshall bring to the project?

Rob Marshall trained as a dancer and a choreographer, and then he became a director. He’s done a lot of television and some very successful films, but I’ll think he’ll add a lot of humor to the movies, as well as some wonderful action sequences. He’s an artist and he’ll do it differently than other people in the past. It’s going to be a lot of fun to watch.


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