Read our interview with French director, screenwriter, cinematographer, editor and music producer Quentin Dupieux, who attended the New York City premiere of his new comedy thriller ‘Rubber’ on February 3, 2011 at the IFC Center. ‘Rubber,’ which is scheduled to have a VOD release on February 25, 2011, followed by a limited theatrical release on April 1, tells the story of a tire named Robert who comes to life in the California desert. He soon discovers he has telepathic powers, and at first is content with blowing up discarded objects and small animals with his mind. However, Robert soon finds enjoyment in killing people, all while an audience watches. After the screening of the Magnet Releasing film, Dupieux engaged in a question-and-answer period with the audience to discuss, among other things, why he made the film and how he got the tire to move.

Question (Q): Why did you make the film?

Quentin Dupieux (QD): I don’t know! The reason was I was supposed to shoot another movie, a bigger one, and it was too hard to finance. I had to do a small shoot like this.

Q: Why did you shoot in America instead of out of France?

QD: My first feature (‘Nonfilm’) was shot in France, and it was really frustrating. I wanted to shoot in English first to reach a bigger audience. The desert is like a blank piece of paper, you can create anything in the desert.

Q: How did you get the tire to move?

QD: I don’t know! (laughs) It’s just a tire, so it’s supposed to roll. For a few shots, we had a remote control tire, but it was like a sh*ty remote control tire, so it was able to roll a little bit and stop. But for like 80 percent of the shots, it’s just a guy operating the tire with his hand outside of the shot. That’s the truth! There’s no CGI, for real, and what you saw I shot. But it’s an easy remote control car, you know we can make remote control cars?!? (laughs)

Q: How long was the shoot?

QD: Fourteen days. Certain people we had for one day, so like 13!

Q: What kind of film did you use?

QD: No, it’s digital. It’s the Cannon 5T.

Q: What’s your next project? A film or an album?

QD: Both. I’m working on it.

Q: When you’re making a film like this, what kind of the percentage are you thinking of the audience versus what you want to do?

QD: I was just thinking about myself. I did it with private financing at first. The producer was a good friend, so we did it for fun, so I was not thinking about the audience, I was having fun for me.

Q: Why did you decide to put Wings Hauser (who stars as the man in the wheelchair) in your film?

QD: I just did great casting. I didn’t know him before, and I discovered afterward that he’s a B-movie star. But I just did great casting, and that’s why I hired him. But he’s not fun at all.

Q: How long did it take to get the music?

QD: Not long at all, we only had 20 days. That’s why there’s not much music in the movie. Everything we did is on the soundtrack.

Q: Why did you choose a tire as the protagonist?

QD: Random! It was random, I just had the idea.

Q: Was this the first time you made a movie in America?

QD: Yes. But 10 years ago I shot a few commercials here, so I knew American crews. The good thing was working with American actors was exciting to me. It was easy and fun.

Q: What was the budget?

QD: The budget? I don’t know the real number. We shot with something like 300,000 euros, but that’s just for the shooting. But we are under $1 million.

Written by: Karen Benardello

Rubber Movie Poster
Rubber Movie Poster

By Karen Benardello

As a graduate of LIU Post with a B.F.A in Journalism, Print and Electronic, Karen Benardello serves as ShockYa's Senior Movies & Television Editor. Her duties include interviewing filmmakers and musicians, and scribing movie, television and music reviews and news articles. As a New York City-area based journalist, she's a member of the guilds, New York Film Critics Online and the Women Film Critics Circle.

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