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Paul McGuigan on Push

Published February 4, 2009 in Movie Interviews
By Fred Topel | Images property of Summit Entertainment
Push Poster Push
Like all the modern day action movies, Push adopted a handheld style of shooting. It still appears steadier than other handheld movies, though some of the crew was the same.

Paul McGuigan Directs Push

"Actually, Stuart [Howell] who was our operator, he operated on the Bourne movies," said director Paul McGuigan. "We had Peter Sova who's my DP, who shot all my movies for me, did Donnie Brasco as well and Good Morning, Vietnam. We were very conscious of not making it all like this [shaking]. I want you to still see Hong Kong. I want you to still enjoy where I was and let the audience see."

Perhaps McGuigan's style comes from a different point on the handheld spectrum than other filmmakers. "I'm quite happy when doing an action sequence, and I'd never done one before but I kind of learnt this quickly. You don't have to show off. If you want that bottle to go from here to here, normally some people would have the camera here waiting on the bottle. I tend to go, 'Oh sh*t, the bottle's gone over there.' I tend to be a beat behind everything, but not to the point that it's detrimental to people. They don't go, 'Whoa, this is crazy.'"

McGuigan also staged real stunts, instead of relying on CGI, so when henchmen are psychically thrown around the room, that's real stuntmen flying on wires. "We did that for real and I, being Scottish, I was like, 'That's not violent enough.' So they'd go, 'Okay, we'll rack it up a little bit. Oh Jesis, we've never been this far before.' And the guys getting thrown against the pillars in the restaurant, that's not sped up."

With most of the movie's effects shot practically, McGuigan was able to take joy in the few CGI effects he used. "We spent a lot of time doing those floating guns. CGI to me is a great gift that people should use but to me, I can never sit in an edit suite and look at nothing, like a blue screen. That's why I do it all through the camera, and then when you see Djimon Hounsou's skin moving, that was the best day of filming in my life because I had a big stick. I would just prod Djimon the whole day. I was reacting off Chris Evans, so Chris Evans was really annoyed with him so I'd go rgh, rgh. I'm secretly really enjoying this."

Push opens to theaters on February 6th.

For the trailers, stills and more movie info, go to the Push Movie Page.

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Compiled By (Sources)
Fred Topel
Sources: Images property of Summit Entertainment

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