Last week I posted several interviews with the cast of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES when we had the opportunity to chat with them at the PIRATES press junket this month in Beverly Hills. The cast wasn’t the only talent with whom we scored exclusive Q&A sessions. Today I’m sharing with you our interview the directing team of the film, Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg!
Right off the bat I found it intriguing that this pair of Norwegian directors works as a team. During the interview, while learning their history and back story, I can totally see why they choose to do so!
How they got the job directing DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES:
Espen: We chased it. We really wanted to make this movie. The basic reason as you know Joachim and I started making movies together when we were 10… Movies that inspired us back then were the Spielberg and Lucas and Zemeckis films. This franchise just reminds us of that. It has that unique blend of spectacle and humor and scary parts and also a lot of heart. So that meant a lot to us.
One of my favorite scenes from the film involves the ghost sharks! Joachim and Espen revealed the idea came from writer Jeff Nathanson. They felt the ghost sharks fit right in with the look of the other ghosts (Salazar and crew).
They noted that it was a long process with Javier and the other actors to give them that ghostly appearance. They praised the production designers and the VFX supervisors on their amazing job creating the ghosts without “losing the actors.”
Since you work as a team, do you have individual roles interacting?
Joachim: We only work every other day. (Jokingly) We don’t really know any other way of doing this than being together. For us, it’s a very natural process.
Was there any part of the creative talk that you really enjoyed that didn’t make it in the film? Any specific instances?
Joachim: This has been a very long journey for us. Almost four years we’ve been working on this movie which is long even for big movies. I think that probably one of the things that we had the most versions of is probably Jack Sparrow’s back story and his origin story in the how he became Jack Sparrow and all of that.
That was a long and grueling process because the mythology of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN, the series and movies. It’s a complex mythology so you don’t want to step on anybody’s toes. There’s a lot of fans out there that know everything you know. So it was important for us to be ahead of that and not mess with any previous back stories.
Espen: We also wanted to blend that back story of Jack also with Salazar’s. So that their relationship and the revenge story became personal so to speak.
About the CGI work for young Jack Sparrow scenes:
Joachim: We shot with Johnny Depp. So I mean the “youthification,” that we call it, was very important. We shot it with Johnny and then spent the year in the computer basically.
Espen: Now we can do 21 Jump Street again!
What was it like working with Johnny Depp? And what was the chemistry like onset?
Espen: Oh, it’s amazing. He’s so funny. What you see with Jack Sparrow… it’s all Johnny. He’s a genius. He’s like up there with Chaplin and the other ones because his timing is just perfect and he has such a weird imagination. So he comes up with the craziest ideas. And for us, the highlight was always going into his trailer in the morning and going through the scenes and the lines and trying to come up with even more cool stuff to do to make it even more funny.
And of course when we started shooting he would do something completely different. And everyone was sort of thrown off but that also makes it come alive and funny, so.
Was that just the main reason you wanted to do the film?
Joachim: We wanted to do the movie is like a little bit like Espen was saying, that when we grew up very influenced by Hollywood adventure family movies. That inspired us to become filmmakers in the first place. PIRATES reminds us of that. It’s very much those fun movies that gives you energy and you know we both have kids. To be able to do, that was also a big part of why we wanted to do this. It’s something they can relate to and be a part of.
The directors discussed and emphasized how important it was to them to work on a film that is not only for families, but centered around the theme of families. “Treasure is not always a chest of gold,” as they say.
You mentioned you started working together basically when you were 10 years old. Are your children in the same boat? Do your kids trying to make movies together?
Espen: They’re best friends actually. Super close. And they’re doing a lot of creative stuff so we’ll see.
Joachim: Yeah, we have five kids between us. I have two, Espen has three.
At this point of the interview, Joachim and Espen revealed that as children, they met via break dancing. Yes you read that right… break dancing. Sadly they would not bust out any moves for us.
Espen: We were 10. And we immediately started making movies instead. And luckily we didn’t pursue the dancing career. We went for the movie-making.
Joachim: I think we were in elementary school, and my dad bought a video camera. So that’s why we kind of drifted into that and became very interested in film.
Pirates is such an iconic part of Disney and history. What’s it like being part of that? Is this what you’ve wanted to have that kind of feather in your cap?
Joachim: For sure. It’s a dream come true.
Espen: And it’s so much bigger than us. It’s amazing to go to China and there’s thousands of screaming fans. It’s such a global phenomenon and it’s because they love the universe. They love the characters. And for us to be a part of that and keep that story going is really cool.
In addition, to celebrate the film’s release, check out this PIRATES Activity Pack! Activities include a maze, creating your own spy glass, and much much more.
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES is in theaters NOW in 3D, RealD 3D and IMAX 3D!
Want to see more of my adventures in LA? We can connect on Twitter (@AshBG) and on Instagram (@ashb4211). I’ve posted some photos from my trip! Make sure you follow the hashtags #PiratesLifeEvent and #BambiBluray.
While I attended an expense paid trip by Disney to Los Angeles, all opinions are 100% my own.
Interview Photo Credits: www.MomStart.com