Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Mostly Mirror Mask. Curiosity is satisfied. The word Supernacular is used.

There are many things I love about this journal, and quite a few of them have to do with how rapidly my idle curiosity gets satisfied. For example:

Hi Neil

From your comment on the shooting of Mirror Mask: On the bus, in the back, there were a couple snogging, much to the disgust of our heroine... How were the couple found? Did they know each other before they started shooting? Will they see each other afterward? How much were they paid?

Can I point you to this LiveJournal entry

which more or less answers your questions?


Katy (

and I clicked on it, and discovered it to be an account of the day's shooting by, I presume, one of the two extremely beautiful ladies at the front of the bus at the beginning of the shot. Thank you, Katy.

(If it sets anyone's mind at rest, the live-action stuff at the beginning and end of the film won't be turned into Dave McKean art. So although you may wind up as a face on the cutting room floor, you probably won't have an Ibis head. Anyway, we've already had one person with an ibis head, pushing a tiny perambulator, in the film by that point.)

Well, you're probably awfully tired of hearing Mirror Mask questions, but I'm going to have to apologize before hand and ask another tedious question.

Of all the numrous pieces of info that I can find on your site and other sites, I can't find anything that says how the final incatation of Mirror Mask will be related to Labyrinth. I know the original idea was born from throwing ideas back and forth about a sequel but then, according to most references, it seemed to spawn its own life and not really be a true sequel. But then when you said how you and Dave McKean were writing and conceptualizing your new child, you were playing with many of the Labyrinth puppets and such. So again I wonder, is this a direct sequel? Is it a kind-of-sequel-if-you-can-figure-out-the-references-to- the-first-movie-but-obviously-without- David-Bowie-wearing-skin-tight-pants? Or is it something new created forth from the ideas of old? I apologize for going on as lengthy like I did. I tend to not shut up. As I'm doing now. Hope to see a response when you can. Thank you for your time.

Well, Mirror-Mask started out when Sony noticed that Labyrinth has become a very popular, and very steady seller on Video and now on DVD. They spoke to Hensons about making a sequel. Hensons don't independently control the rights to Labyrinth, though, and it cost about $20 million almost 20 years ago, and the conversation rapidly became "could you do something like that?" Given the tiny amount of money they had to make the film with, Lisa Henson had a bright idea and phoned me to ask if I thought Dave McKean would direct it (she loved Dave's short films, and knew he'd made them for pocket change). She asked if I'd maybe come up with a story, which, as they were doing this on a budget, they'd get someone else to write. I told her flatly that if Dave was directing it, I was writing it.

Then Dave and I got together. He had an idea for a story and I had an idea for a story and they sort of blended in odd ways, and we wound up co-creating the story, and then I wrote the script, and sometimes Dave would do a rough draft of a sequence he'd figured out, when it was easier for him to write it down than to explain it to me. And then we were done in first draft. We had a character with the place-holder name of Puck, and we'd been trying to come up with a better name for him, and then it was February 14th so I called him Valentine, and we were done.

It's a story about a teenage girl on a strange quest through a magical world. It's not a sequel to Labyrinth, or even an indirect sequel. It's more something that came out of talking about how you'd do something like that today. But Labyrinth was all around while we created it -- not only in the ancient puppets, and original Brian Froud Labyrinth concept paintings hanging on the walls. Poking around in a closet of videos, I found a working print of Labyrinth, when it was three hours long, had puppeteer voices instead of actor voices, and lots of genuinely funny Sir Didimus stuff that never made it into the final film (voiced by Dave Goelz -- voice of the Great Gonzo), and Dave and I played it over several evenings, curious and fascinated.

Did you know you are a top time-travel sex object? Cheers!

How supernacularly odd.