The Decision to Film in Cleveland: Clevelands not exactly the first location that pops into mind when you think of a Spider-Man movie. Raimi said it all came down to being able to shut down streets. Cleveland was wonderful to us. They really put the red carpet out for us. [We did] a tremendous amount of shooting there so were very thankful to that city.
What happened was the sound stages are in Los Angeles, because were Columbia Pictures, so we shot right on the back lot Columbia Pictures in Los Angeles. All the stage work was done there, 90% of it. And then New York has always been the city as you know, of Spider Man, so we went to New York to shoot all the location photography. Now theres some car action in the story theres a car action sequence - but we couldnt ask Manhattan [to shot that there]. Manhattan couldnt give us ten straight blocks of city dedicated to our car chase, but Cleveland could. So we sent a second unit there under the direction of Dan Bradley, a great stunt coordinator and second director Ive worked with before, to shoot the car action stunts there. For like ten days we were able to monopolize these streets. Thats why we shot in Cleveland.
The Improvements in Special Effects: Discussing the third films effects Raimi explained, I think whats different is we had new challenges this time. We had to bring about the Sandman and weve got a great special effects designer in Scott Stokdyck who was one of the two fellows who did the first two Spider-Man pictures, along with John Dykstra, and now hes got the job alone. Weve got a lot of the same animators, weve replaced a lot of them, others have moved on. But the core team is there and weve tried to build upon it so weve become better at working with animation.
Ive learned a lot over the last five years. Its like directing animated picture after animated picture, you start to understand whats working and whats not and why. But as far as the technical aspect and what the new hurdles are, its really about bringing about, for us, Sandman to the screen. How can we make it believable to the audience? Not just fantastic, but believable that this fellow could turn into sand and become this substance and still be a human being. Its really without feeling the hand and the manipulation of the artist all the time, but just getting into the dream of it and getting sucked up into the story. So its about technical expertise and artistic expertise on behalf of the teams of artists we have working on those effects. They made a lot of new techniques available to themselves. Theyve developed some new programs, written some new programs. Theyve taken some existing software and combined it in new ways that we havent seen new applications for it and a lot of just ideas - ideas that they did some groundbreaking on. And are still groundbreaking on. We still arent sure we can do it, actually.
Raimi continued, Venom is less of a technical challenge and more of an artistic challenge in trying to capture the spirit of this very powerful, somewhat Spiderized graceful-but-animal, not Spider-Mans style of movement thats more about capturing a dance form on screen.
The Physical Side of Playing Spider-Man: Maguire says his backs doing fine. I enjoy doing this stuff, and I do the stuff that I can do and thats safe. I dont know. Its an interesting part of the job. I think when I watch the stunt men do really, really crazy stuff, my mind gets blown and I go, I cant believe they do that. Its really amazing. And this, me saying this is a little ill-advised, you know, that most actors I dont understand this the actors come in and say that I do all my own stunts. By the way, I just want to tell you guys now any actor that says, I do all my own stunts, is not telling you the truth unless theyre like jumping over a little gate or something.
Sam Raimi on the Challenges of Adapting This Story Three Times: Whats been easier each time is getting to know the family that we work with, and really trusting them to the point they become complete collaborators. From Laura Ziskin to Alvin Sargent, Tobey, Kirsten, James Franco, Rosemary Harris, the directors of photography, the animators I was speaking of, the editors theres so many people that make this movie. Unlike a lot of smaller films where its one person - the actors and the writer and the producer, a tiny little core - theres a thousand people making this. So its gotten a lot easier because weve got this system of knowing each other, knowing how we work together. Trusting each other. That has made everything a lot easier.