Kick-Ass 2 co-producer Leonie Mansfield talks about the sound and image of her latest movie.
Kick-Ass 2 co-producer Leonie Mansfield is Sydney born-and-bred, and hit the big time when she successfully applied for a position at filmmaker Matthew Vaughn's production company MARV films, going on to work with the acclaimed director on such projects as ‘X-Men : First Class’ and ‘Kick-Ass’. She explains to SOUND + IMAGE how to make a Kick-Ass movie with the wonderful tools and resources the filmmaking industry offers in today's times. Clint Morris asks the questions.
Wanna produce a movie like Kick-Ass 2 one day? Start at the bottom!
"I had spent a year searching for work, then I got two jobs offers in the same week! One was for a producer's assistant, and the other was for an office manager at Marv films, who were in the middle of post-production on ‘Stardust’ at the time. It was a tricky call, deciding between the two jobs, but I was just so excited by the prospect of Marv films and I was such an admirer of Matthew as a filmmaker that I took the lesser of the two... and I never looked back. It was heads down, bums up and opportunities just came to me! It culminated in being part of the producing team on ‘Kick-Ass 2’".
Producing Kick-Ass 2 required... well, doing a little bit of everything.
"Because we were sort of a modest crew, I was involved with pretty much everything. Development is something I'm very passionate about, so I tried to be as involved as possible in the draft process. But it was really a range of things I was involved in, from stunt rehearsals to watching casting, to helping with such tasks as finding accommodation for everyone, and being involved in the costumes and hair and make-up tests. I was so exposed to all facets. "
Sound is vital. Music is key... especially when you're making a Kick-Ass movie!
"Matthew loves music. We would go through a whole range of stuff, looking for the right songs to use for the movie. That was so much fun, working out what would work best in particular scenes. "
The movie was filmed on Arri’s Alexa film-style digital motion picture camera system.
"I absorb quite a bit about filmmaking - camera angles, different ways of shooting and so on - while working on these films. Not so much on Kick-Ass 2, because I was doing more background things, but definitely on the films I assisted Matthew on - like X-Men : First Class. I was on set all the time, and one of my favourite things was watching him direct the actors. The sky's the limit in terms of learning all that stuff, and obviously each director has their own style and flair, so it was interesting to see how Matthew and Jeff [Wadlow, the director of Kick-Ass 2] - who did an amazing job on the film - worked differently."
The editing process is one of the most interesting aspects of filmmaking...
"While the footage is being edited, you can see just how many different versions of the same film there could potentially be. The editor is in a very powerful position - they're in charge of how that film comes out at the end. "
Producing other people’s films can lead to producing your own films.
"The plan is to produce some stuff back home in Australia. I'm in the middle of optioning a book actually. This one will be unlike anything I've worked on before - which is mainly superhero movies - it's a comedy-drama, which is a genre I love. I'm hoping that will be finalised in the next few months, and then I'll be looking for a writer. "
Even producers attend Mums’n'Bubs screenings at cinemas!
"[Kick-Ass 2] was my first one. I did the odd breast feed and nappy change while watching the movie. My baby sat on my lap throughout the whole thing. I was thinking at one stage, 'I'm not sure this is responsible parenting, taking him to Kick-Ass 2, but he's only 5 months old so I think it's OK.'
Kick-Ass 2 is now showing around Australia
- CLINT MORRIS