At a recent Harold Lloyd Master Seminar on the AFI campus, director George Miller discussed the making of MAD MAX: FURY ROAD with Fellows of the AFI Conservatory. Now up for 10 Academy Awards® including Best Picture — and an AFI AWARDS 2015 official selection — this exhilarating fourth installment in the MAD MAX series came to the Australian director as a dream while on an airplane.
“I never wanted to make another MAD MAX movie … but if the material’s strong there’s a kind of gravitational pull to it,” Miller said. “We couldn’t kill it with a stick.”
Following a decade of pre-production mishaps, FURY ROAD finally came together on the west coast of Africa, where Miller and his crew shot over 400 hours of footage — using thousands of storyboards — to create what he called “an extended chase … a silent movie with sound.”
To create the film’s dystopian atmosphere set against the desert, Miller said there was an “attraction to doing it old school,” with practical effects rather than computer graphics. “Even though it’s set in the future, it’s not a fantasy film. We don’t defy the laws of physics in any way. CG is good but if you’re going to have a car tumbling in the dust, the simulations are never going to be as good as doing it for real. That was the only way to do it.”
Check out two video clips from the seminar below. First up, Miller talks about what drew him back to the story of MAD MAX decades after making the third installment in the series, BEYOND THUNDERDOME (1985):
Next, Miller tells the wild tale of making the original MAD MAX (1979) on an indie scale: