Handling personalities like Johnny Depp, Geofrrey Rush and Javier Bardem on a film set can be quite a task for two debutante directors but Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg say the shoot of Pirates 5 was smooth sailing as there were no ego hassles between the stars. The Norwegian director duo is making their big Hollywood debut with Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge after impressing producer Jerry Bruckheimer with their 2012 Oscar-nominated historical drama, Kon-Tiki.
Ronning says though he and Sandberg have never worked in such a huge set-up, it was easy for them to collaborate with such big stars.”There were no ego issues and attitude or any other trouble. They were there to take the movie forward. Just in a few days of us getting into the project, we started looking at them beyond what we read in the papers,” Ronning told PTI in an interview.
“Most of the cast and crew has worked together in all the other movies and we were the new guys telling them what to do. It was daunting but it went really well.” Sandberg says all the actors were thorough professionals during the making of the movie and they made the two of them feel comfortable.
“They all were very sweet people. They are very professional and there is a reason why they are on the top of their career. They are easy to work with, super well prepared and made our job easy. “We would sit and discuss how we could make the film better. They were aware that people can get star-struck in front of them and so they made people relax. They knew how to break the wall.”
Both the directors started making films at the age of 10 and admit that Pirates is one such franchise that they have been a fan of and dreamt of directing it one day. Ronning says when they officially came on board as directors of the fifth instalment of the sea adventure franchise, they realised what an uphill task it was going to be.
“We are fans of the franchise. The pressure was on right from the moment we joined. But it was more like we put that pressure on ourselves because we were given this huge opportunity as filmmakers and we had to do it right.”We knew that the movie has a huge audience and we wanted to make a good movie. It is a big responsibility because it is an expensive movie,” he says. Sandberg says for them the most challenging aspect was to bring a cohesion between all the elements of the film – the mythology, action, drama and humour.
“There are no small scenes in the movie. Everything is very grand. The story is pretty complex because it has a unique mix of drama, action, adventure and humour. So, balancing all that was important.”Ronning says both he and Sandberg are happy that they got this huge opportunity to make their Hollywood debut with a film like this as they always wanted to make movies with big action and big spectacle.
“We like making movies for the big screen, so we enjoyed our ‘Pirates’ experience. We loved doing the big action and big spectacle. It is necessary for an expensive movie like this.”
Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge releases this Friday.