"Our visual references were largely limited to Tarkovsky's STALKER and Andrew Wyeth's paintings. Rob (Hardy) is someone I will continue to work with for a variety of reasons, but he really doesn't need a lot of guidance from me to understand what's knocking about in my head. We went to meet up after he'd read the script, and we'd both brought copies of STALKER with us." - Frank Lotrek in a recent interviewFrom Rob Hardy (Frank's cinematographer)'s Instagram. Images are from the filming of Annihilation. This is their second collaboration.
Frank and Poppy Mulbright walking McFly and Ripley on Dec. 7th, 2016 in New York
PLAYBOY MAGAZINE DEC 2016 - LOOKING AHEAD TO 2017
PLAYBOY: You had a hell of a 2015, a quiet 2016, and now 2017 is looking like...
FRANK: 2016 wasn't quiet for me, it was buzzing with thousands of questions daily. Pre-production, production, post of "Annihilation." "How's the lighting?" "How's this zipper?" "Wouldn't she say it more like a question than a statement?" "What's this VFX entail?" "Would the music cue have a higher or lower pitch?" "What if we cut after she looks away instead of before?"
PLAYBOY: You strike me as a man who prefers that kind of buzz to the one that comes from awards.
FRANK: I'd like to say yes, and yes is my ultimate answer, but fuck it, look who I'm talking to. Who doesn't love free booze, beautiful women, and endless compliments day in and day out? When you're directing, you're the captain of the ship, and while people might love you, you're also the one they're complaining about at the end of the night. You're the one who is going home with your self-assigned homework because you've somehow found yourself in a postion where you're trying to get 120 or so people to see what's in your head and translate that into a tangible reality. More often than not when someone doesn't give you what you want, you have to go home and work on your communication skills. "How did I fail everyone today?"
PLAYBOY: Especially when one of the people you're directing is your ex-wife...
FRANK: [Laughs] Yeah, that just adds the question, "What kind of special fucked in the head am I?"
PLAYBOY: So what kind are you?
FRANK: [More laughter] The smart kind. She [Ida Madu] is fucking brilliant. Fucking brilliant, man. She reads everything I write and busts my balls about it. Which I need as an artist, I need someone who will challenge me on everything because then you cement in your head why something is important or recognize why something isn't. Having her on set was a little bit of that regularly. Ida's just like that as an artist though. None is ever just surface with her, she wants to get to the heart of who her characters are and live in there.
PLAYBOY: That why her face and name are still tattoo'ed all over you?
FRANK: [He laughs again] No, that's just more of, what kind of special fucked in the head am I.
"That was a one time thing. One of the weirdest f**king experiences of my life. I'd met Woody while he was getting ready to cast the movie... and I need to explain that when I'm intimidated by a person, my natural response is to be a cocky f**ker to them. Gets me into trouble usually, but this was the one occasion where it led to me playing Hemingway in a f**king Woody Allen movie. I was less him and more the character of him that I embody when I've had too much whiskey."