David Wasco & Sandy Reynolds-Wasco
AS: Speaking of Quentin Tarantino, how have things changed with him from the early days like on Reservoir Dogs to the most recent films?
DW: Well, it’s been twenty years. We started with Quentin with Reservoir Dogs and nobody knew who he was then. Although he’d penned two scripts, Natural Born Killers and True Romance, he wasn’t a known name. We got the script and we interviewed just like every other project. Even with directors I’ve worked with multiple times I think it would be naïve to think that I’m the only person that they would want to hire. There are so many uncontrollable elements. A new producer might come on and be pushing their guy to be production designer. I met Quentin at an interview at an apartment Lawrence Bender was renting south of Wilshire and it was very relaxed. He liked the fact that we were doing period films. Reservoir Dogs wasn’t a period film but it was supposed to be in this nebulous era of Los Angeles. That was what why he told me he hired me.
There are a lot of people that do what we do and do a good job. It’s just really about having the director feel comfortable being able to communicate with you. They just want to have that ease of communication and be able to rely on you.
When we started with Reservoir Dogs it was really fun film making. He had so much fun making the picture that his joy was contagious. In many ways he was the same as he is today – almost like a big kid – which I’m saying in a nice way!
SRW: He loves writing and filmmaking.
DW: He loves film making and he truly has an encyclopedic memory. He can remember everything. I think he truly has looked at every single movie. I don’t know how anybody can do that because he’s only so old and if you looked at every movie without a break every day for life you can’t even look at every movie. But he has! And he remembers everything. And that was how he worked with us from the very beginning until most recently.
But on Reservoir Dogs there was this sense of wonder and glee with being given the opportunity to do this movie and he was so thankful and thankful for all of us. And so happy. And he expressed that to everybody. In describing what he wanted he would act out these scenes and flop around the floor and everything. That was so funny! He almost never used storyboards or for that matter concept illustrations because he felt that locked him into a structure. We all are of the mind that making a movie is like doing a painting. You kind of have an idea of what you’re going to do when you start but you don’t know exactly what you’re going to end up with until it’s done. You want to keep it open for ideas and contributions. He really was just fun to work with and attracted a really great cast.