J.C. - James Cameron (Movie’s director).
B.W. – Bill Wisher (Add’l dialogue / Cameron collaboration).
S.W. – Stan Winston (Terminator makeup effects creator).
G.W.J – Gene Warren, Jr (Fantasy II VFX Supervisor).
A.S. - Arnold Schwarzenegger (Actor).
L.H. – Linda Hamilton (Actress).
M.B. – Micheal Biehn (Actor).
G.A.H. – Gale Anne Hurd (Producer).
J.V. – Joe Viskocil (Visual effects pyrotechnicial).
M.G. – Mark Goldblatt (Film edition).
B.F. – Brand Fiedel (Composer).
("A PAUSE IN THE ACTION").
G.A.H.: Initially, we were supposed to film in the summer of 1983. We were going to film in Toronto, Canada.
J.C.: I spent a significant amount of time there identifying locations, negotiating with city officials about what roads we could have, what access we could have, what closures we could have, and chopping our way with a machete through that red tape.
G.A.H.: Unfortunately Dino de Laurentis decided to pre-empt Arnold to star in the sequel to Conan the Barbarian.
J.C.: (To Arnold) And Dino wouldn't let you out to do Terminator first.
A.S.: (To James) Because he read the script and he said to himself, "They're trying to steal my star away." He knew it was a great script.
G.A.H.: We had to shift our shooting schedule to spring, March 1984, in Los Angeles.
J.C.: We wound up in a one-year holding pattern during which I practically starved to death. My mom was sending me coupons in the mail that allowed me to buy two Big Macs for the price of one so I could survive. I get two. I'd have one one day and one the next, using cost-saving techniques like this which proved beneficial once we started making the film. I survived long enough to begin production.
G.A.H.: Arnold was so essential to making this film that everyone was willing, and quite happy, to put the film on hold until March. If it had been another person who wasn't as essential to the identity of the film, I don't think we would have waited.
M.B.: I had about eight months or ten months, knowing that I had the role but not really being able to get started on it. For an actor, it's good in one sense, cos you got time to work on. But the other sense is, "Do I really have it? Who are these people?" "Jim Cameron. Is his word good?"
G.A.H.: The one nice thing about having a nine-month delay is that we had a soft prep for those nine months. We were able to anticipate most of the production problems we encountered. Jim was able to storyboard almost the entire movie himself, and created certain panels in colour that he could pass out to the department heads so they had a perfect idea of the visuals Jim planned to get on screen.
J.C.: We knew we had to keep costs down, but we were still being ambitious. So there was definitely a dialectic between myself as director and Gale as producer. It was a team effort. We didn't see eye to eye but we always fought back to back.
G.A.H.: On a day-to-day basis I couldn't worry about how the movie would turn out. I had to make sure we got the shots we needed, that the compromises that we had to make weren't so great that they compromised the picture as a whole.
J.C.: Gale wound up running interference between me, Hemdale and Orion who were much cheaper than we were.
G.A.H.: I was an advocate not only for Jim but for the movie.
J.C. (To Arnold): We did the first Terminator for, I think, the cost of your motorhome on the second film (laugh). Or your oatmeal budget.
G.A.H.: Right before we started shooting, Linda Hamilton broke her ankle.
L.H.: Before the first Terminator, I broke an ankle and tore ligaments. That never really has been strong since then.
G.A.H.: And we were concerned that she'd be able to actually carry out the performance that was essential. She had to run throughout the movie, and it was mostly Linda, by the way, on a broken ankle that had to be wrapped every day. We had to shift the shooting schedule so that most of the running scenes took place later on. That always throws a production into disarray, when you change the schedule as much as we had to.
M.B.: We shot downtown LA, the worst parts of LA, at night, during the summer, so it was hot, it was humid. It was dirty, smelly. All those alleys and stuff. It was nasty. But it worked for the movie.
G.A.H.: The underground nightclub, disco, we called it Tech Noir because we felt that, if we were gonna get any good reviews at all, it might be good to spark critics' interest in the kind of filmmaking we were doing, that it was, as opposed to film noir, tech noir, the dark side of technology. And that's what we called the nightclub. We shot it downtown in a place that had been a restaurant. The great thing was that it seemed so realistic that people tried to pay to get in the night after we wrapped. We were so desperate for cash at that point, we almost took their money (laugh). But better sense got a hold of us and we declined the paying patrons.
J.C. (To Arnold): You remember how we did the punch through the window with that steel fist? The whole rig was too heavy to move, so, instead of moving the car, the car is sitting still, and we moved the brick wall behind the car.
A.S.: That's right. We moved the brick wall.
J.C. (To Arnold): You were strapped into this thing with a fake arm. Your real arm was behind your back.
A.S.: The machine arm was right next to me. Shooting from the side, it made it look like it's my arm. It was terrific stuff, but I just remember, talking about that alley that we shot those scenes in, I've never done more running than that night. Remember how many times we had to run with the camera really low? Running down that alley with those hideous leather boots on, heavy boots. And then jump off that car. So the stunts were really severe. It was really tough, especially with all this stuff on, the leather jacket. And then the squibs going off and the explosions. But, again, I think that the more you as an actor participate in the stunts, the better it's gonna work out, because the more believable it is.
M.B.: The most physical thing that I saw happen on that movie was me entering the earth, which was me coming through time. They shot that with a stunt guy, and they put two ladders up five or six feet. They laid a two-by-four across. He laid on top and they put a camera down low. And he basically just scooched off the ladder and landed. Shoulder, hip, knees. And from five feet up, if you think about cement, it does not give.
We were behind the camera cars. We were hooked up to those camera cars. Looking back on it now, we were driving fast. Those camera cars were pulling us fast and we were sliding around corners. I remember once driving, and I'm screaming at Linda, and we're ripping around corners, and the tension. I have a hold of the wheel and I'm screaming, "Terminator!" We're ripping, he's rolling film and I'm in the middle of my speech. I pull back, and I pulled the steering wheel right off the steering stem. And I'm, like, "Here, you drive." (laugh) We had a lot of fun doing it.
G.A.H.: Arnold was tremendous to work with because you can't get Arnold down. Arnold is always up. And regardless of how difficult a day we were having, Arnold would play a practical joke or say something that would make us all laugh uproariously. And that keeps the morale on the set really high.
J.C.: He had a great work ethic. He's 100 percent committed, dedicated, disciplined to achieving the best result.
G.A.H.: He believed completely and unwaveringly in this project.
J.C.: Arnold wasn't available to us until two weeks into the shoot. We really had no idea if we had a film. We were doing our jobs and it looked OK. But it didn't have this sense of energy or chemistry. Arnold walked in on the first night, in the post-burn make-up where his eyebrows were gone and his hairline was back and he had this punked-out hair cut. We slammed him in the police car and started shooting and we got that Adam Greenberg lighting with that cold cyan glow from below. And when we saw dailies the next day, we went, "Baby!" This is great. I also noticed that within a few days of that, all the circling vultures, all the nattering nabobs of negativity that were circling the production all kind of backed off a step and let us work.
M.B.: I get asked about Arnold all the time, of course. Arnold and I rarely, if ever, worked together. I saw him around. He was doing his thing and I was doing my thing. We never worked together. We never did a scene together. That was the only time we were ever in frame together. We were running away. If he had caught up and I was doing a scene with him, we would have had no movie. By the time I got into the same frame as the Terminator, he was no longer Schwarzenegger, he was a special effect.
("ENDOSKELLETION. STAN WINSTON WIZARDRY").
S.W.: Jim wanted to see some other variations because he's also an artist who wants choices. He's brilliant, but he wanted choices. We went through some variations, some artistic variations, some sculptures, of different possibilities for the look of the endoskeleton, and we ended up going right back to the initial concept that Jim had in the painting. He did some sketches himself. And we started doing detailed work and, actually, Jim became probably the most important artist in my studio. It was me constantly being able to go "Why don't you give me a little sketch?" And sort of milk out the sketches from Jim Cameron. "OK, fine. We'll work on that." Then I could go over to the guys and say, "We're done. We got it." "Here's the body cavity and here are the hips and here's the shoulder." By the time all was said and done, Jim had detailed, in sketch, every detail of the endoskeleton. And thank God for him. And then I ended up taking credit for it all, which I will continue to do.
G.A.H.: When we initially met with Stan, we felt that it might not be possible to get away with as much during principal photography as we ultimately were able to capture on film at that time.
S.W.: The concept of creating a full-size endo I literally had to talk Jim into. He planned on all of the endoskeleton work being done in stop-motion animation.
G.W.J.: He was torn about how much should be done which way. He wanted it to look as real as he could. He always struggled with how he was gonna get what he wanted, given the time and money we had on this project. I think he originally probably thought there was gonna be more in stop-motion.
S.W.: I said to Jim, "I really think that we can create the endo full-size and get a lot of performance out of the real thing, doing it with puppetry and animatronics." Jim went for it, knowing that there would be some things we couldn't do that he would have to rely on stop-motion animation for.
G.A.H.: And with Stan's ability to see the movie from beginning to end and to mind-meld with Jim in terms of the storyboards for each sequence, we realised that we could actually do a lot during production, but we had to be able to know in advance what those sequences would entail.
S.W.: I knew that we could get some walking and some movement by creating an upper-torso puppet of the Terminator that would be carried on the shoulders of a puppeteer, a technique we used. Shane Mahan was the Terminator puppeteer who carried the upper-torso Terminator, affected his walk and his limp and his dragging leg. And everything that he did generated to that upper-torso puppet. Then we added our animatronic techniques to head and eye movement, which was developed by Sonny Burman and Bob Williams.
That was the upper-torso puppet. We also built a full-standing endoskeleton that Jim could shoot from head to toe. And the shots where he's blown in half and he's being dragged along, again, the upper-torso puppet was being pulled along from underneath the floor. As far as the rigs we had, we had mechanical insert arms. We developed our first robotic hands, which we would use as inserts and grab the grating and pull him forward. We also had our exploding dummy endo. It was a urethane endoskeleton that we used to actually blow up. The reason we had to make it out of urethane, and we chromed that urethane, was, from a safety factor, we didn't want metal pieces killing all of the people on the set when we blew up this robot. We had insert feet that you could see walking up the stairs. And we made a huge oversized endo eye area that we used for close-ups for the eye operation, and also allowed us to show the eye irising, using, actually, a camera lens for that piece. So those were all the various pieces that we used for the endo. I also knew that, ultimately, to really sell that there was a robot under there, we would have to duplicate Arnold as a puppet. A couple of sculptures were done. We used one of them in the truck at the end, when he was driving. The interesting thing is that, as good as the heads turned out, the makeup turned out better than we thought it would, and allowed Jim some more freedom as a filmmaker to shoot, for Arnold to be able to act more, and then a couple of close-up shots to sell the depth inside that skull. And it works as a storytelling device.
G.A.H.: We were lucky that we had both trained under Roger Corman. Roger taught us some very important lessons. One of those was that oftentimes films are made in postproduction. We headed into filming knowing that we wouldn't know all the things that were missing until we'd had an opportunity to cut the film together. We set aside money for that photography. We were doubly blessed in that Lindsley Parsons, who was the head of the LA branch of Film Finances, a completion bond company, believed in us as well. When there was a lot of pressure on us to take that money, because, of course, no one plans on not getting all the shots that are essential in production, no one has the luxury of having additional photography later on, he believed that was the smartest way to approach this film. And he supported us every step of the way.
M.G.: It was a finite amount of money we had to make this picture. When Jim needed additional shots in postproduction inserts or whatever, he either went out and shot them or he hired a very inexpensive DP, or the most DP he could afford for the money out of his own wallet.
J.C.: The income coming in as director went out into the shooting.
M.G.: They would have a little guerrilla ragtag team of filmmakers and go shoot the shots. I believe he got Arnold to pitch in. Everybody was committed to making it work.
G.A.H.: We did everything in terms of guerrilla filmmaking to pull the movie off. There was one point where we wanted to see that the Terminator was outside Sarah and Ginger's apartment, and we didn't have that shot. So we went up to the house where I lived and we spray-painted the doors black to match the colour of the sliding glass door in their apartment. We didn't have the shoes any more, so we spray-painted the shoes, just to get that one shot.
M.G.: In the last scene when Reese is zipped up into a body bag, that body bag that Reese is zipped up in was actually Jim Cameron's suit bag. It was a vinyl suit bag that I think he had in his car. He just pulled it out and, presto, you had a body bag.
M.B.: They just laid the suit bag over the top of me and opened it up and zipped it up. It was shot in Griffith Park. I was lying on top of a car with a suit bag laying on top. That was guerrilla filmmaking. I'm sure we didn't have permits that night.
S.W.: At the end of the shoot we had to go back and do some insert shots. He wanted a close-up at the end, when the Terminator is crushed in the press. The last bit of the eye falls off and it dies, and there's a little bit of haze and smoke. None of that had been created before we shot it. We put together on the spot while we were there, with Jim's direction, with his art direction and his background of putting the stuff together, built a press out of foam core, the two halves, the top and the bottom, out of foam core, sprayed 'em silver. We took and fabricated a little eye section of the Terminator, the thing that you see falling off, out of foam core and tinfoil. And did it there on the spot with tinfoil. And then had that on part of a little tinfoil headpiece and took one of the eyes, put a light bulb in it, had that behind the tinfoil. Took these two foam-core set pieces, pushed 'em down, the little tinfoil thing popped off. The little eye is sitting there and we just sort of dialled it down and let it go away. And a little smoke is wafting through the shot. And the smoke is literally the smoke from a cigarette. There was someone offstage who went... And we shot that shot, and it's in the film, and it works. With all of this stuff that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and the sculptures that take for ever, here is this close-up image, this final close-up image, that is basically foam core and tinfoil and cigarette smoke, and it's the last image of the Terminator in the movie.
M.G.: Everybody put their heart and soul into this picture, and it shows, because the passion definitely shows up on the screen. Gale's passion, Jim's passion, Arnold's passion. The actors are all committed.
J.C.: I think that makes a difference. It shows in the film.
G.A.H.: We were naive enough not to realise it was an impossible dream. I think, because of that naivety, we were able to actually pull it off.
("JUST ONE LAST SHOT").
G.A.H.: In the desert we needed to film the establishing shot. Linda wasn't available, so we got my secretary assistant, Polly Apostolof, my mother's dog... We actually were able to get the Jeep, and we went out there with Gene Warren, Jim and myself.
G.W.J.: And then my son Chris came out to help us with the stands.
C.W.: I was there just to muscle the gear.
G.W.J.: We did it on a Sunday.
G.A.H.: We went out to a location.
G.W.J.: It was out in the middle of nowhere.
G.A.H.: We were setting up all day for the right light. Not one car had driven by the entire time we were setting up.
G.W.J.: Five minutes from shooting.
G.A.H.: We literally had the tripod just a few feet into the pavement.
G.W.J.: I had Polly drive the Jeep on out and drive away.
G.A.H.: Just as we were about to roll...
G.W.J.: A little dot of a car starts to show up. Jim says, "It's probably a cop."
G.A.H.: A cop car pulls up. And we were completely unprepared.
G.W.J.: We didn't have a permit or anything.
G.A.H.: We weren't supposed to be there.
G.W.J.: He pulls up. "What are you folks doing?"
G.A.H.: "Excuse me. You have to move your equipment off the road, and, by the way, where's your film permit?"
C.W.: My dad turns around and says to him, "My son, it's his film school project."
G.W.J.: Well, we were helping my son do a film.
G,A.H.: A UCLA student film. We just needed one shot and then we would get out of there.
C.W.: I just stood in the background, smiled...
G.W.J.: The highway patrolman thought, "A little thing like this..." "Helping your son do a film is fine." He understood film school.
G.A.H.: The policeman was very cooperative and said he would hold traffic.
C.W.: He changed his whole attitude. "If that's the case, that's fine." "You are in the middle of the road."
G.W.J.: But we have to take this off the highway because it was dangerous, and don't obstruct the highway.
G.A.H.: Which was not a problem, because he was the only car that drove by there the entire day.
C.W.: Meanwhile, me, I'm about to pee in my pants cos they're blaming it on me.
G.W.J.: So we moved it over three feet, and he left, and we shot it and went home.
G.A.H.: And that was actually the last shot of the film.