Quentin Tarantino's first AD speaks in a new interview with Filmmaker Magazine about the film's secret final act.
Editor's Note: Spoilers ahead for the end of "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood".
Quentin Tarantino's longtime first assistant director William Paul Clark didn't start in the pictures – he rose after trying to escape the hollow life of a stockbroker. Back to "Pulp Fiction" in 1994, he was the guardian of many of Tarantino's secrets, and there are many as the filmmaker is notorious for keeping his scripts under wraps and going so far as to monitor investors, who read his scripts.
This was the case for the super-secret final act of "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood," in which Tarantino describes the gruesome murder of Sharon Tate and her friends on Cielo Drive, instead of the Manson family's acolytes trying to kill them to brutally slaughter. According to a new interview with Filmmaker Magazine with Clark about the film, the final act was kept in a safe and only shared with those who absolutely needed to read this part of the script.
“We kept the third act in accounting in a safe. You come, you get the script, you go to the little room, you read the third act, ”said Clark. "When you're done, you return the script, they put it back in the safe, and you go. You take a few notes. If you need to relate to something, go back."
Clark also said that the safe had to be carried with the crew during production. "When we were there, we just brought a safe and you go to the trailer of the producer if you have to read it. The hardest thing was to overcome the fear of not always having the material at hand. As soon as people have this fear it was no longer a problem, ”he said.
After the Cannes premiere of "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood", Tarantino quickly urged the press to keep the spoilers on the QT. (Shortly afterwards, a fake plot summary was posted on Wikipedia, stating that the film ended when Bruce Lee stormed into Tate's house and left the Manson clan.)
William Paul Clark added that ending on a Quentin Tarantino set is often a source of the puzzle, including the revisionist Holocaust epic "Inglourious Basterds" from 2009 and the antebellum revenge film "Django Unchained" from 2012. " Well, the end for "Inglourious Basterds" was nowhere in the script, "Clark said. “He completely revised that during the Christmas vacation that we took and never put into a script format. It was basically an outline with small dialog snippets. He wrote it by hand and handed me a stack of paper with a yellow ruler. "
Meanwhile, Clark said for "Django": "The last shootout … in which we killed about 40 guards was not in the script. I mean, I was in this scene because Quentin kept saying," We need more Guys. "I killed a couple of PAs. Anyone who could fit would be used to bring in more weapons. It had to get bigger and bigger to exceed what we had done in the barn before. The whole end – that Dynamite and everything – was different from the original script, the last month of Django was quite an exercise in flexibility. "
Read the entire interview in Filmmaker Magazine.