At that point, we had it ending in a very large battle with the Viet Cong and having Willard and the Kurtz character fighting off all the Viet Cong. Marty is extremely generous, big-hearted man. In order to rebuild the sets, Francis has closed down the production for two months. If I can't get Redford, I'll go back to Nicholson. . We just had more fingernails in it. I heard from some of the technical advisors stories about the air cavalry that were real, that would serve my fulfilling fiction, that they really did, you know, like, for instance, a guy would go into his helicopter in North Vietnam and try to hook a bicycle and steal it with the runner.
We didn't find one of them, not one stinking dink body. Five-B, take three, camera A. No fractions, no maybes, no supposes. So I was only thinking that I got to shoot tomorrow. I mean, it's about the kids that were over there who didn't know anything about anything.
It's like games to break up the boredom of being in that war. The Filipino commanders were afraid there could be an attack on the helicopters we were using. I didn't take any acid there. But since Francis is a writer and was a co-writer of the script, he could create things at the moment, and if a new idea came up, he would sit there up all night and write it. Where the company men imagined it crawled to, I don't know.
What are you gonna do when you go from here to Venus or something? What do you think, Willard? I gave him all the information that we had developed on shooting in the Philippines. We thought an interrogation of a boat that ended in a firefight and the loss of many lives. But I don't want to fly them from France. Show yourself the part that's an animal. At the time of doing that scene, I was talking in terms of showing the different levels of good and evil in yourself. This was his shot list.
The light, the whole thing. We had access to too much money, too much equipment, and little by little, we went insane. They were inside somebody, in his personal territory, with a man alone in his most private moment. It's the first day of shooting. What are they gonna say? In order to maintain creative control, Francis had to raise the money himself. At the point when we were developing this, nobody knew that there were drugs over there. You're more of a savage.
So that, plus being in a distant, Oriental country, the fact that pretty much it was my own money and that I was making it on the crest of the acclaim of the Godfather films, you know, I was wealthy, did contribute to a state of mind that was like Kurtz. I mean, what's the matter with you? But those are the words for the process, this transmutation, this renaissance, this rebirth, which is the basis of all life. In Francis' dream, he had Marty go to the mirror and look at himself, admire his mouth. It's like going to school. How much do they cost? I was on the spot.
It was an opportunity for everyone, really, to have a little relief from the situation, because it became apparent that it was gonna go on longer than we realized in the beginning. They began at night, inside their hut up on stilts, and they drank a lot of rice wine and chanted, and they told a long story in their own language. The next morning, they began to kill some chickens and look at their bile and tell the fortune of the tribe. I mean, I knew that was, like, my concept. Well, we're behind, but we have not stopped shooting at all.
And, for once, the so-called professionalism about movies will be destroyed forever, you know, and it will really become an art form. You finish your term paper and maybe you get a B instead of an A+ that you wanted, so you got a B. There was an electricity in the room. I mean, it's just that the film is enormous. Thirty-eight takes and Francis said the scene was never the way he wanted it. I told you we could get through three weeks or four weeks maybe, but after that, we were in trouble.
We shot masters of scenes. I'm telling you the reason. You can do anything you want to. So, for a dollar a day or three dollars a day, I hope we weren't taking advantage of people, but that's what they were paid. I want two cameras at once. I mean, it's stupid, man.
I really had a very close call and I realized. The ending didn't top what had happened with the helicopters, and it didn't answer any of the kind of moral issues that got into a real gung-ho, macho kind of a comic book ending. Everyone who has come out here to the Philippines seems to be going through something that is affecting them profoundly, changing their perspective about the world or themselves, while the same thing is happening to Willard in the course of the film. Correct title and year of release are mandatory. Well, he did, at one point, he fainted, kind of. Last Saturday, they had a feast.