Eye on the Oscars: Best Picture - 'Hugo'

PRODUCERS:
Johnny Depp, Tim Headington, Graham King, Martin Scorsese

ORIGINS:
“While Marty (Scorsese) and I were making ‘The Departed,’ we kept talking about how great it would be to do a movie our kids could see,” says King, who also produced “The Aviator” and “The Departed.” “Later, out of nowhere, a girl in my office gave me the manuscript of ‘Hugo.’ Not only was it the kind of material we had talked about, but, with the way it pays such tribute to film, it seemed as if it was written for Marty to make it.”

FUNDING:
“My business partner, Tim Headington, came in and we went out to the international marketplace. Distributors really liked the project, so they pre-bought it. Financing came together quickly through these pre-sells, a great tax deal in the U.K. and equity.”

HIGH HURDLES:
“Shooting it in 3D was by far the biggest obstacle, but when you have the likes of Scorsese and (lenser) Bob Richardson and (second unit director) Rob Legato, they really invented something that hadn’t been done quite that way because the 3D plays a character in the film.”

DOMINO EFFECT:
“Once Marty signs on, you get all his below-the-line people, who, I think, are the best in the business. One of the easiest things about making a Scorsese movie is casting because actors just love to be in his films. So it was fantastic to have Jude Law show up for a few days, as well as Ray Winstone and Christopher Lee.”

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