I really wonder what professional life is like for James McTeigue. He’s got a great career working alongside the Wachowskis and as a budding director, but his relationship with the Matrix directors is so close that you never hear his name without theirs. I still don’t know what to expect from Ninja Assassin, McTeigue’s next film, but so far I’ve been thinking of it, unfortunately, as more of a Wachowski project than anything else.

Yesterday BoingBoing published a video piece featuring a conversation with effects maestro John Gaeta about McTeague’s project. He calls the movie a “strange side project,” but then gets more enthusiastic, referring to it as “a super psycho horror ninja movie. Supremo stunts and martial arts.”

But the key statement, and the one that finally puts the movie on my watch list, is this. Ninja is surprisingly invisible on effects work, and intentionally
so. No virtual humans in this one.”
Later in the video piece, Gaeta fully shoots down the notion of digital actors ever taking over films. Whew. “The only real post processing comes from heavily stylistic color grading, think graphic tones like “Se7en,” compositing and some CG weapons and blood augmentation. But this film shines brightest for the martial arts team. To put it another way —
it’s old school.”

Some of the stunt work we see here looks fantastic. Watch the video below, and head to BoingBoing for a more lengthy chat transcript.