Miller wrote the script with his daughter, Augusta Gore; his wife, Margaret Sixel, edited the movie. She’s edited several of his other movies, winning an Oscar for “Mad Max: Fury Road.” Miller clearly likes creating in a familial setup and has worked with some crew members repeatedly, including the cinematographer John Seale, who shot “Three Thousand Years” and “Fury Road.” Miller has been with one of his collaborators, Guy Norris, for 41 years; Norris was the stunt coordinator on “The Road Warrior” (a.k.a. “Mad Max 2”) and is serving as the second-unit director on “Furiosa.”
Norris holds a special place in the “Mad Max” history because of an accident he had while driving a stunt car for “The Road Warrior.” One of the signatures of the “Mad Max” series is the elegantly choreographed, seemingly gravity-defying practical stunts, and this one involved Norris driving into two other vehicles and then into a ditch. It didn’t go as planned and he flew through the air the wrong way, missing his high-tech cushioning (a pile of cardboard boxes) and badly hurting himself — ouch. In the video of the accident (it’s available online), you can see that Miller was among the first to race to Norris’s side. You might expect that from any decent person, except that in this case the visibly worried filmmaker was also a doctor.
Miller, who grew up in a small town in Queensland, Australia, attended medical school with his fraternal brother, John. (They have two other brothers.) A movie lover since childhood, Miller made his first film, a short, while in school. By the time he made his first feature, a low-budget wonder called “Mad Max,” he was a doctor. His day job came in handy, he explained, because every time the production ran out of money, he worked as an emergency physician to make money. He practiced for about a decade, only finally quitting when he made “Road Warrior.” Filmmaking, he thought, “was a really interesting thing to do, but there was no real career.”
He and his former producing partner Byron Kennedy (who died in 1983) had made “Mad Max” out of what Miller describes as “pure curiosity.” As Miller talks, it’s clear that curiosity remains a driving force for him. One particularly lovely story that he shares hinges on a lecture at school delivered by the architect and designer Buckminster Fuller. “He synthesized so much that was rumbling around loosely my mind,” said Miller, who was struck by Fuller’s remark that “I am not a noun, I seem to be a verb.” Suddenly, Miller wasn’t a medical student, he was …….