Blake, Writer, Scofield discussed on The Q&A with Jeff Goldsmith


Film's look if you don't actually Q-bert the characters what makes you down any of the technical feats right and so I'm going to talk about your habit for a second and then we're GonNa get into the spoilers you can talk about whatever you want When you sit down to write do you give yourself a certain amount of hours to write with or a page count to hit each day? No I am sometimes. I like to give myself ten pages a day. I write very quickly irate very loosely. So I I like. I'll do a big long draft in La Myself. And I find that's the funnest way to do it because then you're not like oh if I go over there the right time and you can come back in. There's nothing more satisfying nearly. I don't need any of this and just cutting it or super full so there so yeah I'll l. do about ten peaches deep. But I'm not religious. I wouldn't beat myself up if I didn't have lose ten pages if I have one good page at the end of the day. I'm like all right job done. I am I genuinely genuinely enjoy writing. It was Never Chore For me. Don't get me wrong somedays. ooh Some these. There's tours told me about that. What do you do if you get writer's block? How do you battle it if you get it? Never actually got writer's writer's block. I feel like that's something that it's like a nervous disposition thing. I always feel like people. Are you weady. But the blind pge. I'm like Nuwara but impeach seventy six. That's when you'll find all your problems the blank page. You haven't talked anything up yet though the blind pages just free and easy I am so I never. I was never worried the blank page I am the I get into for this. For instance the trucks in was one of the hardest things to write this. I promise okay but that but but that seemed to me. Three weeks took salmon. I three weeks of just relentlessly an hotel rooms showing each like what about this. I am because it was just it was it's just a very tricky. Seen emotionally to kind of perfect I am and yet and sometimes it takes weeks sometimes a whole skeptics weeks. It just depends endzone. How good you are that? You like three weeks a lot. Three weeks worked for you. How many pages was that three week? Draft just a guess who it was probably around nineteen ninety-five approaches Obviously you're working with San Mendez. We're still non spoiler area. You really got to observe his creative habit first a hand up close personal because you were there for the entire shoot as well. What was what was something interesting about as creative habit that kind of inspired the film student in you and was maybe something not you want to transfer to your own work as you continue on? I think the thing was Sam. So there's there's a there's a bunch of reasons that SAM is grease one is that he's genius which is annoying. I am an incredibly frustrating. I am but lovely. I think the things for me that really matter you know. Even though he is a genius he doesn't doesn't think always default his ideas the best idea in the room so he lessons he listens to everyone and to me. That's a really really important. Crucial the element. Because why not listen to everyone's idea in case they're better than yours I am. I've always gonNA come from that point of view. And also some listen to people who ooh aren't necessarily echoes of himself so like I knew. I'm not your traditional pack for a war movie being different gender. Being a different different age you know different. She'll she'll economic all all these reasons contribute to a very interesting collaboration. That means is not just to. You won't see old to middle aged white guys going like he wouldn't this be cool because you end up. Ken Burns officers. I think diversity be sexually really you know racially gender however you want to do it. I'm like is very very important in any Kenneth Collaboration. You don't want to get yourself open to just feeding frenzy sneak the ISA's when tale I am so that was that is a big thing from some and the other thing is that he is a relentless perfectionist and that it can be very tiring. But it's the only way to do something like this and so during with six months or hair so period for this enduring it I would watch him stage a scene and it was incredible watching him seems because because of his theater background you know sometimes I would see to like. How do you know how to do that? and He's like well for twenty two years. I've been moving actors in space. I understand how this works and like you know over the years. He's he's developed he's developed it because he's like. Is that a Beta version and I would see him. In Harris set down and goal will is the Beta version of this and then watch them working working working and find it. It's important for an artist to kick the tires tires on the car because too many people become complacent too fast. And sometimes you don't find those other ideas that you would find if you keep looking for something that's better The last non spoiler for the question. You did something really interesting here in which this is a film that knows when to embrace silence so you are it's reinforcing your visual storytelling. But it's also not the easiest of writing. I mean you guys technically wrote this on Spec people aren't going to just you know can whatever Sam. Mondays is thinking about as is next project. So you knew this was probably gonNA find it home. But it's it's non traditional in the sense because a lot of movies do not engage in periods of silence for for this long in some of the challenges of that on the page. Well I mean that is a challenge. You spend a huge point of your reality and silence like when you knew someone a long time. You don't necessarily we cup in the morning with them and go. Oh Wow I'm thinking about my mother whose name is do you know that that's not reality. And so again with reality being your northstar a low of that stuff go and actually I think silence is one of the most perfect twos because allows you to rate visually. If this Cup tied to being chalked full dialogue he would have just been laying bored right by it. You mean Chatty Chatty chatty do you know what I mean and it just wouldn't feel real. You wouldn't have cared. You have been immersed in it and so having to kind of work that we having to tell stories stories silently just makes you more creative again the truck sequenced which will get to. I promise where we put on top of that though you know. Here's the rub for writing with silence. You still have exposition. The audience gets understand where they're going what they're doing. So you're getting exposition dialogue. Was Sir anything that was really challenging about your exposition. Because you don't want it to just be a series of military orders and Y- you guys see superseded that yeah well we had to be crafty. Abo- The position. I am so even though in the first fifteen minutes of this film you don't. You're never they never see anything about themselves. They aren't specifically told things but the rails be you actually find her a huge about them like in that I sort of even walk to air. Moore's Doug you huge amount of them and some of that we do because they're two very different characters in the contrast his medal there's talking about Scofield's model doesn't have an exactly but even even even not getting the mail is an important part and ao very subtly builds up to create an image of who these two men are and so we did that very technically. That was the title walk where we had the very first the script we we. We had the rule new x possession. And then I looked up salmon. I was like some some exposition. Please I am and then what what it was because we'd started from a completely completely blank slate of non it was it was like surgical where we added and and we moved by inches. Like with a scalpel we touch more. Here touch lace. They're a little bit more year here and we did that all the way through rehearsals. We did that even during shooting and there were some of it in A. Dr Is will just like Hey. We didn't get that quite right. We need just a more here right and when you're over someone's shoulder it's easy to slide into. Adr's that was your saving grace Okay we're getting into this weather section podcast. Have you have not yet seen nine hundred seventeen press pause go see it immediately comeback because based on what you WanNa talk about. I'm going to actually save the idea of Blake's death for another moment or two but we're in the sports section. It's okay okay but you want to talk about the truck. Seen We all know Blake dies and I wanNA come back to that in a second but that was something that we focused on in the magazine as well because it was an important way fetus. Show what Scofield I feel was going through without him talking about it. Yeah well that's because you he gets into the truck he's famous for his arms needlessly headless -ly pointlessly shockingly. I am hopefully I. Am You read that I am so so. There's this whole sequence where he's right with grief and guilt the impotence and this new idea of how he's going to go on and he suddenly plunged in with all these men and in a in a ship version of it he would say you guys I've been through my best friend just died in my arms. I'm sad but that's not real life and so we spent ages working hide. We tease this information. Because it was important the older men in the truck knew that because by the time he leaves that truck you want them to understand where he's going to understand what he's been through you don't want him to ever have to see it and so it took his ages and we were. We tried to fifty different versions of that scene until we were like the trump gets stuck in the mud has to push an and so what we were trying entity with this and what I think is another lesson for every script is your China's Herman Cain of Lake behavior into cycle lake psychology into behavior and nor psychology ecology and to dialoque which is very important not not to traumatize you. What were some of the other fifty bad versions of things that you had him do? 'em We had all all of them just gain nine degrees. We haven't won a smashing a bottle of whiskey. I think he's marble whisky and one. The guy gives exactly there is Lloyd's the results of just ones. That just didn't wire Louis great because you came up with that final idea in which he has an emotional release by screaming and like people see his fervor and his commitment and they realize okay. Let's give it another go. Oh yeah and they work as a team and they lived together Going back for a second. When did you realize that Blake was going to die? I mean we were always going to kill one of them. We're always always GONNA kill one of them. I love a body. Can I kill both of them but someone let me away with with. Did you ever consider going you know. Could you imagine what diner that would be. Doesn't make kit trainers. I would figure somebody else takes homeless Newman's beautiful score just wasteland Richard Bad and also also did just everyone just a marginal in the new new we. We didn't. We didn't consider killing both of them. Because I mean it was sad enough I thought yes. Am I always knew one of those going to die I we I mean we both wanted. I think I advocated it for it to be the brother. Who's WHO's going savings? I think you wouldn't expect it so I wanted the younger one because I love. I love a sad death I am. I wanted maximum impact and damage and he was the guy I look at Dean. Charles Charles. Chapman's BBC's No let me martyrdom. He's never forgiven me for that but I am so there is that like whole. That plan was always in motion and I knew I was going to kill him in the first third because everyone thinks is the midpoint of the Phil everyone thinks sorry at the midpoint. Assume everything's is the first start but it's actually exactly in the the metal the film. Here's what's interesting though. Now that you know that you're GONNA kill 'em there's so many different ways to do it and tell us what some of the variants were that you came up with the plane. Crash Rashly always so we the the we spoke a lot about the dais in this film. And how these should be random and on Herwig in accidental..

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