Francis Hopping, Greenberg Greta Gerwig, Charlie Chaplin discussed on Clear+Vivid with Alan Alda
Talking about communicating with. The audience. Reminds me of how you handle close ups you don't you don't do a lot of close ups you you choose them very carefully right right and some of my previous obvious movies. I like Greenberg or Francis Hopping two examples. Where they're even the title of the movie is the name of the character? You're you're kind of have a single character that's kind of bringing you into the story. And part of the story is their emotional journey as well as their physical journey and in those cases for some similar and some different reasons I felt like particularly. They're that close. UPS should should be used sparingly. Because I thought you know these were both characters who were part of their obstacles are themselves and which ages both a A human common human challenge for some people Are All people to some degree but also oh I almost related it to like silent comedy or something like a Buster Keaton movie or Charlie Chaplain movie where these individuals kind of at the fate. You know. Ah they're they're they're. They're sort of the the mercy I should say of of you know it could be a storm. It could be. There's often a big comic set piece there. You Know Charlie Chaplin in the factory and you know in modern times or the gold rush with the you know the cabin coming off the cliff and even though I was telling sort of a different kind of comedy in in a sense I I often I wanted to show the characters in the world know. There are a lot of wide shots. I mean also. Both Ben Stiller Played Greenberg Greta Gerwig who plays Francis. They're are great comedians and great physical actors so again seeing them seeing their bodies you know in in the world in in in in the case of Francis she plays a dancer too so often saw scenes. There are dance sequences in the movie but scenes. Even when she's not even dancing I thought of her sort of a PR performer. Or a dancer in the world with marriage story. It was different because it was it was ah to hander. In two characters in the sense who go on a kind of journey I felt the the internal life was something that I wanted on it to document or and so I felt close ups. We're going to be very important and I. I even used a different aspect ratio. which is the you know the frame itself of the movie? I mean letterbox and the old fashioned square yells. Yeah what they call the academy which is one three and the numbers of this sort of the ratio so that dimensions of the bill you change the ratio would shot shot previously. Most movies are one eight five which is a fairly common aspect ratio for movies. I mean to what was what was marriage story every one six six so it was slightly more narrow very interesting. This is a real question of you communicating with the audience. And they don't even know it right right. I mean the the aspect ratio the shape of screen. Tell me how changing the shape of the screen in matters. What why did it tell the story better? Well I think it created a sense of portraiture when we were in close up and it'll I some he so that the face would would would wouldn't have allowed space left over in boats. It's more narrow on the sides I think. Also because of audience's expectations were used to too wide screen is particularly right. Now I think is used a lot and eight five is stop wide-screen. It's almost sort of like what a TV shape is no TV's he's now with more rectangular are more. Maybe an audience is sort of expectation for an image you know currently so by narrowing it slightly. I don't I don't know I guess I felt like maybe it would kind of focus you in more and in particularly in these close ups did become becomes kind of mostly invisible way of slightly changing your perspective. When you're watching that it that it certainly was invisible invisible to me? I had no awareness that you would change the shape of the screen and and it probably had some effectively. How do you know it's having the effect? Thanks Ernie Way to test the idea. I think I just go go. More off. Visually tests in we did tests in different aspect ratios camera tests I love how the close ups Felton one six six. I felt it just held the face in a really away and that was kind of what Robby Robbie Ryan knew who shot movie and I went to was that was that going with that feeling It's interesting I mean especially as a young actor actor dash filmmaker. I used to love to watch movies made on small budgets and see how they solve the problems. There was that one movie. It was a western made by a director who made them home movie for three thousand dollars and he raised the money by being subject subject for drug trial. What movie was that? I think it was the director of Rodrigues. I forget the name movie. But when I love loved El Mariachi Mizzou I think so. Yeah when I loved about it was almost a home. Movie was in closeups because he lit the movie with two bulbs CBS. He couldn't light a whole room. He didn't have the equipment so you. He told his story in. Totally almost was totally enclosed subs except when he was outside and they had had little ambient light nigger shoot larger scenes. It fascinated me how he was able to use the constraint to tell his story through the constraint I think having limitations in in and probably in all art forms but I can speak from my own experience to making movies in some ways I think it it. It really can up your game. I mean you I think in the way you you described being a perfect example of it can style can be born out of these limitations that actually you know that that you might otherwise it's not of otherwise found in yourself. I mean I I When I made squid we had very little money and very little time and the movies all hand-held and you know part of it from you could say from an aesthetic uh and narrative standpoint and emotional standpoint you can say oh but it brings the kind of intimacy did feels kind of almost documentary? Like you're you're kind of in the family family life in a way that you wouldn't be if you were raised standing back and again that's under the level of consciousness snus is right right and that's true but it actually given the time constraints we had. It actually was a practical decision as much as anything. which was AH I knew? Then we could kind of swing around and shoot decide and this side then. We wouldn't have to kind of stop and turn around we that it just it it it the immediacy actually help us get more done and I could have discovered a style based on on the kind of constraints us that are right up against you when you talk about being on the set. You reminding me that. We've I've been talking about communicating with the audience and I was where on the side with you. Making marriage story was how you communicated and with the actors the director has to communicate with so many people the crew couple of hundred people often. And when you talk to the crew do you do you talk in terms of storytelling or do you do you talk in terms of the effect you WanNa create generally storytelling storytelling. I mean it's also why I like to you know as soon as I know I'm going to work with somebody like I love to bring them in early because in sometimes even while I'm still working on the script because I feel like the more time we have communicating. It's only going to benefit. You know what happens when we're shooting on the set on the day on the set with you know the light fading or what you know all the the crazy things we we put up with the movie making when they when they know. Exactly what you what you doing what. Why are you doing it within their collaborators? Rather than yeah and my hope is that that then you know actors will feel when they even. I got the script that that that they're kind of in it already. You know that you know when they go through their process of learning their lines in preparing.