EP 53: Production Design On Any Film Level with Sam Lisenco
Eighty filmmakers. My Name is Ted n welcome to the podcast at fifty three. Now on this episode we have production designers, Sandal Sankoh who is the designer behind film such as uncut gems films, like Francis Films like eighth grade, and the reason why I'm so excited about today's episode is that we are talking about production design in a way that I think a lot of people don't recognize that is design where you're designing girl to look completely invisible so real that you don't even notice it or think about will and in the. The actual conversation that we're having with. Sam, we talk about not only how I became Prussian designer starting off in New York with one of the most absurd stories that I've ever heard of as far as people that he's run into in the way that worked together, but crossing talk a little bit, but his philosophy of filmmaking philosophy of production design and talk about the difference between how something can look right now. Something can just look pretty and actually the difference between the two, and how important it is to distinguish nece. Yourself South without much further ado, episode fifty three of the evening mogul podcast. Let's do this. Doing, get. Doing all things considered I'm doing good. All things considered doing okay. The world is on fire and. Today. We're talking about building worlds so I. Think it all Kinda ties in nicely. Off Real quick, I think the place that I really want to start this off and is. Uncut gems last week and need like a kitten. Behold me or something. So high impact and so high energy and. The feeling of it is crazy and in a lot of it comes from the world so. I guess to kick things off. As a production designer I think a lot of people have ideas of what a production designer does, but from your eyes. What do you see as kind of the main purpose and role of being a PD? And I think. I think I probably would have given a different answer a few years ago. but I I in the place I. Now and and I. Don't WanNa, proselytizer or presume that my methodology for what the craft is the right attitude to have, but I think that As some of the movies that have gotten. As of late gotten bigger and some of the filmmakers that came up with are doing bigger movies themselves. I kind of see myself as A bit of a funnel by which I am ingesting and processing sometimes fucking Hottie, creative concepts that are in the director's mind even if they haven't flush them out and then communicating that to a group of facilitators beneath me in a capacity that tries to engage everybody. Within the confines of the art department or any artisanal creative craftsperson. And alleviate that responsibility from the director so like in some ways It's become for me more of like tomorrow. Director like I'm kind of. At the next location or the set build processing, what potentially any film maker or cinematographer might? Take into consideration in the process of them trying to develop a scene onset, and I'm just like problem solving the ship one day ahead of time so that when they show up. I have in some way. conceptualize like Oh, they're probably going to put the camera here if I put this couch here, so therefore I'm GonNa. Put the couch here or whatever that winds up being so I think it's a little bit of just like. Visualizing all the needed elements of the crap, just a little bit ahead of the movie so that I can make sure that they have everything they need when they get there. In the beginning, you were talking about kind of a group of people coming to you that you need a facilitate vision to is. That'd be a lot of time. You have your group team your art department coming to you and saying you know what is the vision for this? And then you go to? The the director hasn't fully fleshed that out, so you have. To do the creative, a little bit of the Legwork to institute certain extent. By the time I've booked job or gotten to a place with a director where I'm clearly the person that they want to collaborate with. By that point, usually maybe seventy percent of the movie has been visualized in my head. It's like the look book is the most important before I've even book. The job is the most important critical moment for me to process and digest the script and then it's like if I can internalize it and understand it, and really have a strong sense of self as to what general direction I needed to go. Even if I can't I don't have all the answers yet. As long as some some momentum to kick that football downfield. Then you're. You're really just kind of guiding. That critical aesthetic. Direction so that you can encourage people like a decorator or as a charge scenic or all these other elements that have finite integral. Micro skills that are super important to the process of making a movie digestible Just WanNa make sure that they're encouraged and they're bringing their a game, you know. And and a lot of time. Some of that is like me, acknowledging that I don't know the answer you know for example I know. We're going to talk about later, but like eighth grade I was never a teenage girl I. Didn't I didn't process that life growing up? So it's like it's very important for me to be able to encourage especially women in the art department to bring their their. Yeah. And so I think it's. It's really just about becoming that kind of like. Factory manager where it's like you got the blueprints and you. You're just explaining to the crew how to make it happen, and then processing and digesting their concerns and making sure they're not burnt out and then. Taking the best of what they make, and bringing it back to the top and delivering the product. And all of that being a consideration of trying to be one one step ahead of of the shooting crew you. Real quick so I. Think a lot of people don't realize this that are working on the. Super Indy level, but. Most of the time on larger films, productions designers will. Constantly be one step ahead. The always be at the location that the crew is going to move to next setting up off the fiscal. And kind of creating the world elements before the director and the become. She thinks one of the things that I think a lot of people don't realize is just how many roles are within the department, so you were talking before about kind of. Each person having kind of a find very specialized skill that they have. Gone through a couple of those roles so on a movie grade. People look at it and they're like. What is the design here? This is just A. Girl's room, but it's it's way more than that obviously right for share so to speak to the first after point, I think it's really important to understand that like it's kind of a snake that eats itself when I was first out of school in working on a anything of creative import that I could get my hands on, and just like trying to be as an involved in movie, making as possible like in a Brazilian sense I loved being an, and that was an integral part of my craft was sitting at the Monitor, tweaking and being part of that that momentum, and then as time has gone on I actually kind of. Depending on the movie, obviously, there are times where I I enjoy a mentally, but certain certain times I find it abhorrent to be there at monitor like I the idea of breaking fiction that I've worked so hard to develop and seeing a grip have to move some furniture. Put a light standing like makes me wanNA vomit and so hurts. For me when the crew shows up nowadays, it's like okay I, did it? Casino hands like moving on I can't be here to watch. You guys destroy this world because you've got to put gaff tape on the floor. But I think. You're. Corrupting this beautiful room. For sure. And I think over time because it's just like mind numbing to see like the crew show up with their the bottled water and stuff, and so like nowadays I'm Kinda like okay. Well I'm going to throw a because. You guys need me to do it. Because I'm the only person worrying about Mar, but also be because I just I can't deal with watching forty takes where you're breaking a glass on the on the floor. and. And, then to to the second to the second question I I try to as you. As you accumulate, or at least in my case, you start to meet people who? I think as far as a facet of being a good designer as you start to meet people where you can engage critically like certain things that they're really good at even if they don't have names for positions yet, so by the time they become real movies. You have your charge scenic. Your head painter, the paint department, the Construction Department your draftsmen who are working in the blueprints in the office and he starts figure out these annex of WHO does what? I can give you a quick example like I was before coronavirus happened, I was prepping. The. Sesame street movie for Warner Brothers. and. Unfortunately fell apart until next year, but But we decided early on that because of the kind of cultural capital of sesame street. How important it is so many people that blueprints that were built that we're drawing in the art office and sending to the construction shop where something that we really wanted to be considerate of historically, and so we were hand drafting the hero buildings of sesame street the Brownstone. Brownstone the CARRIAGE HOUSE MR, Hooper store secondary buildings We were doing. We were drawing on computer, but there was something tangible about it so that we were finding the kinds of people who certain draft men are better at hand drying and we were having them work on the classic. Sesame Street buildings because they put a little heart into those elements. That kind of thing so. You know all of those departments from set decoration to props to to Construction you. You kind of started. Figure out in whatever city you're working in. Who's who feels good with what elements and then user to kind of build a of language and communication, but those people is it fair to say that the production any sort of makes everything that's physical and the senior everything that you see in a in a movie because I think part of the roles that she said there. You know I'm familiar with A. A lot of them, but for a lot of people out there especially if they're coming from the camera department, or the on the Super Indy level, you know the draftsmen. The here had seen the here. These kinds of terms and they're like I. Don't know what that is. I don't know what these people do. What are the main roles? How does this all tie into making an eighth graders bedroom? Like. As a as a production designer, I think if you're trying to pick up a chicken a bar. Yeah, I'm in charge of everything that you see that's not the actor I think from a more scientific and kind of like more heartfelt perspective. It's more just I'm the person who's in charge of being considerate of what the movie looks like you know. I think a great example is like. and said this before to other people, you can never ask a DP shot looked because they're so concentrated on the frame line, and where the actors in the frame are in the frame that they're not watching the background you know, and oftentimes, if I need a second opinion of somebody who is unsettled, go to the script supervisor because I know that they're watching the movie as a movie so I think if my is being done effectively. The World of the movie should be should disappear as a consideration for the audience, and you should just be lost in the movie and not be thinking about how it looks, and if also it looks really good, then you've done a good job. Yeah absolutely. One of the things that. I want to jump into because we. We've done one production designer episode in the past as a lot of love, a lot of love for PD and kind of learning how the building constructions bill so I guess one of the things I want to ask because we've been asked this before, too. We have a couple questions from twitter that actually people that are just excited to ask questions to you of already. But yeah, it's exciting. People. This was happening, so we got a couple of those questions coming in, but I think what I want to start off with is because I know that there's a lot of aspiring PD's that What the show! Really I want to take it back to kind of. How did you start getting into production design? Where this past are for you? Sure? They didn't teach it in school yet in film school. I graduated. In two thousand six. I'm from New York and went to Boston University and They. It was just a generalized film education, and this was kind of at the dawn of host Wes Anderson. People care about movies and this entire generation of kids who didn't know what they wanted to do. Who probably like a generation earlier would have been sociology majors? All of a sudden film school becomes this huge thing. Post interesting. Emerson have an impact. I feel like there was there was something in the water at that moment where arthouse cinema surge bleed into mainstream and there was this Jason. Reitman was. Was Doing. His thing is consideration of like twee as a as a lifestyle brand lake. Piso doesn't knows a thing. So I think I think. Film schools became wildly successful, nationwide and and. Everybody on Earth wanted to be a director. I didn't I know. I've really had minimal interest in being a a a traditional filmmaker but I knew I knew I was really good at facilitating I know it was really good at digesting the concept in the science and filmmaking and communicating that stuff but I didn't want to be a storyteller society I wound up meeting this dude on the street one day Year. We became fast friends. We were in film classic restarted making shorts than his brother. Transferred to Boston University what does that mean on the street? You just like up the hamburger. You picked it up. We were we were standing on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston on campus, waiting for the light to change, and I looked at him. I was like Oh. This guy looks like new. York Guy! I I feel like I can talk to this guy. He did the same and and the rest is history so I I became. That was Josh Staffy then. Benny Saffy wasn't at bu yet in. And Josh and I moved in together. We roommates. Junior year and senior year. We have this this apartment. And by that's how you. So. This. Is what started kind of this? This trajectory uncut gems was just mutant directors. On the street, yeah! We had we had a lot of similar mentalities in terms of challenging. We I mean we were. We challenging teachers constantly, we were really rebellious like I remember taking a low brow comedy class and I started cutting class to go bowling, and then the professor heard about it, so he started cutting his own class to come bowling with us, and then pretty soon the entire class, which just started showing up with the bullying I, just because I didn't. I didn't want to deal with his low brow credit. But yeah, there is this kind of attitude we were like. Kind of all big big swinging. On campus you weren't you weren't tweet. which was really popular at the time? Dawson's Creek, which popular ten years before the? You. Yeah, we were kind of aggressive, and I was obsessed with the French new wave, and he was obsessed with like seventies American cinema and there was just enough of a van diagram where we were like. Okay, we, we come together. And on those early days, I mean we were the three of US along. With two other BU kids. Traits Brecqhou. It's just started pumping out. As we could. And I was the producer and. Short films especially like in College immediately out of college, and when you move back to New York and you've got to pay your rent and figure out how to do that. Producing meant like everything feeding people picking up the talent, but it also meant. Dealing with locations, getting the props, making sure everything looked right. There's a lot of people listening to this that probably relate to that and are like that's my life. Yeah, and I knew that the aesthetically creative stuff I enjoyed more. But it was the same kind of problem solving ended. There's very little that even even on the movies I do now I don't see very very much different between what a line producer does with production designer does except the line producer is dealing with the business of making the movie and the production designer is dealing with the day to day operations of the look of the movie, but the communication stuff and the preparatory nature of. It's very similar so that I could do it. I can totally deal with props. I could totally manufacture things, and I had a glue gun and I could make little props and things. Like logistics, making sure that all the physical elements needed to actually shoot the darn thing are right on time. That is absolutely what producer does I never thought about it that way. But it was the logistics of the creative stuff, the look of the thing, and that I really sunk my teeth into. Josh Benny and I got a studio downtown and we were just trying to I don't know how abbreviated you want the story because those. People. Do People do the full story better? Gets a little intense. It's pretty crazy so Josh Benny, and I moved back to New York I moved into an apartment with Josh, east, village and Ben, still had another year college, and we were trying to figure out how to pay rent doing like branded content like whatever you know Cynthia. Rowley or Kate Spade, whatever whoever would give us ten grand to make a short. We would do it And we had, we were very successful in Film Festivals Film Festival Circuit with our short films. But we were also accruing debt like flying around to like Sarasota or slam dance, or whatever so so we were kind of digging a hole, but we decided. We really need to get a studio. That was a priority one. We just need space like a brain tube. and. We had both worked for this. New York artists briefly Tom Sachs as studio hands, just doing fine arts, Steph and through him. We were introduced to Casey nine stat and his brother. Van Nuys Stat. Who's going on in this story? And get really. Really. Watching gyms right. This is random people popping in and out. Okay, I haven't even scratched. Okay Continue Sitting Casey says one day he's like. If you guys want to come help out in the studio, or whatever like we have we? We got our own studio downtown. There's empty spaces in the building there cheap. Why don't you come? Check it out, so we wound up getting a studio in the same building as the nice step brothers. And we were slowly expanding and doing brandon contents. We end up moving to a bigger studio on the top floor. Casey, Casey and Van were onto Casey van had the studio assistant named Oscar Boy San who now produces content with the softies. He kind of took over a lot of the produce oriole roles as I started to shift just an art. So now it's this rush on studio space and Josh and Bennies childhood friends. The show allman brothers. Rl, shellman and he uneven shellman wanted a studio space in the. Content oriented. nyu and they started making this dance documentary while we were trying to make our first movie, but then the movies that they were making certain to turn into this weird pseudo documentary about the younger shellman. You need shellman because he was on an online relationship, so they're making catfish across the street, oh my goodness. They're helping. They're helping us with our shorts domes and we're doing stuff. And then Casey's doing his thing and then. It had reached this point after a couple of years, where like I had either lived with Benny or Josh and was going to work with them every day, and we could just couldn't couldn't deal with space or time anymore, give it. There was probably like ten years where I saw one or both of them every day. And so I was like I'm GonNa. Move Out I'm going to get a different place so I call Arielle I'm like yeah. Arielle, let's get an apartment. He's like. Let's get a place in Chinatown, so we go were like trying to Greeson. Wheels in Chinatown gets in like non-english-speaking apartment we. Great space, but it's a little too big for ceiling, and we need a third person, so we wound up calling my old friend from fellow festivals. Greta. GERWIG and so Greta moved in with us and she was our third roommate. which is will get to when we talk about Francis Hawk? Because that movies whatever? And then Greta really wanted a studio. So there was an opening in the building. So then Greta gotTA studious. If she was broken, she needed to share it with somebody. So Ben Josh called Lena. Dunham, who was this young kid who hadn't made anything yet. She was just making sure it's and she lived five blocks away. Their parents apartment. Like Destroy Greta needs space. Do you WanNa? Share the space then. Lena moved in to the fourth floor with Greta, so it was like me and the Safti, brothers, Lena and Greta. Tonight step brothers I mean there are other people in like it's not just name-dropping. These are like half the people in this one block radius. The court thirteen guys from nyu around the corner, and that the guys that were became peg-leg, a clothing who had to make America was based on. We're next door. The nice that it was just like this weird little hive community of filmmakers, all sharing equipment in this one building. So in the middle of this. I was like I i. need some air from this and I really WANNA learn how to be a production designer, the real way instead of just like hot gluing stuff, so I went back and I started peeing on like traditional content so at night I would make stuff with them, and then during the day I would go and be an art PA on big sets, and I'll never forget and I've never told the story publicly, but after we finished the first daffy brothers feature. We were can and like I couldn't even afford a Tuxedo I stole a Tuxedo from Agnes be so I could go to the own red carpet. and I flew back because I had a job as a PA on this God. Awful movie that I can't even I don't even want to mention but I remember getting to set the next morning. Twenty four hours prior had been on a red carpet in the south of France with staffy brothers, and I was like maybe twenty years old. And then the next morning I got yelled at for two hours because I didn't tie a not the right way and the guy was like. If you're ever GONNA, make it in this business. You GotTA learn how to tie knots, and I just didn't say anything. I bit my tongue like okay so i. i kind of just started doing my days as a real PA I did that for about two years and then. Got Back into making movies with my friends again. So originally. But when the actual because. That's pretty crazy, right? Watched right now. Rogue stay. All kinds of that's that's. That's the family friendly version they all they all kind of hit at the same time, and they all went all in their separate ways Lena and Greta and the Safdie brothers, all kind of spiraled out of control simultaneously, so the whole scene fell apart very quickly like as quickly as it came together, it just vanished over. How long did this this community exist for? I'm pretty bad at the time line. I know that it was probably one year after school we moved into the building and then we were still there when Obama got elected. So it must have been like. Must have been about five years all in all that this. This was just dating before it kind of. coagulated. This into this mucus. Filmmaking Mucus discussed. That crazy. That's so random. The Most New York story I've ever heard that someday. Somebody will write a book that nobody will read about it. It'd be. It'd be a bestseller Amazon for all of to all of today's most books do these days. Okay does that does that bring us to where we are now I? Mean you said you did two years of the stuff? And then the movies were just doing on the side eventually off. So? Yeah, so then I came back and then like. My friends were making dope stuff and that started to than the dopes they were out doing themselves each time I mean the softies rise to power is interesting in and of it's own right, basically, the long and short is like they. We got a contract to commercial. Contract said we could keep the outtakes, so we just kept shooting and shooting and shooting and shooting, and pretty soon we had a feature. That was ours. Project was the Dow is called the pleasure of being robbed. It started as a as a branded content piece for kate spade which we delivered. It's a piece, but we had ever sixteen mill and we wound up shooting. Most of a features worth of stuff on, you hit a feature budget into a branded content piece at at the time She she she passed, but at the time. Kate spade and Andy. Spade were in the process of selling Kate Spade the company to Liz Claiborne. So we are contract was just lost in the ether. Andy spade like Yo I buried this in your contract. Why don't you guys just do whatever you? WanNa do so. He was I mean he was a benefactor. He helped with the finishing costs. Once we had in the CAN, and as a separate producer, so he was, he was super integral and giving them their start so once that started to happen. We were actually making feature length stuff. Then I started just calling myself a production designer and just. World Yeah Yeah and it was like Saffy brothers than down back, and then Barry, Levinson saw Francis hot and asked if I would design for him, and then after that all of a sudden I had a union card, and it became real the center. Yeah! That is absurd, that is. That is the most. Bad, story that we've we've heard a lot of stories on this Joe. Let me just say we've heard a lot of last production designer. Guy Hendrix amazing guy. History was like being with the president of Sony and like doing calligraphy of like product designs. Before he started working out, we were, we were little, and I don't want to discredit everyone whose name I just dropped. I don't want to discredit their work ethics like. We were working until we were bloody. We'd be there until three in the morning. Just like trying to make stuff and if we didn't have money to make stuff, we just shoot steph on pocket cameras, little cannons and stuff. But it! We were rebellious. We were like we would go to film festival than we were the youngest by far, so we would would be little. Drunk holes start fights with people and stuff I think in the grand scope of that full seen my. I was sort of relegated to to like the Oscar Isaac. In the COEN brothers folk movie character like I'm like on the fringe I was there for all of it like? Maybe somebody will dig up my record fifty six. Around. Cat crashing on the couch. UGH just casually observing part of it. You're playing. You're supporting it. Yeah, yeah, supporting player in in a much bigger story wasn't an extra, but I was a supporting player in this ridiculousness. Larry is what I love about. It is that I feel like it defies all the rules of what you're supposed to be doing. Right D- feel like having gone through and lived story that this is the only way it could have worked. Do you feel like there were pivotal times where? To the right direction I think there is definitely some water at the time that was very conducive to our methodology, because there were other people doing the same thing around the world, like same kinds of things were happening in France and in Canada. Not La at the time, but that's a whole different story, but. But at the time. You had a thriving indie world. You had this huge. Talent pool of kids who had just gotten out of film school. You had the rise at film festival culture in the mainstream for the first time south by southwest was was south by South West like it was. It was legendary. Even even second year festivals like Sarasota was all these killer festivals. Had some some output, and and also there is enough of an appetite think in mainstream culture to provide breadth of content and you know this was the height of IFC's power and I've had just been bought by Rainbow Media, so they wanted content. They just wanted to the channel and they wanted to be able to provide Sony pictures classics. There was this was the beginning of the offshoot of all this subbranch create twenty four, but there was definitely kind of. For it, so I think the timing was right to. To allow that that kind of stuff to happen and. It was also kind of that moment where streaming content on the Internet was now fast enough and high resin. Enough you know is the beginning of H. Two six four like. Companies specifically fashion and service economy stuff like wanting content online so badly that we could afford to pay our rent doing that. We were always paycheck to paycheck, but It was a ten thousand dollar job here. Ten thousand dollar job there, and that was enough to chip in the studio and pay our own rent, you know. So I don't know if that's still exists, but that's also because ten years out of it, so I don't really know I. Don't have my ear to the ground how how to do it right now, I can't imagine that dissimilar a but. But yeah now. I think we just Kinda threaded the needle at the right at the dawn of how to how to do it that way. And when I started. Actually being a real designer. Ten years from now I know like when the moment when it was a career, instead of just like making movies, I was the only designer I knew of who had done it that way, and now there's more now. There's a lot more really of these scrappy rebellious like we're GonNa make things no matter what and yeah, there is a significant delineation. Delineation in inside the industry of guys like me, who are self taught? Who didn't go to architecture school who went to film school and I can load an art. Be Elle magazine I can. I can run INAUGURA I. You know what I mean, but I, but I did I can't draft like I. I'm I used sketch up to communicate our conventional yeah? And it's only later. That I liked learn how to read blueprints because that that baseline language wasn't wasn't accessible to me until until I learned it the hard way later, but I feel like most traditional productions on yours came from architecture in this kind of very designed background scaleback, and that was the entire. Dow Is that it was a it was a much more technical fields and much less. You know. Can you get things done? Can you hustle make these things come together, and it's become a little bit more of a I think in the process of its refer Mation, and and the shift over what's important about the craft now? I think you, production designers now are much more like a console. Then they are a technical visionary, comparatively to what they probably twenty years ago like I am I, am basically. In in weak moments of fighting with the producer, I am I. Am the Director right hand man to like give another second creative voice to save. Go Fuck yourself so that we can. Preserve! We need this vision getting xactly exactly and I think that that was that was lacking. So I think there's there's been a little bit morbid shift of Lake respectful. What production design is but also because the craft is shifted a little bit. One of the biggest ones won't ask is sort of what do you think changes from doing the I'm sure there's some people that are listening that feel like man. I was I mean those shoes right now. I'm running around taking care of the crew I'm producing an production. Xining and I'm sure. The logistics appear at the same time. What changes in between then and kind of the higher jobs? which there's people doing that? They should call me because I'm out of work because Corona virus, so I'm I'm available now. Totally. Your phone calls man. No. To the. Envelope. I shouldn't make jokes like that. Because I numbers online that's. What is wrong with you? I. I think that. I think if you are confident. In your ability to express creative concepts even if it's not in production design specifically, but this is true. This is true for gaffer's. This is true directors and Andrew if he if you are if you if you're cognizant of your ability to wax, poetic about. Deep Shit Aesthetically, even if you're language varies from thing to think, there may be a table that I want in a dining room scene to talk to a director about an instead of actually talking about the table, I can talk about a piece of music I talk about a pop song from thirty years. It'll be like you know. That that happens with these a lot. Actually I'll be like. That Rob Bay Song like that Rob Song on the table and if you can get to that place where the director where they get their like yeah, yeah, then you don't have to talk about everything. There's a confidence this instill so if you're the kind of person who can do that on some level than I think the business finds you, there's. There's always the right next career step that presents itself, and it's just about listening to it and being confident in making a choice, because it's like I was saying before you make the wrong choice. But your surrounding yourself with some right choices than those right choices will guide you if you if you as a production designer fight if I choose A. An element for scene that's and it doesn't work the wrong carpet the wrong prop. But I've built a language that is self explanatory than my team will tell me I've made the ranch. You know you wanna you WANNA create this environment. Where at least there's forward momentum if you're kicking the football like. At least the ball is moving. Even if you're in the wrong direction, you know and I think if you're the kind of person who who's confident in your abilities to do that like out of school. It's fine 'cause you'll have to do it. You'll have to make you'll have to express yourself. It may not wind up being exactly. Production Design as a specific craft to start with, but the field narrows like you get there in the end I think you. I think one of the things that talked about that are kind of latching onto is being able to speak to people in shorthand and being able to the the kind of person that can reach that level of communication with people. Do! You think that's like a skill that people have, or is that just like an ability to connect with people and have shared references and I? Don't know else I know. I know I know when it's not there. Like there's. Nothing. It's the pits man. It's the pits when when you're trying like there, I will not name names, but there's definitely a director where it didn't work out it didn't work, it didn't work out in practice. It didn't work out in the interview and it's like Oh we don't have compatible blood like this is never going to reach a place where I can talk in shorthand, but I think that. It's just not seeing each other in the same way. Everybody can think of a person that their idea of this looks good is like how on earth, possibly everything. This looks good. Yeah, and it's also like understanding that like everybody sees a different blue, but there are cultural connotations to what blue does, and it's like you and I may not see the same color Palette. And that's a micro example when I say Colorado, obviously mean like general way of seeing the world, but like you. You and I may not see the same blue but I know that. I know that water does a thing to you know that waters you figure out a language. And I for me I actually find that like joking or goofing or being laissez faire as A. As a character as a tool to get very intense, creative concepts communicated is can be very helpful and so I. Try to do that with everybody in working with both and bothering below. It's like you know. Trying to reach a human connection where you can speak about things jokingly and still be able to communicate. With everybody all the time. You know it's like. If the script says plunger. Grabs a plunger to plunge toilet. Got would and read, or you have clear and black. You know the Lucite and by those two do do do they do different things to the audience and knowing what that does, the audience is really about shared experience, and and knowing what's appropriate for the scene is a skill, and it's really about getting to a place where everybody's on that page, everybody in the film crew and the audience all understand what you're trying to inject subconsciously even if they're not processing it consciously. Symbolic meaning and kind of the visual effect they every object has in a movie on a bench. It's all the same though because you're also functioning with artisanal. Craftsmen who functioned on various planes of understanding because it's like? Yes, there is I mean if you WANNA to get deep about it. Yes, there is a delineation between the subtext Joel elements necessary to make the audience feel certain way and the physical elements that make the movie look a certain way, but think about what that does to the actor whose onset because they see the thing, and it makes them feel a certain way, and then it affects their performance so the it's all it's all gradations of. If sometimes like If I'm if I go on a set, I've done this before. And the crew standing around. They haven't set up yet. And the Saffy sometimes talk about how they'll just start rolling, but sometimes if I'm honest that and we're not even anywhere near rolling directors haven't even landed yet. I will and everybody's milling about. If. It's appropriate for the scene. That will be shot that day I, will shush somebody because I know that other crew members will hear it, and they're gonNA start talking quieter, and it's GonNa Change the dynamic in the space like you just have to be cognizant of what space does and how it feels and let that be your guide to what it needs to look like. Like like Never I. personally never composing images because they look good I think that's a I think. It's dangerous driving I. Think I'm I'm trying to compose images that look right and you can find beauty in them and part of that is the DVD's job is part of. That's not my job. You know I can guide it, but I'm I. Don't want to dictate it. You Shush being way to make a space field different exact, even though it looks the same yeah, and even the movies being made yet, and everybody knows that feeling of the arrogance sucked out of a room right all of a sudden. It's tense. Even the rates the same room. It was before. Yeah. I mean anybody WHO's watching this. Next time you're in a movie theater, shish the audience well before the trailers start like when it's still just the advertisements and you'll see what happens. It changes the room. It changes the way people feel about the changes the space. And think about this before before the counting arrives. You think about this before. The director lives to some degree to make sure. that. Is So interesting. Okay well I do WanNa, talk about designing these worlds and I think now we can talk a little bit about designing the feelings of these worlds. Let's jump real. Quick over to the video part because I wanNA, talk. We got some questions on twitter to that. People want to ask you some things as well but we're coming onto the podcast. I didn't ask my final question I gotta ask my final question here. We go okay here we go. Sam South. We're here where we are right now. And behind you. A book falls off the shelf, and it starts flickering on the floor, and all of a sudden it flies back in time reverses in the book back where it was before, and you're like man. That was really strange that that happened and all of a sudden, all of the books fly open, and this giant portal opens up behind you and you get sucked into it from your hair I and you fall, and he fly all of a sudden you land and you were there in a room. Looking at yourself, and you're sitting on the fifth floor of that studio that you guys are at in that crazy ridiculous building with all of these people in it and you're sleeping on the couch because you just had a long night and. That's it you see yourself sleeping on the couch and you walk over there and you tap the guy and you looking at yourself for many years ago, then you turn around, and you see the books from the place that you're sitting right now and the portal closing, so you only have a minute or two to say something to past Sam. And what do you say in this moment? have a moment. I think that I was lucky enough to get that. What would be that piece of advice from my dad when I was in that place that helped guide me a wok. Because there was a point where I was really poor and really down, and it wasn't working, and I was as frustrated as potentially. Some listeners might be that need that moment of future future shock, advice and my dad said. and. It's like I still think about daily. I mean even now. He was like creative. Smart people will never be homeless. Just keep going. Don't worry about the logistics. You will solve all the small problems along the way, so that's like I. Wish I had heard it maybe five years earlier than he said it to me, but even ten years later. I still think about that the so that would probably be the thing that I would. I would encourage myself. Having just gotten wet doing this or doing any creative craft, which is like. Don't worry about the logistics. Just keep the momentum. Things will fall into place even if it seems terrifying this week because it's a, it's a slog man. It's a fucking crawl. You know you start off trying to figure out how you can do this. Then you figure out how to do it and you figure out how you can do it and also eat when you figure out how to do it and eat then you've got to figure out how you can do it and eat and live and pretty soon you just start climbing up. You know and you. You just need like the solid footing to give you that I should just be like if this is what you WanNa do just got to keep doing it. It's not. I think it's a little diminutive when you hear like great crafts and be like, don't have a backup plan or whatever it's like. No, you sometimes you stupid to survive. That's fine. I directed a cash for gold commercial like you. People do stupid things. But if if you're GONNA Excel at it, I think. You know just. Don't don't worry about the overwhelming soul-crushing fear. That is what your future is, and just about like this week because it'll be fine, it's going to be fine for everybody even now like there's an entire generation of kids graduating. There's no industry right now like it'll be mine people you'll, you'll do it. You'll totally do it and I wish I I wish I could say that to myself because I was I. was always the one in the group that was stressing about how to like? Keep the studio up and buy dinner, and all that stuff or we're going to be okay I. Think I know a lot of people that that feel that way. It's like It's petrifying. You can't move. You know you can't move when you think too far that the future. I feel bad now. If there is a creative intelligent homeless person who's watching this I didn't mean I meant it more grant example. I didn't mean it like for the. DONALD WI FI If if there's someone out there, that feels that way. I think it's also bounced by a lot of people out there. That really needed to hear that because to be honest that line right there that says the thing that I gravitated towards towards Oh. That's that's that's something that I think a lot of people need to hear. It, works itself out you. You will be contented as a creative force. Eventually it just takes some time, and it's always five minutes later than you wanted it to be, but it gets look at Tiffany Haddish. She like didn't hit until she was well into her thirties as a comedian, but and she was homeless living in a car, but like workout. It works out if this is what you WANNA. Do you really do? Guys have it. There's you episode of Indy Mogul with Sam and go Hopefully you enjoyed the conversation. We had a ton of fun having Sam here and actually being able to talk with us and walk through the process of how he actually went. Of course as an indie filmmaker, all the way to being impressions editor of such films now. If you like this conversation, don't forget. We also got a flip on Youtube actually. Actually break into the process of production designed with SAM. We talk about those three film. We mentioned here and we go from full indie shooting in Sam's New York apartment all the way to having a full crew and recreating the life twenty different eighth graders for the trump. So if you're taking that up me, she find that as well, but any model that is it for me. Thanks so much for listening and of course. Next time.