There's nothing quite like the idea of failing spectacularly to excite a film maker
The world is an infinitely fascinating, tragic and humorous place.
I made my first film on 16mm. Then I began using 35mm.Then I began working in Hollywood. And I began to really understand how films were made by professionals. I have to say I wasn't very impressed.
I never had any urge or desire to do like a big spectacular movie with thousands and thousands of extras. I'd rather watch paint drying. But put me in a room with three people having a hard time, like a character situation, and then you're into a really intense portraiture kind of concept.
There's a sadness to the human condition that I think music is good for. It gives a counterpoint to the visual beauty, and adds depth to pictures that they wouldn't have if the music wasn't there.
I like to work my camera as if it were a musical instrument.
The function of camera movement is to assist the storytelling. That's all it is. It cannot be there just to demonstrate itself.
The power of sound to put an audience in a certain psychological state is vastly undervalued. And the more you know about music and harmony, the more you can do with that.
In discussing the process with the actors, I made it clear to them that they could improvise but that the sum total of their improvisation needed to impart certain plot points, and schematic material.
When I do the music, I make the musicians listen to what's happening in the film. That way they treat the dialogue as if it was a singer.
Obviously, I try to make the films work for an audience. That's the main point of making a film, and in retrospect, one can see that certain films, let's say Leaving Las Vegas, demonstrated its own success.
I play piano and trumpet. I studied classical guitar.
Then I became interested in drama, and almost by accident, I drifted into film.
It's difficult working with very rich actors, because inevitably they become a little spoilt, and the managers and agents tend to control things more than is healthy.
In a way, the history of jazz's development is a small mirror of classical music's development through the centuries. Now jazz is a living form of original music, while classical music has gotten to the end of its cycle in terms of exploring its form.
I'm a huge fan of world cinema, because each country uses cinema in a very individual way.
I started using film as part of live theatre performance - what used to be called performance art - and I became intrigued by film.
I've spent my life hearing people trying to apologize for music.
But I don't have such a strong desire to need to get away from filmmaking.
I had no plans to be a director.
I am intrigued enough to want to continue, and also to try and work with companies like Sony on modifying the cameras and making them more user-friendly and efficient.
Each film is different. Time Code was very quick - a matter of months. Miss Julie has been on my shelf as a script for some seven or eight years. But then the shooting process was very quick - 16 days.
Films take up so much time, and with theatre, you do have to plan a period of time that you can be free.
I might have a guitar or a piano on set to play something for the actors.
You make sure that there's a structure that's interesting for them to play on top of, then do temp versions and try it on the film. By the time the players come to the recording session, I've found what works. So I'm not wasting their time.
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