More interesting tidbits from Christopher Nolan's press gaggle at Cannes

(Cannes, France. Photo by Mario Lassnig)

Via Indiewire, I found some other neat tidbits from his Cannes interviews:

“I think it was Stanley Kubrick who said that the best way to learn how to make a film is to make a film,” he said. “I didn’t go to film school and I always made my own films. and when you’re making films with friends on a shoestring, you have to be able to do all the jobs yourself… So on the larger films, I knew enough about every job on the set to be a pain in the ass to everybody.

Knowing all the different department's roles and how to perform each job is without a doubt a big help to someone who is "in charge of the ship" as it quickly will help you decide what might be possible and the best way to do certain things.

I've recently started Producing TV as a break from Editing and having been an editor has been a great asset in my new role as a producer. I can usually quickly determine if scenes will work based on the raw footage and can quickly determine what is worth working on. Furthermore, I can use my "editor brain" to come up with new scenes that weren't shot or preplanned. Being able to determine a realistic timeframe to edit a scene or make changes to a cut doesn't hurt either.

And he doesn’t deploy second units on his films: “To me, if I’m the director, I have to be shooting all the shots that go into a film.”

His powers of observation are everything. He doesn’t even use a monitor on set. “I stay by the camera,” Nolan said. “I want to see where things are in a three-dimensional space.”
This is super interesting. Everybody loves those monitors. He's very anti digital too.

See the rest of the article for more fun tidbits.
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Chris W
Owner of and working as a Film & TV editor and producer in Los Angeles since 2001. Boston University College of Communication Class of 1999 for film (BS).


I was actually lucky enough to sit in on this press conference (waited in line for 3 hours as was one of the last people to be let in with the lowest level accreditation badges) One of the things I thought was really interesting was his struggle with understanding why a project would ever have a "Second unit director" (motivated by his experience on Dunkirk) even if they are just directing B-roll. He said something like "the screen is the same size no matter what the shot is" and any shot thats important enough to be in the movie is something he needs to have his hands in as a director so that the integration of the b-roll shots is seamless.

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