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'Margin Call' Writer/Director J.C. Chandor on Making His First Feature

12.26.11 @ 10:15AM Tags : , , ,

I checked in on the Oscar odds the other day out of curiosity, as it’s always a head-scratcher to me to find out which films are favored. One thing’s for sure: it seems to have very little to do with the zeitgeist (most recently evidenced by The King’s Speech winning over The Social Network). J.C. Chandor’s excellent $3 million financial drama Margin Call to me is the kind of film that should represent the year in movies (or, more to the point, the year in society), so here’s an interview by DP/30 with the first-time feature writer/director:

Also of note: this story on the VOD numbers of the shot-in-17-days film (and indie film in general). Speaking of VOD, here it is on Amazon.

As J.C. notes, in Germany the film is called Der große Crash, but here’s the trailer in English for reference:

Not that anyone’s taking our votes, but what films would you like to see on stage come awards season?


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  • I think DRIVE should get a bunch acting/directing/cinematography but probably won’t ….

    • I loved Drive. I think it was beautifully done, and I’d like to shake the DP’s hand. The color scheme was kept intact the whole movie, and I loved the subtle accent lighting in some of the night time driving scenes. But you’re right, it probably won’t win anything.

      • I enjoyed Drive, but I must say it was a little heavy handed in places. I don’t know that the main character had to wait 5 seconds before he responded to anything anyone said for every single one of his lines. And there were a few scenes that I enjoyed with just drivning while playing some music that seemed a little trite.

  • Beginners, Tree of Life (It HAS to take cinematography category), Midnight in Paris

  • Surely “The Help” will win due to phony Hollywood liberalism and white guilt.

  • I am going out on a limb and saying TREE OF LIFE will win Best Picture.

  • first off… thanks for another great interview, hope there are more of these to come….
    “Margin Call”!!! I saw this recently and its one good piece especially for Editing.

  • My goodness. How do you make a film for $3 million and cast:

    Kevin Spacey
    Paul Bettany
    Demi Moore
    Stanley Tucci
    Jeremy Irons
    Simon Baker
    Zachary Quinto

    Amazing cast.

    • Will Gilbey on 12.27.11 @ 3:47AM

      Crazy, isn’t it. Must have been a great script. Looking forward to seeing the film.

    • I’m sure it helped that Zachary Quinto was one of the main producers (!)

    • What a great interview! Agreed about the casting, that’s incredible. I’d like to go one further…I’m going to get Terrance Malick to be my casting director, Walter Murch to edit, Danny Cohen as DP, Hans Zimmer to score music, and maybe Ridley Scott as 2nd Unit Director if he’s lucky…all for $50.

      On a serious note, another great post Koo, and really like the discussion and background on how ‘margin call’ came to be.

    • I think you make a film for $3M with killer names when the script has killer merit and has what JC calls “champions” within CAA. I know I’d have trouble saying no to Carla Gugino if she told me a script rocked and I needed to act and/or invest.

  • I did not like this movie because its all too much talk. To be even more precise, I see a movie about an investment company which pulls the plug on its major shares and at the end of it I dont know anything about how the company work. I think the problem with movies post economic meltdown is the lack of information. I need information to ground this in reality. People walking around talking about armageddon wont get me to believe in it, I need actual information to start panicking. I think this movie was very well shot, given the A list actors and their performance it was a nice film to watch. But on a level for me to understand how such a company operates and how it affects my reality, it just does not leave a mark.

  • Very interesting, revealing interview. Good to get his insight and experiences. Top stuff.

  • “The challenge from Android is a real one, and Google will slowly gain additional share in the tablet market that will allow developers to make more money from the Android platform, so Apple needs to further cultivate developer relationships and make the interaction with the company as frictionless as possible,” Van Baker, a Gartner analyst said.