Ever wondered what was going through the director's head as they set up on a shot? Antonio Campos, a filmmaker on the forefront of American independent film, sits down with Filmmaker Magazine to discuss his process and aesthetic method. Here they look at some scenes from Campos's latest film Simon Killer, and break down the filmmaking in terms of composition, intent, and performance. Hit the jump to watch the full interview:
Props to Zachary Wigon for creating this, it's great to see a filmmaker able to break down their approach, and it makes me want to see more interviews made this way. The interview itself even gets a little avant-garde during the last 3 minutes.
I'm always interested in the way directors control their camera, and here, Campos discusses the "conscious camera" and the difference between the camera being one step behind or one step ahead of the action. His approach is marked with rigorous composition, yet free-flowing performances.
That's what I'm interested in, even during Afterschool, I didn't give marks. You set up a really nice frame and then you just let the actors give it some life and mess it up. You just set up enough of the pieces so that the things that are by chance or spontaneous can still play out and be interesting. You're designing something but you're also allowing the actor to live something out.
Campos also produced Martha Marcy May Marlene, and is part of a collective of filmmakers known as Borderline Films with Sean Durkin and Josh Mond. Their approach to filmmaking employs the philosophy of the revolving director chair: when one directs a film the other two produce.
A director's job is not to have all the answers, but to be the best prepared for the possibilities and to bring out the best in people.
For more about their process, check out this video from 2011's Sundance alumni spotlight:
Simon Killer was released in select theaters yesterday, April 5th.