On Story from PBS in Austin is a "new series which takes a look at the creative process of filmmaking through the eyes of some of the entertainment industry's most prolific writers, directors, and producers." Recently they had a great panel discussion with Danny Boyle, Jason Reitman, and Ed Burns at the Austin Film Festival where they discussed the challenges of finding the right story and writing to suit your budget. It's a must-see for indie filmmakers and screenwriters. Check it out below!
Thanks to Go Into The Story for posting, and for PBS On Story for putting together the video and such a fantastic panel full of invaluable knowledge for indie filmmakers. There's so much that I could go on and on, but you should really watch it for yourself. Plus, there's a pretty cool short film called The Printer from indie director Berndt Mader at the end:
Danny Boyle, whose filmography ranges from the low-budget Shallow Grave to the big-budget Leonardo DiCaprio vehicle The Beach, tells an anecdote from the writer Martin Amis, who visited one of his sets and remarked that filmmaking seemed to be, "A series of delays, interrupted by repetitions," which can certainly appear to be the case. Boyle also relates that he doesn't like to work with large budgets (he was uncomfortable on The Beach, saying of the film's big Hollywood budget, "Fifty million could move my whole town a mile down the road"), and talking about how he prefers the DIY approach, referencing a famous sequence in 28 Days Later when a drop of infected blood seals the doom of the affable cab driver. The shot was achieved with a simple hand-made wooden rig since they lacked the money for a crane:
Video is no longer available: www.hulu.com/watch/55516
Ed Burns, whose first film was the ultra low-budget The Brothers McMullen, talks about how, when writing, he purposely chose locations he could get for free, like his parent's house, and the park:
Video is no longer available: www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJwLBdjEerE
It's interesting how often the directors "quote" other films, with Boyle mentioning that one shot in Shallow Grave is a direct homage to the Coen Brother's Blood Simple, and Burns discussing how a pool scene in his film Nice Guy Johnny directly quotes the famous pool scene from The Graduate. Speaking of that film, Burns also tries to use The Graduate's technique of one musical artist for his film score, e.g. Tom Petty for She's The One.
What lessons do you have you taken away from directors like Danny Boyle, Ed Burns, and Jason Reitman? How do you think you can apply some of their techniques in your own work?
[via Go Into The Story]