Scorsese Explains His Cinematic Approach to 'The Wolf of Wall Street' in P.T. Anderson Interview

Martin ScorseseAny time Martin Scorsese talks about his approach to making movies, filmmakers would be wise to listen -- especially when he's being interviewed by fellow amazing director Paul Thomas Anderson. At a recent awards season screening for Wolf of Wall Street at the ICM Theater in Century City, Scorsese and his AD, Adam Somner, sit down with Anderson to talk about their approach to photographing the film, the controversies, and Awards Daily’s Sasha Stone was there to record the whole thing. Take a look after the jump.

Scorsese and Somner touch on several integral aspects of the film, from the cameras they used to how they conceptualized certain scenes, including the "Vintage Quaalude/Lamborghini/Get off the phone" scene. Earlier this week, we talked about the cameras used in this year's Oscar-nominated films, and, as reported by Setlife Magazine, Scorsese used a handful of ARRI cameras, as well as a Canon C500. But, though only for a couple of short shots, Scorsese also utilized the Phantom Flex high-speed camera and an iPhone. Somner, begins to talk about the challenges of working with the Phantom Flex at the end of the first video, explaining how the sheer amount of light it took to shoot with it made it difficult to navigate the camera through scenes. Scorsese also mentions the shot of the "Fasten Seatbelts" light, which was captured by the film's visual effects supervisor Rob Legato while on a flight to L.A.

One of the most interesting -- and I think important -- parts of the interview was when Anderson asks Scorsese, even after preparing for a shoot, getting storyboards, schedules, and shot lists planned out, if he ever arrives on set and realizes that his plans don't work. This is an issue that we've all experienced (some of us more than others), and hearing Scorsese not only admit that, yes, he does experience those things -- quite often in fact -- but also explaining how he deals with busted plans is invaluable. The "Vintage Quaalude/Lamborghini/Get off the phone" sequence (that's what I'm calling it) was one of those scenes.

The way Scorsese planned it, Leonardo DiCaprio, out of his mind (body, rather) on vintage quaaludes, is supposed to crawl up to Jonah through a hallway that leads into the kitchen and to tell Jonah Hill to get off the phone. The issue the crew ran into was that an island in the middle of the kitchen separated DiCaprio from Hill, and blocking it was proving to be a big problem for Scorsese. However, he explains that a little bit of improvisation, as well as taking a suggestion from production designer Bob Shaw (Leo would just climb over the island), helped solve the problem and push production forward.

Check out the Anderson/Scorsese 3-part interview below:

What were your takeaways from the interview? How do you approach problems that occur on-set? Let us know in the comments.

[via Sasha StoneThe Playlist]

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Your Comment


This was great. Spent time listening to this during my break. Martin has such a great sense of humor and some of those stories are ridiculous HAHA

January 25, 2014 at 9:32PM, Edited September 4, 8:45AM


Wonderful. It's funny how P.T. Anderson call him the "Master" and the "Governor". I'm sure a future generation will feel the same way about him.

January 26, 2014 at 6:27AM, Edited September 4, 8:45AM


i already do haha a lot more than i how i feel about scorsese

January 26, 2014 at 9:47PM, Edited September 4, 8:45AM



January 27, 2014 at 6:56AM, Edited September 4, 8:45AM


Well, that's just your opinion – man!

January 30, 2014 at 12:24PM, Edited September 4, 8:45AM

Adam S.

Two of my favorite directors sitting and talking about a brilliant film. Greatissimo!

January 26, 2014 at 6:58AM, Edited September 4, 8:45AM


Keep messing around until it works, and if that doesn't work, mess around some more.

February 1, 2014 at 10:38AM, Edited September 4, 8:45AM