From the gritty streets of New York City to the high-stakes world of jewelry auctions,Uncut Gems is a rollercoaster ride of a film that leaves audiences breathless. Directed by the Safdie Brothers, the film has been praised for its intense and immersive style, which captures the frenetic energy of its protagonist and his world.

But how did the Safdie Brothers achieve this effect?

In this article, we will explore the techniques they used to create this unique and unforgettable cinematic experience. From their collaborative approach to their use of sound and cinematography, we will examine the various elements that make Uncut Gems such a masterful work of filmmaking.

Let's get started. 

Josh Safdie, Benny Safdie, and Adam Sandler BTS on 'Uncut Gems'Josh Safdie, Benny Safdie, and Adam Sandler BTS on 'Uncut Gems'Credit: A24

What Techniques Did The Safdie Brothers Use When Directing Uncut Gems?

The Safdie Brothers, Josh and Benny, directed the 2019 film Uncut Gems with a highly stylized and intense approach that drew critical acclaim and commercial success. Here are some key elements of their direction:

  1. Collaboration: The Safdies worked closely with the film's writers, Ronald Bronstein and themselves, to develop the script and characters. They also collaborated closely with the film's star, Adam Sandler, to bring his character to life.

  2. Realism: The filmmakers aimed for a gritty, realistic portrayal of the New York City underworld in Uncut Gems. To achieve this, they filmed on location in real places, using real people as extras, and often using natural light.

  3. Cinematography: The Safdie Brothers worked with cinematographer Darius Khondji to create a distinctive visual style for the film, using handheld cameras and tight close-ups to create a sense of urgency and claustrophobia.

  4. Sound design: The brothers paid meticulous attention to the sound design of Uncut Gems, using a mix of diegetic and non-diegetic sounds to create a sense of immersion and tension.

  5. Performance: The Safdie Brothers encouraged their actors to improvise and inhabit their characters fully. They also created a high-pressure environment on set to simulate the intense energy of the film's world.

I hope that exploring the techniques that the Safdie Brothers used when directing Uncut Gems has provided you with valuable insights into their creative process. We encourage you to watch the film again with a new appreciation for the intricacies of their directing style.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments.