A Dreamer Walking

Danny Boyle – An Observation – Confidence

Posted in Film and Filmaker Studies, Observation Series, Uncategorized by Jacob on March 24, 2011

Danny Boyle 1Danny Boyle said something about his way of filmmaking that I originally thought was lame. He told a interviewer that he NEVER goes away from the script. He said his greatest job as the director is to serve the script. I originally felt Boyle was limiting himself by saying this. I was thinking he probably was losing out on a lot of opportunities because he was so one track minded. What if in the middle of shooting he or one of the crew members came up with a revolutionary idea that would make that scene turn out ten times better? What if he felt after a while the script wasn’t funny enough? What if the script didn’t have enough drama or contrast between the characters? Bottom line I thought, what if the script was simply not good enough?

After looking into Danny Boyle a little bit more I found out he has always been a big part of the script development process. In all his movies he has pushed the writer to go as far as possible. Boyle’s philosophy is to make sure the problems are taken care of before the production begins. Boyle’s main concern however is remembering how the script first influenced him. While shooting Boyle tries to remember the way he first felt when reading the script. The script is the reason he is doing the project, because of this his main obligation is to recapture the same feeling he had when first reading the material. This to me made sense. Boyle knows his job as a director is not to be the dictator to what happens in the story. His job is to figure out the story and be the guide to how it is visually told.

But what if they figure out a way to make the scene better? What if they come up with a much cooler idea on any given day of shooting? Even though a idea might be cooler or more revolutionary for that day, it doesn’t always mean it is better for the story as a whole. A script does not consists of many individual scenes that just happen to be combined into the same script. A script is about how each scene connects to each other. The script is not emotionally impacted by the days shoot, it is the only thing that sees the complete story. Directors can easily get caught up in the moment while shooting and forget about the overall arc of the story. Following the script solves this problem.

There is also the second guessing that always comes into play. After watching something again and again, take after take, it starts to not be as stimulating as it once was. There is only a curtain amount of times you can listen to a joke before it stops being funny. This is just another crucial reason to have confidence in the original material. It is key to remember that you committed to the project because it stimulated you. The script is not influenced by the ware and tear of the production process.

If you have a tight budget, sticking to the script will help stop you from using unnecessary money. Boyle said, “Money can go a long way by being disciplined”. Boyle is one of the most disciplined directors in the business because of the confidence he has for the script. Danny is known for making low budget movies go a long way. Boyle’s movie Slumdog Millionaire had a production budget of 15 million dollars and earned over 377 million dollars in the box office worldwide.

I still do not think it is a bad thing to go away from the script at times. Sometimes you do see things that aren’t possible to see while writing. The acting, the locations, and the crew all influence the way you shoot. However, when filming the director needs to never forget about the underlined reason he committed to the project. The dedication needs to be about bringing the script to life. There are many ways to do this and it is all up to the director to figure out what way is best. Boyle has a very unique way he looks at a script. The life he brings into a film through the way he directs is simply amazing. The life we see all comes from the confidence Boyle has in the story he is telling.

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