A Dreamer Walking

Spline Cast Interviews!

Posted in Uncategorized by Jacob on August 28, 2011

Well I am in the middle of writing a few papers actually. But none of them are where I want them to be. However, through reviewing some notes I found two podcasts I listened to years ago that produced some excelent advice and insight. I thought I might as well share. Both are from the site Spline Doctors. I would recommend anyone interested in animation to check the Spline Doctors site out. Spline Doctors consists of a group of Pixar artists (mostly Andrew Gordon)  who take interviews of colleagues, give updates on animation events going on around them, and post advice on animation techniques. They don’t update the site as much as I would like, but you will find several hours of good material in their archives. I think it would be wise to take advantage of this free recourse. Now to the interviews.

Andrew Stanton Spline Cast (2006):
This podcast has been extremely helpful to me in the last week or so. It has inspired about a half a dozen blog ideas. Andrew talks about how he got facinated with animation and how he found out about Cal Arts. He explains the reason to why he gives John Lasseter and the Pixar 200% every time he comes to the studio. He also talks about what drives him to make good films. Andrew Stanton is a master storyteller and he will give you some great insight on the foundations of what makes a good film in this three part interview. (Here is the link to Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3).

Brad Bird Spline Cast (2007): Brad Bird talks briefly about how he got hooked onto animation.  He gives us insight into several of the Nine Old Men and what it was like being mentored by Milt Kahl. He also talks a little about the difference between 2D animation and 3D and the strengths and weaknesses of both. The most interesting part of the interview for me was when Bird talked about the weakness of our generation as filmmakers and how the business side of Hollywood tries to cripple creativity. He goes into some of the reasons he got interested in Pixar and how the movie Toy Story broke one mold only to create another one for the animation industry. His advice at the end is also some of the greatest advice you will ever get.

Also,

Pete Docter Spline Cast (2007): This I did not consider to be as good as the other two interviews but it is well worth listening to. Pete Docter is not as blunt about his philosophy as Andrew Stanton and Brad Bird are. However, in this interview you hear a lot of what filmmaking deep down is about for Docter. He explains his constant effort to find the emotion of a story. He explains what he likes about the medium of animation. For Docter the story is all about the relationship and he explains why very clearly in this interview.

Andrew Stanton- An Observation- Worth Fighting For

Posted in Uncategorized by Jacob on August 24, 2011

You know Andrew Stanton has helped write more then a dozen of the Pixar movies. The two films he has directed, Finding Nemo and Wall-E, have both won Oscars for Best Animated film. After realizing this, would it surprise you to know he doesn’t really like writing or directing? Stanton has talked more then once about the frustrations and exhaustion that comes with writing and directing. He has talked about the insecurity he has with being a writer and how he is scared to death when he turns his script in for other filmmakers to read. Stanton refrains from writing until the very last minute, he has described himself as a master procrastinator. He has also talked about how all the little details that come with directing wear him down. Four to five years on each project is a long time. What makes him stay in there? Why do so much work if it is so hard to do? I do not think Andrew finds satisfaction in the middle of production like someone such as John Lasseter does. It might be because Stanton is always thinking of other things and keeping his mind on the project at hand is extremely hard to do. It might be because he second guesses the value of what he is doing.   At times I am sure he feels his time would be spent better doing something else. After all writing and directing a film does not leave much room for family activities and social events. It might be because of an insecurity, the whole project lays on his shoulders what if he makes the wrong decision? I believe Stanton’s struggles with filmmaking has to do with all these insecurities.  However, a filmmaker has two choices when faced with insecurities such as these ones. They can run and hide or face them head on. Based on Stanton’s track record I believe he has chosen the latter.

Andrew Stanton counters the wear and tear that comes with needing to deal with a bunch of little details by being very picky about each little detail. He does not burden most of his colleagues with an idea until he is sure the idea is worth fighting for. He needs to figure out whether or not it is worth spending four to five years to make. John Lasseter even talked about bugging Andrew Stanton about the movie Finding Nemo.  Stanton would not even tell him what it was about until he thought he had a story worth committing too. For the movie Wall-E Stanton started development for the project when he was supposed to be on vacation. He thought that if the story turned out to be nothing special he wouldn’t have wasted anyone’s time.

A good question is, what makes a project worth committing to for Andrew Stanton? A key things to realize is Stanton does not think short term he thinks about the big picture. He does not go through the pains of writing and directing lightly. He wants to find a story that can entertain audiences for years to come. He finds universal themes to put into his stories. He concentrates on the insecurities of parenthood in Finding Nemo, what it means to be a friend in Toy Story, and the essence of what it means to love in Wall-E. We can relate to the characters Stanton creates because even though they might be robots, toys, and fish, they are full of human flaws and needs. Woody in Toy Story is insecure in his relationship with Andy. Marlin in Finding Nemo is scared his son might not be able to handle the real world. Wall-E is lonely.  These themes and character qualities represent the heart of Stanton’s films.

At the beginning the only thing Andrew Stanton has is an idea. Production represents the war Stanton faces in order to bring the idea to life on screen. When you go into battle you need to have passion. Stanton wants to make sure he can give the story everything he has. He knows there will be those days where nothing is working. He talked in an interview about needing to have enough passion to push through those times. Stanton talked about how he wants the audience to be thinking the characters he creates have feelings and lives that go on after the movie ends. This is what makes a movie worth fighting for to him. Stanton knows if he fights through and wins the war he will give us characters that truly become real in our hearts. Characters like Woody and Wall-E have a life of their own in the minds of many kids and adults. Film is the ultimate illusion of life. It takes a lot of work to pull off. But the results can be well worth it because they have the potential to be endless.

Andrew Stanton is one of those directors who will not commit to any old project. I think he is one of those artists who needs to both write and direct the film. He writes the films himself not because he thinks he is a brilliant writer but rather because he wants to find a story that is personal to him. Andrew Stanton is not a good director because he can’t make mistakes. No, he will be the first to tell you he makes mistakes all the time in in the development of his films. The thing about Stanton is he does not give up. He works through the mistakes. Andrew Stanton is a great director because when he finds something worth fighting for, he will not stop or compromise with the vision. He will fight until he gets the idea on screen.

Pete Docter- An Observation- The Relationship

Posted in Uncategorized by Jacob on August 22, 2011

The relationship is what really counts for Pete Docter. The movies he makes are all about exploring different aspects of what it means to have a relationship with someone. He goes from exploring what it means to become friends in the original Toy Story, to what it means to be committed in a relationship in the movie Monsters Inc, to what it means to move on from a relationship after it ends in the movie UP.

Docter knows relationship is a key longing for all of us. We all want to have friends and most of us want to fall in love some day. Docter knows how relationships can strengthen us and give us fulfillment. However, Docter also knows relationship can be a hard, frustrating, and painful thing at times. His films ask the question to whether or not relationship is worth the struggles. Docter’s movies all have relationships we see unfold in everyday life and he brilliantly uses the fantasy part of his films to dig farther into the very real and relevant question of, “what does it mean to be in a relationship?”.

The first feature length film for Pete Docter was Toy Story. He was a co-writer and one of the lead animators for the movie. Toy Story deals with mainly two characters, Woody and Buzz. These guys are exact opposites of each other.  The main point of the film was to bring two opposites together. Visually the toys are shown to be opposites through Woody being a old cowboy doll and Buzz being a state of the art space toy. At first the characters hate each other. Woody lets his selfish relationship with his owner Andy get in the way of being open to anyone else. Only when Woody is willing to let go of his jealousy for Andy is he able to start to understand Buzz and build a relationship with him. Docter was in the middle of making this relationship work on screen. He actually helped animate the pivotal scene where Woody lets go of his ego and expresses how good Buzz actually is for someone like Andy. Through talking to Buzz, Woody realizes his greed and and is able to let go of it allowing him and Buzz to open up to each other. If this scene did not express Woody’s change well enough the whole story would have been ruined. Yet Docter allowed us into Woody’s soul and found a way to redeem him so not only Buzz but the whole audience could relate to him.

In Monster Inc, a movie Pete Docter helped write and made his debut directing, Docter goes even farther into what it means to have a relationship with someone. In this movie we are introduced to the characters Sully and Mike. Both are monsters whose profession is scaring little kids. They are best buddies at the beginning of the film, seemingly in a relationship that can’t be broken. So what does Docter do? He throws in something that begins to tear the relationship apart. A human child Sully calls  Boo somehow gets into the monster world. Children are considered by most monsters to be extremely dangerous but Sully begins to warm up to Boo. Mike can’t understand it, for most of the film he wants to do anything in order to get rid of the child. The tension between Mike and Sully rises to the point of them fighting and seemingly breaking up.

Pete Docter deals with a lot of issues that come with relationship in Monsters Inc. We can easily feel jealous when a good friend of ours begins to hang out with someone we are not friends with. What if my best friend is a conservative Christian and he sees me begin to hang out with a Muslim, someone he has been taught his whole life was dangerous? The same kind of idea applies to Monsters Inc. Sully choose to care for someone who everyone, including Mike, has been taught is dangerous. Mike could have let the relationship Sully had with Boo break up his relationship with Sully. Instead however Docter gives us another lesson to what being in a true relationship means. Relationship requires trust and Mike expresses this trust by going back to Sully. Mike explains the reasons he got angry at him, yet tells Sully that he is more important then his frustrations and fears. After trusting Sully and letting go of his fears Mike begins to understand Sully’ change of heart on who children really are. Eventually Mike begins to embrace Boo. This creates a even stronger relationship between the two monsters. We as the audience are also able to see more value in Sully’ and Mike’s relationship because we have seen it get tested and still hold strong.

In Docter’s latest film UP, we go deeper into the joys and pains of relationship. We are shown a beautiful relationship between the main protagonist Carl and his wife Ellie. The two grow old together in a wonderful montage at the beginning of the film. And then Ellie dies. The relationship we all began to care about is broken. Ellie becomes only a memory, a memory that at the beginning of the film brings Carl Down. After Ellie’s death Carl becomes a hermit who is stuck in the past. We see a old cranky man who is open to no one. Then Pete Docter throws in another element that will change Carl’s life forever. A boy named Russell knocks Carl’s door. He is a boy scout who needs to help the elderly in order to earn his last wilderness badge.

Pete Docter shows us the pain that can come with a relationship. The hurt we see Carl go through after his wife dies is hard to bear. However, through the fantastical elements of the story Docter slowly brings “relationship” back into Carl’s life. Carl wants to leave society and go on the adventure to Paradise Falls he always promised his wife they would go on. So Carl ties a few thousand balloons to his house and flies away. The only problem is Russell accidentally comes along with him.  Carl rebukes any relationship with Russell because he is still holding onto his past relationship with Ellie. Carl’s remembrance of Ellie is expressed visually through the house and all it’s possessions. Through half of the film Carl needs to pull the house with a hose line through out the South American jungle. Visually the house (Carl’s past) becomes this burden that Carl can’t let go of. His only goal is to bring himself and his house to Paradise Falls. However Russell along with a few friends they meet on their adventure begin to slowly connect with Carl. In very subtle ways Carl begins to let go of his burden and concentrate on the characters around him.

At the end Carl is faced with two choices, keep the items that connect him to the relationship he had with Ellie or go save Russell from the villain of the movie Charles F. Muntz. Charles chooses to let go of his past and save Russell. One of the brilliant things about UP is Docter forces Carl to get rid of his past in a visual way. Carl needs the house to fly again so he gets rid of all the houses possesions to make the house lighter and free it up. The scene represents exactly what is happening inside Carl. He is no longer letting his past stop him from being open to the present. Carl ends up watching his whole house fly away through the clouds. At the end he relizes Ellie will always be with him and she does not need to stop him from connecting to Russell or any other relationship. Both Russell and Carl represent broken relationships that come together to create a fulfilling one.

In a Spline Cast interview Pete Docter talked about relationship being the thing that really matters for the Pixar movies. This especially is true about Docter’s films. He is dedicated to searching out all aspects of what makes a relationship work. Docter truly believes in the power of relationship and because of the strength of his conviction his characters can convincingly break through any obstacle that get in their way. For Pete Docter filmmaking is not about creating a complex story line, it is about simple stories where we are able to see the relationship unfold. Docter keeps finding new ways to explore relationship on screen. He uses the magic of animation to further his exploration. The fantasy parts of his films are used as tools to further his points. I do not even think Docter cares too much about narrative. His films are not the most polished movies. Everything does not make complete sense in his films. However he connects us to his stories because he connects us to his characters. We like Pete Docter’s movies because we believe and relate to the relationships we see unfold on screen.

A True Artist

Posted in Uncategorized by Jacob on August 19, 2011

Did you know I do not like Alfred Hitchcock very much? Yes that is right, I do not like the master of suspense. The thing is I am fine with calling Alfred the master of suspense. He has done some brilliant things with suspense. My favorite movie of his is Psycho. I was dreading every turn in that movie. Killing off the main character half way through the film was brilliant. You had no idea what was going to happen after that. Hitchcock could give you a fright like no one else in the film business. However, none of this stuff makes me think Hitchcock was a great filmmaker. I personally think he was a very shallow filmmaker. After watching Psycho I was ready to eat not think.

Hitchcock’s films never felt like they went very much farther then the movie theater. They were admirable from a filmmaking standpoint but not from a personal standpoint. His suspense and storylines all felt like a means to an end not a beginning. I was reviewing a interview the other day on the artist Ralf Eggleston. He is a art director at Pixar. He talked about the importance of getting the idea down. He explained if you are not doing your art for the idea and emotion but only to make it pretty, it is not worth your time. Even though he was talking about the art of animation in his interview I think what he says applies to filmmaking in general. It is not good enough to have one of the two. If we create a movie with a lot of emotions, like Hitchcock did, but there is no real idea behind your film it won’t be worth much. If you create a movie with a lot of good ideas but don’t get the audience emotionally involved, we won’t care. Filmmaking is about the emotion and idea. Only when it is about both the emotion and idea, does it stop being a “nice thought” or “pretty picture”, and become something that will impact generations.

Most filmmakers these days don’t need to worry about falling low on the “emotion” aspect of movie making. They have all the tools to take us on an emotional roller coaster ride. However, most of the emotions they give us are pretty shallow. They know how to give us magnificent action sequences, luxurious love scenes, and gut wrenching shock moments. However, the ride ends as soon as you leave the movie theater. Their films usually do not satisfy because they don’t make us think. The audience is not as stupid as most movies these days lead us to believe. We can think, we actually want to think. The great filmmakers know this and they create characters, stories, and worlds that can be explored far after the audience member leaves the theater. Painting should never be about just making something look pretty and neither should film. We should not do our job just to give the audience eye candy.

Filmmaking is a personal medium where the emotion and idea is everything. Your films will stand and fall based on the strength of the idea and how well you are able to connect your audience. You are not a great artist because you can draw a pretty picture. The piece of art does not need to be pretty, it needs to be impacting. A great artist is someone who can impact us through the picture he draws, paints, or films. I personally want to make films that impact and at times even change peoples lives.  A true artist is a servant to the idea not the audience. Just, usually the best way to express the idea is through entertaining the audience. The reason why I want to give the audience a piece of “entertainment” is so they can be open to the actual idea I am presenting. You want your films to be warm enough to have audiences feel they are allowed in. However, don’t show them everything they want to see. Show them something that will impact and challange their thinking. People go to the movies to see things they haven’t seen before. Our jobs as filmmakers and artists is to explore new ideas, show the audience new perspectives, and unlock their imagination.

Humor!

Posted in Uncategorized by Jacob on August 14, 2011

When it comes to filmmaking humor is actually a pretty serious thing. There are several routs you can take to draw out a laugh from your audience. One way is to have something that is completely out there, on the border of being considered wrong. Movies like Dumb and Dummer, Superbad, and American Pie are only a few examples of what I am talking about. These kind of films think that toilet problems, drinking parties, and sexual insecurities are funny and they rely on making the crowd uncomfortable enough to feel they need to laugh rather then, dare I say, express how shallow the jokes truly are.

Another way to get a laugh is from gags. These are humorous acts you can see in any old movie, but can be quite funny if pulled off right. I think of the Loony Toons and Funniest Home Videos as good examples. They get their humor from every day situations. It is through the verbal or physical slip up that the funny stuff happens. The last way to create humor is through having your audience know the character you are portraying. The characters personality generates the humor. A good example is Wall-E. He is a lonely robot who happens to have a personality. It is through his unique perspective on the world we find the humor. The box holding the diamond ring is more important then the ring, plastic silverware is interesting enough to collect, and cockroaches make good pets in Wall-E’s world.

When the humor comes from the character rather then some lame toilet joke or some kind of sight gag, you impact the audience to a much higher extant and give them reason to come back. The visual gags and toilet jokes can come from anywhere, however the humor coming from the heart of the character can’t be copied. We are also able to get the audience more involved with the story when the humor comes from the essence of the character. Humor can be used as a connection device, it can help the audience buy into who the character is and the adventure he or she is on.

Have the humor come from the character rather then the gag. When the character is more important then the gag the gags become funnier. We laugh more from the mistakes Wall-E makes because we know who he is. When trying to connect to his love interest Eva he falls down a building, gets hit by lightning, and gets ran over by a stampede of carts. These gags are all the more humorous and emotional to us because we know who Wall-E is and how much he wants Eva’s affection.

Humor can be such a powerful tool for the filmmaker. Make humor be more then this insecure need to make the audience laugh. Make it be about connection and development. We need a reason for the humor we express on screen. The laugh can be used to demean and hurt our views of the people around us or it can be used to strengthen our understanding and love towards others. Everything depends on the quality of the humor and how you use it.

Andrew Stanton- An Observation- Opening Doors

Posted in Uncategorized by Jacob on August 10, 2011

Writer/Director Andrew Stanton is a firm believer in not creating but finding the story he is trying to put on screen. He has talked about filmmaking being more like a archeological dig then performing magic tricks. He believes the pieces of the story are already out there, they are just waiting to be found. The great task for Stanton is figuring out ways to open doors so he can get to the foundations of the story.

Stanton once talked about filmmaking being all about finding ways to open those closed doors in your brain. He listens to music, studies art, debates with peers, and tries to use events from his own life to unlock those doors that are stopping him from finding the heart of his stories. Andrew Stanton does not dictate and make the story be something it shouldn’t be, rather he serves the story and tries to find ways to flesh out what is already there.

I am a big advocate of serving the story. I think filmmaking is like putting a huge puzzle together. Once you find enough pieces you begin to figure out the function of your film and the story starts to take on a life of it’s own. However, if you try to force in a piece that does not fit you can ruin the whole picture. Andrew Stanton ran into a problem like this in his movie Wall-E. He wanted the robot Wall-E to be the hero at the end of the film. In the draft he originally had Wall-E’s love interest Eva get severely injured at the end of the film and Wall-E save her. However, during one of the test screenings Stanton realized it actually needed to be the other way around. Stanton had spent the whole movie showing how Wall-E impacted all the characters around him. At the end it was time to show how much the characters had changed. He could not express the characters’ growth if Wall-E stayed the hero.

Stanton once talked about the difference between a good film studio and a great film studio being what happens during the 11th hour. He said at the 11th hour in Wall-E they found a bone that completely changed the dinosaur. The studio had the option of ignoring the bone or embracing it and working their butts off to fix the mistake. They decided to work their butts off. They came together in the service of the story and created a much more satisfying ending where Wall-E gets injured and the characters around him work together to save him. In the end Stanton found the right key and was able to unlock the door to a film which entertained and moved millions of people and will keep on doing so for years to come.

I think it is much more wondrous to look at filmmaking as something more then creating the illusion of life. I think filmmaking is about finding real life. I would never contribute the stories I create to just me. They are all built out of real things I find through living life, research, and having a relationship with God. I hope Andrew Stanton keeps on building his stories out of the real things he finds in his life. We do not invest in toys like Woody, fish like Nemo, or robots like Wall-E if they don’t touch us on a very personal and real level. Stanton’s constant devotion to story has opened many doors for us through out the years. I look forward to seeing what door he opens next.

Walt Disney- An Observation- Worthy of Admiration

Posted in Uncategorized by Jacob on August 8, 2011

I was reading an interview on this man who spent more then thirty years working for Walt Disney. In a interview he said, “When you were having a conflict with Walt, you were having a conflict with someone who probably had more on the ball than you had, and whose judgment was probably better”. This might not be seen as a very huge compliment. It is nothing new, you have probably heard those types of compliments before. This however is not the only thing this guy has said about Walt. In other interviews this man has talked about how Walt was able to push artist to do things they didn’t feel like they were capable of doing. He talked about the phenomenal intuition and story instinct Walt had and how he was willing to put everything, even his life insurance, on the line to keep the studio and his dream alive. He called Walt a “genius” and a “brilliant storyteller”. This man said Walt was the kind of guy “who only comes along once in several generations”. Now we are getting to some generous compliments no matter who might be making them. However, I think the authenticity of these compliments is cemented by knowing who they came from.  The man who said all these things about Walt was none other then legendary animator Milt Kahl.

Milt was one of Walt’s Nine Old Men. Many consider him to be the greatest of the Nine Old Men. Milt was known for his dedication to perfection. It was a daunting and nerve racking task to clean up his drawings or to work on his inbetweens, out of fear that you might mess up his animation. He produced the final character design sheets for almost all the Disney full length features from the 1940’s-70’s. Most of the other big animators at the studio, including majority of the Nine Old Men, went to Milt for advice and help on working out complicated movements or designs. Milt was given the most complicated animation scenes. He needed to bring warmth to the puppet Pinocchio, he needed to give flight to Peter Pan, and give Madusa, from The Rescuers, her evil charm. If Milt thought an artist was being lazy he would let him or her know. He was known for his temper and not holding back a insult. He made it clear he thought most of his fellow Disney employees, especially after Walt died, were a bunch of  “lazy bastards”. I have heard stories of things getting so heated sketchbooks went flying. Milt was even willing to get into arguments with the big boss of the studio, Walt Disney.

See, Milt Kahl is not the kind of guy to compliment someone, let alone say someone is a “genius” or confess someone else might have better judgment then him. I have heard Milt Kahl complain about more then one of the Nine Old Men, and all those artists are considered some of the greatest to ever work in animation. Because I knew this about Milt, what he said about Walt truly impacted me. I heard a man who struggled with complimenting more then anyone I have researched (including Walt) give some of the greatest compliments a man could give. And I finally began to realize why. You see, even though Milt was a perfectionist I think Milt realized Walt was something more. Walt was a dreamer. Walt helped create the medium Milt strived most of his life to perfect.

After Walt died Milt kept on working at the studio. However, the films he worked on were not nearly as good as the films of old, such as Pinocchio, Bambi, and Landy and the Tramp. Milt had a limit. He only could perfect the material he was given. Walt however was the one with the limitless imagination, he was the one who created the material. After Walt died the material became much less precious. For Milt it was like trying to create a sculpture out of a block of mud rather then a fine piece of diamond. Milt had all the tools to create something that was visually stunning, however much of the visuals were lost because of the poor material.

Milt said in 1976, the year he left the studio, “Here I am, a person at the height of my powers, and I feel there’s not a place for me anymore.”.  Walt created stories that entertained and inspired. His philosophy was about creating better material for his artists to work with. After his death Walt’s philosophy was lost. Milt did not admire Walt because he gave out compliments, was a flawless leader, or because of his money and fame. Walt was admired by Milt Kahl because he gave him a place to perfect his art form.

I have been studying Walt Disney for years now. I want to understand what went into the creation of such fine material that resulted in great films like Pinocchio and Mary Poppins. I want to know what drove Walt to create even better material. Before his death Walt was moving from theme parks to cities. He wanted to create an art form that would be completely intertwined with everyday life. His creativity had no limits and that is worthy of anyone’s admiration.

(Here are the links to the material I quoted. First off is Michael Barrier and Milton Gray interview of Milt Kahl. Second is Side 1 and Side 2 of a lecture Milt Kahl gave at Cal Arts in 1976. Also, Pixar animator Carlos Baena has some great resources on Milt Kahl on his website.)

Danny Boyle 127 Hours Links

Posted in Uncategorized by Jacob on August 3, 2011

I have been doing a pretty big study on director Danny Boyle. My favrite film of his is 127 Hours so I decided to find as many video as possible on him talking about 127 Hours and take notes. I thought I might as well share with you the ones I found most insightful. Relize, not all these videos will have Danny Boyle in them but they will all be concentrating on 127 Hours and the majority will be talking quite a bit about Danny Boyle’s directing style.

Sadly none of the video’s I watched can be posted on my site, so you will need to click on my links and go somewhere else to watch the videos. But they are well worth it.

DP/30: 127 Hours: Director Danny Boyle, writer Simon Baufoy, and producer Christian Colson: In this interview the filmmakers go deep into the storytelling process of the film. They talk about how they were able to use the limited resources they had to create a structured story that would entertain an audience for a hour and a half. They talked about what the lead actor  James Franco brought to the project. Danny talks the most in this interview. He talks about what attracted him to the story and what he learned through making the film. He especially concentrates on what he learned from working with James. The interviewer, David Poland, asks some great questions and seems determined like usual to get deep into the reasoning behind the making of the film.  The interview lasts thirty four minutes.

DP/30: 127 Hours: Director Danny Boyle, production/Costume Designer Suttirat Larlare: This is actually a good contrast to the last video. Instead of concentrating too much on the story they talk more about the art direction and production design of 127 Hours. Even thought Suttirat is a bit nervous she is able to give you a good explanation on what her job was for the film. She talks a little about how it is working with Danny, then she goes into how she visually tried to translate the story through costuming and set design. Danny talks about some of the principles he and the rest of the crew established for the film. The Interview lasts about thirty four minutes.

Making Of: 127 Hours: Writer Simon Baufoy: This is actually a great video of Simon talking about his journey into screenwriting. He also talks about the great benefit of making Aron Rolston’s true story into a drama instead of a documentary. Simon explains the difference between something being factually true and emotionally true. This is a great twelve and a half minute interview on Simon’s basic philosophy on screenwriting.

Making Of: 127 Hours: Production/Costume Designer Suttirat Larlare: Yes this is another interview with Suttirat. However she is by herself in this interview and gets to do a lot more talking. Suttirat talks quite a while about how she got into the film business and gives some useful advice for anyone else wanting to get into the business. She also expands on the problems that came with creating the main set for 127 Hours. The interview ended up being fifteen minutes long.

Making Of: 127 Hours: Directors of Photography Anthony Dan Mantle and Enrique Chediak: Oh how I wish this was longer. These guys say some good things about the visual style of the film. They talk about why it is so great to work with Danny and a little about how they used the visuals to tell the 127 Hour story. Sadly it is only a four and a half minute interview.

Direct Effect: 127 Hours: Director Danny Boyle: I believe this is a video worth watching because it covers some different aspects on Danny and his film philosophy. He talks about what he feels film is. He also talks about how it is impossible for him to judge his work and what he thinks about giving test screenings. The interview is only five and a half minutes.

First Showing: 127 Hours: Director Danny Boyle: I believe this is one of the first interviews Danny did  for the film and I believe this interview shows Danny at his most comfortable. He talks more about his philosophy on filmmaking and he seems to very much relate to the young interviewers. He talks about using two DP’s and how they rejuvenated the acting. He also expands on the importance of giving a film momentum. The interview is nineteen and a half minutes.

Obviously through some of these interviews you will hear the filmmakers repeat themselves. However, I feel they are diverse enough interviews to all be listened to and take notes on. It is actually a good thing in my opinion to hear someone say something more then once, because you begin to have the idea take shape in your head more clearly that way. I hope you enjoy the interviews as much as I did.