Martin Scorsese: Doing just one shot makes a fine 'first half-day'
Even big-time filmmakers aren't immune to a bit of anxiety when it comes to the first day on set. One prominent director admits that all the apparatus of a Hollywood production puts him on edge: "I'm always fearing it's going to mar the intimacy of what I'm hoping to shoot."
Another finds himself grappling with self-doubt: "It's really scary for me. I think to myself, 'Why did I want that? Why did I ask all these people to make something?' "
At The Times' recent Directors Roundtable, filmmakers Alexander Payne ("The Descendants"), Michel Hazanavicius ("The Artist"), George Clooney ("The Ides of March"), Stephen Daldry ("Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close") and Martin Scorsese ("Hugo") talked about how nerve-racking it can be to start a new film, and how they deal with it.
Daldry and Scorsese said they often ease into a shoot with tests, rehearsals or single shots. On the other hand, Payne acknowledged that sometimes one has to dive right into a big scene, as logistical issues forced him to do on "The Descendants." And Clooney shared a crafty directing trick he borrowed from Sidney Lumet.
Hear more of what they had to say in the video below. Check back for more clips throughout the week.
— Oliver Gettell
Photo: Martin Scorsese, Stephen Daldry and George Clooney before the Envelope's Directors Roundtable. Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times