Thursday, March 21, 2019
  • Friday, Dec. 14, 2018
Delving Into "A Quiet Place," "Widows," "Beautiful Boy," "Beale Street," "Roma," "First Man"
John Krasinski (l) and Noah Jupe in a scene from "A Quiet Place." (photo by Jonny Cournoyer/courtesy of Paramount Pictures)
Director, cinematographer, production designer and composer perspectives

Creative inspiration comes in varied forms for director/writer Steve McQueen as evidenced by a filmography which includes his first feature Hunger, followed by Shame and then 12 Years a Slave. The latter, adapted from Solomon Northrop’s 1853 memoir of the same title, won the 2014 Academy Award, Golden Globe, BAFTA, PGA (joint winner), Independent Spirit, African-American Film Critics Association and the Black Film Critics Circle Awards for Best Picture.

While Northrop’s book was the basis of the acclaimed feature, a TV show proved to be the catalyst for the director’s latest release, Widows (20th Century Fox). McQueen recalled at the age of 13 identifying strongly with Lynda La Plante’s Brit series Widows, transporting him to a criminal world where the most overlooked and vulnerable characters were women. They were judged by their physical appearance and given no credit for having any other attributes. Yet they took on a challenge which broke the stereotypes that bound them, proving that they were most capable. 

“I was them, judged by my appearance,” recollected McQueen. “I made a connection with them and the show, sort of engaged with their plight and wanted to follow their journey.”

Fast forward to today and McQueen had a major hand in adapting Widows for the big screen, maintaining the theme of women being discouraged, under-valued and under-estimated while changing the locale from London to Chicago in order to tackle such areas as politics, religion, class, race and criminality in a more contemporary urban setting--and to project that out like the view through an inverted telescope onto the global stage, sharing the relevance of the story to what’s transpiring in other cities all over the map.

Widows introduces us to four women: Veronica (portrayed by Viola Davis), Linda (Michelle Rodriguez), Alice (Elizabeth Debicki) and Belle (Cynthia Erivo) in a time of turmoil and tension. These lead characters have nothing in common except a seemingly insurmountable debt left behind by their dead husbands’ criminal activities. In this script by McQueen and Gillian Flynn (Golden Globe nominee for the adapted screenplay of her novel “Gone Girl”), Veronica, Linda, Alice and Belle take their fate into their own hands, conspiring on a caper that, if successful, will help them shape their future.

“What’s so powerful about this story for me,” related McQueen, “is that these four women from different racial, social and financial backgrounds came together to achieve their common goal. They understood that by working together they were capable of anything.”

The story has taken on another dimension of relevance which McQueen hadn’t originally planned on. He aspired to tell this story and has had it in the works for some time, well before the mainstream advent of the #MeToo movement. He described himself as “grateful” for the timing of this film as more people due to #MeToo embrace its themes as a springboard to discuss and deal with the subject matter.

And helping McQueen to make it matter was an ensemble of collaborators whose talents and contributions he discussed with SHOOT. Among them were Flynn, cinematographer Sean Bobbitt, BSC, editor Joe Walker, ACE, production designer Adam Stockhausen and composer Hans Zimmer.

McQueen described Flynn as “an incredible writer. We’re very diferent in how we approach a narrative but somehow our differences make us cohesive. You couldn’t tell what she’s written from what I’ve written. You can’t see the joints. That’s the brilliance of writing with her--the difference between us made for a real collaboration, a blending of what we do.”

Next February marks 18 years McQueen has collaborated with Bobbitt. “He’s an incredibly sensitive man,” said McQueen of DP Bobbitt. “We know each other so well that we are very much in unison. Our relationship is very instinctual. He knows what I’m thinking sometimes. He’s like my right arm that way.”

Bobbitt has shot all four of McQueen’s feature films. But they first teamed on an art installation project centered on the Western Deep gold mine in South Africa. Bobbitt earlier shared with SHOOT his recollection of that initial collaboration. “What we saw could be almost perceived as slavery,” recalled Bobbitt, noting that apartheid was in force back then. “Of the 4,000 workers, maybe 100 were white,” he estimated. “The workers went down into the mine every day--it took us two hours to get from the top to the bottom. Once we got down there, I remember asking Steve, ‘What do we do now?’ His response was, ‘I don’t know but I do know there is something here.’

At first, said Bobbitt, “that response from Steve made me really angry. I came from the documentary filmmaking world where there’s always a reason for going somewhere. I was used to a linear, narrative story. For Steve to say, ‘I don’t know’ went against everything that I had been associated with.”

But in a matter of minutes, Bobbitt’s perspective changed. “We took the approach that there was something there and we needed to find it. We started filming and I changed in just three minutes to being elated. For the first time, I had the freedom to simply visually explore, and we wound up finding compelling stories and material. It opened my mind to all the possibilities we are presented with visually but we strip ourselves of because of the structure or narrative we have going in. We were in one of the most hostile environments in the world. There was serious danger at the full depth of the gold mine. What Steve did was take that setting, Western Deep, and transformed it and imbued it with emotion and content. He has a remarkable, unique ability to transform the unexpected into art.”

Bobbitt reflected, “Working with Steve in the art world, which is informed by so many different things, changed me dramatically as a cinematographer. It gave me a freedom and a bravery that I didn’t know I had in me.”

Editor Walker--a two-time Oscar nominee (for 12 Years a Slave and Arrival--too has worked on all of McQueen’s features. “We’re in close proximity to each other every day--on every dissolve, every cut for 10 months,” said McQueen. “We like each other. Joe’s a musician which gives him a sense of timing that I love very much. We sit together in front of an Avid and just go for it.”

Composer Zimmer--who won the Oscar for his score on The Lion King, and has been nominated 10 other times--previously worked with McQueen on 12 Years a Slave. McQueen said of Zimmer, “He deals with sound in terms of the abstract, the emotion and intent of a story and in order to do that well, you have to be extremely playful and sensitive. He’s not rigid. He’s open, saying ‘let’s try this.’ He has a sense of wonder and discovery like a child.”

Production designer Stockhausen is a three-time Oscar nominee, winning for The Grand Budapest Hotel, and nominated for Bridge of Spies and 12 Years a Slave. McQueen credited Stockhausen with doing yeoman duty on Widows, accommodating more than 60 locations with a heightened sense of authenticity and making Chicago very much a character in the story.

McQueen said the entire crew came together in remarkable fashion on Widows. “You have hundreds of people leaving their family, children and partners to come work with you on a film. We had such a wonderful crew willing to go the extra yard, the extra inch. The environment and the respect we had for one another was incredible. It was like there’s nothing we couldn’t do if we stuck together--much like the four women in this film.”

John Krasinski
The critical and commercial success of A Quiet Place (Paramount Pictures) in some respects started and had its foothold in a quiet personal place for John Krasinski who directed and co-wrote the film, as well as starred in it opposite his wife, Emily Blunt.

Set in a post-apocalyptic, not-too-distant future, A Quiet Place is where mysterious creatures hunt people based on the slightest of sounds. Krasinski and Blunt portray a couple having to live a quiet existence, literally, in order to continue to exist--along with their kids played by Noah Jupe and Millicent Simmonds.

Initially invited to head the cast of the film, Krasinski wasn’t interested, saying he was “too much of a scaredy-cat for that kind of genre film.” However that changed upon his being given a simple synopsis--”People can’t talk. We need to figure out why.”

Krasinski then read the script by Bryan Woods and Scott Beck, and found himself drawn in, adding his own writing touch and successfully lobbying to serve as the feature film’s director.

The nature of Krasinski’s writing touch sprung from his earlier alluded to private, quiet place. “We had our second daughter three weeks before,” recalled Krasinski. “There I was holding a three-week old, thinking about family and a parent’s natural desire to protect his kids--the very real and raw feelings of nervousness, terror and protection at all costs when you face a threat. I saw this story as a metaphor for parenthood, making less of a horror story and more of a family drama, informed by the emotions and responsibilities of parents.”

As a director, Krasinski gravitated to several first-time collaborators, including supervising sound editors Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl, cinematographer Charlotte Bruus christensen, and editor Christopher Tellefsen.

“My first meeting before we shot one frame of film was with Ethan and Erik,” said Krasinski. “I knew that sound would be the most important part of this movie. For me, sound is the main character in this movie and when I first talked to Ethan and Erik, they looked like eight-year-olds who wanted to go to the bathroom. It made my wonder if they even wanted to do this film. But then I realized, they were saying we need to go right now. They couldn’t wait to dive in. I immediately knew those were my guys.”

Earlier Van der Ryn and Aadahl shared their insights with SHOOT into A Quiet Place, shortly after its theatrical release. “Audiences might assume that the hardest project is one with wall-to-wall sound, a lot of bombast and volume. But the opposite is quite true,” observed Aadahl. “The most difficult but at the same time the dream job is the film that is nuanced and quiet, with great delicacy in the sound. You have to be brutal at times about what sounds you choose to play--and what sounds not to play, what sounds to strip out. 

“The first thing we stripped out,” continued Aadahl, “was music during the introduction of the daughter--portrayed by Millicent Simmonds who herself is deaf and playing a deaf character. In that opening scene we wanted to establish her deafness sonically--not using exposition or dialogue. By stripping away dialogue and music, we could create a sonic point of view for her. John called that ‘her envelope.’”

Van der Ryn recalled, “I was blown away by the script in which sound design was so integral to the telling of the story. Sound was burnt into the script’s DNA. In the past decade or so, Erik and I have been exploring sound design as a storytelling tool. That exploration took root fully in A Quiet Place--spanning the contrast between loud and quiet, the different frequencies, the whole idea of sound emerging out of quiet, the different levels of quiet. After reading the script, we met with John and it was clear he would be the ultimate creative collaborator. He was so excited about the possibilities inherent in the script.”

Van der Ryn and Aadahl carry a pedigree that was up to the script’s challenge, having teamed on two Best Achievement in Sound Editing Oscar nominations--for Transformers: Dark of the Moon in 2012, and Argo the following year. Prior to connecting with Aadahl, Van der Ryn teamed with sound editor Mike Hopkins to win a pair of Best Sound Editing Oscars--for The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers in 2003, and King Kong in 2006.

Krasinski sought out DP Christensen, having met her when wife Blunt was working on The Girl on the Train. Krasinski said he was particularly drawn to Christensen’s work on two of director Thomas Vinterberg’s films, The Hunt and Far From the Madding Crowd. “She is uniquely talented and has a great way with landscape and light, which is what I wanted for A Quiet Place. I saw this as more of a throwback film, with a feel like Alien, Jaws, Rosemary’s Baby--almost nostalgic. That’s one of the reasons we shot on film. Right from the beginning, we fought hard for that.”

As for Tellefsen, Krasinski said he was first told that the editor was unavailable. “But we tried and tried again and broke through. I had known a lot of his work,” related Krasinski, “which included films with Bennett Miller (a Best Oscar nomination for Moneyball) that I had fallen in love with, and Fair Game with director Doug Liman which had an energy to the cutting that I felt would work well for us to pull in and out of storylines, building tension for our story.”

Regarding his biggest takeaway from his experience on A Quiet Place, Krasinski observed, “The story is a love letter to my kids. This is the type of movie I always wanted to do, a story I always wanted to tell. I felt that dynamic was in A Star is Born with Bradley Cooper, as he projected a vulnerability that shows on the screen. I asked my wife if it will ever be like this again? She said, ‘Of course it won’t.’ This was something personal. I was there and we made something beautiful and personal. Having my wife be at my side during the greatest experience of my career is something few people get to have. I feel very fortunate.”

Ruben Impens
While director Felix van Groeningen extensively rehearsed the actors for Beautiful Boy (Amazon) over a two-week period, there was no real need to rehearse in the conventional sense with DP Ruben Impens as the two have been long-time collaborators dating back to when they first met at film academy in Belgium. Impens shot van Groeningen’s first planned short film which evolved into a 50-minute-plus movie. And since then Impens has lensed all of van Goreningen’s full-fledged features such as The Broken Circle Breakdown, Belgica and now the recently released Beautiful Boy, which is the director’s first English-language film. “We know each other so well and work together seamlessly,” shared Impens. “We talk but sometimes we don’t have to.”

A deeply moving portrait of a family’s love and commitment to each other in the face of their son’s drug addiction and his attempts at recovery, Beautiful Boy is based on two memoirs--one from journalist David Sheff (portrayed by Steve Carell) and one from his son, Nic Sheff (Timothée Chalamet). As Nic repeatedly relapses, the Sheffs are faced with the reality of how lives can be destroyed by addiction--with tough love the only antidote. The story is harrowing, heart-breaking and anger-invoking while at the same time marked by joy, hope and love.

For van Groeningen, rehearsal with the actors is essential (the cast also includes Maura Tierney, Amy Ryan and Timothy Hutton), affording him the opportunity to explore various aspects of characters and performance. Impens sat in on the rehearsals, enabling him and van Goreningen to begin blocking the scenes before getting to set for real. “I’m like a fly on the wall when they rehearse--sometimes I film them,” said Impens. “After that, Felix and I talk about it, think about it and make a plan. In the case of Beautiful Boy, we found that we wanted an epic approach without being too obvious. It shouldn’t be like you feel the camera. It’s all about the performances. Almost through the whole film, there’s a gentle push--the camera is gently pushing in like what the story and drugs do. The story and drugs creep in, approach you slowly and get under your skin.”

Beautiful Boy also marked the first time that van Groeningen and Impens worked with large sets, including the Sheffs’ home where the story of Nic’s addiction begins. It’s a dream place, situated in rustic nature with an artistic vibe--a place so inviting and feeling so safe, you’d hardly think of it as where a monstrous addiction took hold. Impens credited the meticulous work of production designer Ethan Tobman, citing his prior triumph in Room, designing a world of fantasy and reality as seen through the eyes of a boy who’s held captive with his mom.

Impens deployed the ARRI ALEXA SXT on Beautiful Boy, dovetailing with what he succinctly described as “simplicity in lighting,” sometimes relying on no more than “a little bulb” to naturally illuminate and dramatize a scene. “Even though Felix and I were doing a little bigger scale movie that we’re used to, we felt that simplicity gives the best results.”

Impens added that van Groeningen is “not the kind of director you show a script and he will do it. He wants to get deeply inolved in everything--the writing, the shooting, the editing. He needs to have a hundred percent comprehensive effort. He can only be that kind of filmmaker.”

James Laxton
The collaborative bond runs deep for DP James Laxton and director/writer Barry Jenkins. The two were college roommates for a year and started working together at Florida State University film school. In fact, Laxton lensed Jenkins’ last two student films and has gone on to do the same for all his features--Medicine for Melancholy for which the DP earned an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Cinematography, followed by Moonlight, the Best Picture Oscar winner, and the just released If Beale Street Could Talk (Annapurna Pictures). Moonlight garnered Academy Award and ASC Award nominations for Laxton.

If Beale Street Could Talk marks the first English-language feature based on the work of novelist James Baldwin. Jenkins penned the adapted screenplay, with the movie dedicated to Baldwin. 

Set in early 1970s’ Harlem, If Beale Street Could Talk is a love story at its core--between 19-year-old Tish Rivers (portrayed by KiKi Layne) and her friend since childhood, her artist fiance Alonzo Hunt, a.k.a. Fonny (Stephan James). The devoted couple dreams of a bright future together but their plans are derailed when Fonny is arrested for a crime he didn’t commit.

“We all felt the responsibility of doing justice to James Baldwin’s work,” related Laxton. “All of us took great care in preserving the novel. Yet while it was a period piece, we didn’t want it to feel too much like a film from the 1970s because we were dealing with contemporary issues such as race relations in America. So we wanted to touch upon the era while being able to look at this film through a more modern prism. That way it would stay relatable to a modern audience.”

To stay true to Baldwin’s novel, Laxton and Jenkins opted for an ARRI Alexa 65, a large format digital camera with an oversized sensor and a wide dynamic range. The DP also deployed ARRI Prime DNA lenses. “When you read Baldwin’s work, there’s a confluence of strength, power, subtlety and nuance,” explained Laxton. “As a reader you experience these great powerful phrases and descriptions but they are made with such care and detail. Barry and I wanted to relate that to the visual language we were creating for this film. Large format became a clear choice--a lot of resolution, range, a large field of view. All these things in my mind come with a lot of power and at the same time a lot of detail. It gave the material a visual structure and strength in the spirit of Baldwin’s writing.”

Jenkins and Laxton wanted to make the film as immersive an experience as possible for the audience so for select scenes they used an Interrotron, a teleprompter-like device in which an actor can look and speak directly into the camera. Oscar-winning filmmaker Errol Morris has used the technology for documentary interviews. Laxton went with the Interrotron for example in a scene where Tish visits Fonny in prison. They are talking to each other via phone, looking at each other through a transparent security partition. Laxton had the characters--portrayed by Layne and James--each looking into an Interrotron. The actors were shot simultanously as they also could see each other and react accordingly, drawing viewers up close and pesonal to the characters being portryed. 

For Laxton, the priority was to create empathy for the characters. “Love is a concept we can all relate to no matter where we come from in the world. Hopefully we all have loving relationships in our lives. As a filmmaker and an audience member you can make choices to open up your heart and your mind to these examples of love, and experience them through this film. This way you can find ways to empathize and understand what other people are going through--even people who have different social and political backgrounds than you.”

Nurturing an empathetic orientation is natural and made easier, said Laxton, by being able to collaborate closely with Jenkins. “We have a deep level of trust in each other, which means we can go with our instincts, what feels right in our gut. When you have this kind of creative partnership, you sort of know when someone is on to something. I don’t think I’ve ever said no to Barry or that he’s ever said no to me. We’re willing to go where each other’s instincts and ideas take us. Working with Barry is a joy.”

That joy will continue as next up for Jenkins and Laxton is The Underground Railroad, an Amazon limited series.

Laxton’s filmography, though, extends beyond Jenkins. The DP’s other features have included David Robert Mitchell’s The Myth of the American Sleepover; Peter Sattler’s Camp X-Ray; Kevin Smith’s Tusk and Yoga Hosers; and Timothy McNeil’s Anything.

Eugenio Caballero
Familiarity on two levels for production designer Eugenio Caballero yields brilliant results in writer/director Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma (Netflix). 

For one, though the film marks the first time Caballero has worked with Cuarón as a director, the production designer is hardly a stranger to the filmmaker. Cuarón has produced four films on which Caballero has worked, including the one for which he earned the Best Art Direction Oscar in 2007--Pan’s Labyrinth directed by Guillermo del Toro.

The other familiarity front entails the subject matter and sense of place in Roma, which introduces us to Cleo (portrayed by Yalitza Aparacio), a young domestic worker for a family in Mexico City’s middle-class Roma neighborhood. Delivering an artful love letter to the women who raised him, Cuarón draws on his own childhood to create a stirringly emotional portrait of domestic strife and social hierarchy in the midst of Mexico’s political turmoil in the 1970s.

“Alfonso’s memories are my own memories. I grew up in the same neighborhood,” related Caballero who noted, “When you start research normally for a film, you go to the Internet and books--but they always have a filter. You just see the iconic images, the pictures which others have deemed ‘important.’ You can lose the day-to-day details. But because I know the neighborhood and the life back then, for Roma a lot of research was done with our family photos. That’s a tremendous difference.”

The other major difference which Caballero had to reflect was the life in well-to-do middle class Mexico City--as well as a getaway to the ultra rich lifestyle at a hacienda--in contrast to sprawling slums. Re-creating the economic and social contrasts of the time was an integral part of Caballero’s job.

He also found a site and structure that was deconstructed to facilitate the building of a near exact replica of Cuarón’s childhood home. “Our main set is the family’s home,” said Caballero. Existing walls were torn down, replaced by moveable walls. In the home’s courtyard, a system of rails and drapes could mainpulate the light to resemble day or night, rain or shine. This afforded Cuarón the flexibility to stage scenes without interruption as actors moved from room to room. “We could light a scene the way we wanted, with walls that worked like a guillotine, going up and down. We built with real materials, down to the tiles of that era--tiles that were custom made by an artisan by hand. We made a complete transformation to be true to that era.”

Caballero recalled that the creation of this world was reverse-engineered. “When I first started talking to Alfonso, it was about spaces, perfumes, even sounds. We started talking about the little details--what would be on the table when having dinner?  We started building based on those details which came together to create the sets and the whole portrait of this long, lost Mexico from the ‘70s.”

To dress the set accurately, Cuarón reached out to family members to retrieve furnishings and personal items that they had from his childhood home. Family photos and memories helped to bring the residence to life. 

Caballero explained that while some of the fine, nuanced touches wouldn’t necessarily be seen on screen, they carried a measure of importance and proved valuable. “I knew we would be working with non-professional actors. I wanted to give them the tools to understand a little bit more about their characters. That’s why the set was fully dressed with bits and pieces of the characters’ lives. Also, we shot in chronological order. The story was not revealed to the actors. So they would be discovering something about their characters every day.”

Reflecting back on his experience making Roma, Caballero cited change and lack thereof. On the former score, he observed, “When you live in a city, you don’t notice how much it has changed over the years. And, of course, we had the earthquake of 1985 which punished these neighborhoods in Mexico City. I was 13 when the earthquake happened and so I experienced the reconstruction.  Still, the human condition calls on you to forget and continue on with your life. But when you stop and take notice, it’s shocking how much change has taken place.”

On the flip side, what hasn’t changed, continued Caballero, is “the social uneveness. Politics are completely disassociated to the need of the people. We have colliding contrasts. A super modern city, a hip area, but the slums continue.”

Caballero’s credits span nearly 30 films, with 20 as production designer. With Roma, Cuarón is added to a list of director collaborators for Caballero which incluces J.A. Bayona (The Impossible, A Monster Calls), Jim Jarmusch (The Limits of Control), Baz Luhrmann (Romeo + Juliet), Floria Sigismondi (The Runaways), Claudia Llosa (Aloft), Fernando Eimbcke (Club Sandwich), Carlos Cuarón (Rudo y Cursi) and Russell Mulcahy (Resident Evil: Extinction). 

Justin Hurwitz
Last year, composer Justin Hurwitz earned a pair of Oscars--Best Original Score and Best Original Song (“City of Stars”) for director Damien Chazelle’s La La Land. This year he returns with First Man (Universal Pictures), another collaboration with Chazelle, his old college roommate.

Based on the book by James R. Hansen, First Man chronicles the multi-faceted backstory of the first manned mission to the moon, focusing on Neil Armstrong and the decade leading to the historic Apollo 11 flight. A visceral and intimate account told from Armstrong’s perspective, the film explores the triumphs and the cost--on Armstrong, his family, his colleagues and the nation itself—of one of the most dangerous missions in history.

“I knew there was no question I wanted to work on First Man--as soon as Damien started talking about it, what some of the themes of the movie would be, what he wanted to explore in Neil Armstrong’s story,” recalled Hurwitz. “I knew that again Damien wanted to explore the ideas of passion and sacrifice, the relentless pursuit of a goal. Those are ideas that have always spoken to me--and spoken to me strongly in Damien’s other films. But there was a new spin to exploring them in this movie.”

That spin was far darker than La La Land. “I was excited to get to compose music that would be very different than what we had done with La La Land, to be able to go in the direction of writing some intense, dark, powerful music. There was also the chance to do a lot of really intimate music as well. It was exciting to flex some of those muscles--grand, big music, darkly themed music, and intimate personal music.”

Finding the musical themes entailed a process to which Hurwitz has grown accustomed to with Chazelle--piano demos which explore different melodies. “We sit at the piano for a long time and try idea after idea. Hundreds of piano demos get made before we ever settle on one. It takes as long as it takes. We throw out a lot. At one point we’d even email a bunch of piano demos back and forth. There are some good ideas that are not quite good or right enough. We keep going until we arrive at one that moves both of us, and sparks something more. Then we start exploring where that theme can go and what it can be.”

However, for First Man, a new process followed the piano demos. “Every movie has different requirements soncially and tonally,” related Hurwitz. “For this film, we got into all kinds of electronic music production, more unusual orchestration ideas once we locked in a couple of the main themes on the piano.”

Additionally, Hurwitz and Chazelle deployed a Leslie rotor cabinet, described by the composer as “a wooden speaker cabinet where the speaker inside spins around, giving you a sort of whirling Doppler effect.” Hurwitz conducted a large string orchestra, then re-recorded it being played back through a Leslie rotor cabinet. A tremelo effect was added, giving the score an intentionally unsteady feel, with brass, woodwinds, percussion and harp brought into the mix.

This kind of experimentation comes from the desire to affect viewers emotionally--and it’s an experimentation that had Chazelle and Hurwitz working closely with editor Tom Cross, yielding new and different forms. Hurwitz worked out of a studio at Universal, sharing offices next to the edting room, lending itself to extensive fine tuning. “Every time we did a friends and family screening, a preview screening for audiences in a movie theater, a screening for the studio, we had an opportunity to see what was working and what wasn’t. Each step allowed us a chance to figure out how to change course and how to tweak. We kept refining and refining, getting audience feedback, getting a handle on what changes we needed to make to move forward. There was a nonstop evolution to the music. While major elements remained unchanged, other details evolved. And the small things can make a big difference. Working with Tom and Damien on this was a rewarding process.”

This is the sixth of a multi-part series with future installments of The Road To Oscar slated to run in the weekly SHOOT>e.dition, The SHOOT Dailies and on SHOOTonline.com, with select installments also in print issues. The series will appear weekly through the Academy Awards gala ceremony. Nominations for the 91st Academy Awards will be announced on Tuesday, January 22, 2019. The 91st Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 24, 2019, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, Calif.,and will be televised live on the ABC Television Network.  The Oscars also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.


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