Thursday 19 June
It’s very exciting to see how he always finds the right word to suggest something while directing an actor or to elicit a change of tone. It’s also very interesting to follow his trend of creative thought. It might sound obvious, but his concept of cinematographic language is total.
He absolutely understands the importance of the inter-relation between all the elements. Perhaps the most surprising thing for me – probably because we have a different concept of cinematographic language – is how he views the relationship between acting and editing.
The way an actor plays during the shot is conceived in relation to the shot before and after it. The editing room is therefore the ultimate place where the pieces (the shots) that are marvellously put together and conceived will ultimately make sense in relation to the other shots.
A few days later, Marty tells me he prefers the editing room to shooting. In each new take he asks his actors for something different, a different tone.
He tries out different things: with and without text, with more or less intensity, with more or less speed, with more or less pause. Especially in action scenes.
He knows he needs different nuances so he can have different options in the editing room, in order to assess which shot works best in relation to the previous scene and the one after it.
This is another difference between his style and mine. In my shoots, I often have the sensation that I am capturing something unique, that I’ve got to be constantly on the look out for that moment of unique truth that an actor might just produce.
At times I feel like my work is all about the preparation of fertile ground, so that the truth that’s hidden in a scene, in a situation, in a character, can really spring forth and blossom.
On this set one gets the feeling that can happen at any time, over and over. In the tradition of the American cinema – and Scorsese has drawn so much from that tradition – cinema is representation, the construction of fiction stories.
Each shot constructed by Scorsese refers to the history of the cinema, which is always there.
His love for the cinema informs his creative work. He’s a director who understands that such baggage is a marvellous work tool.
Monday 23 June
We’ve come to the island. A jeep takes some time to get started before going out of the frame. The decision is made to move it out of the frame by having it pulled from in front. Eight men get down to the task, among them production and direction assistants.
It’s so good to see that beyond the obvious and logical differences, a shoot is often like a shoot anywhere; there are certain features that are the same.
The best solutions are always found based on teamwork, and the need to maintain control over what is being narrated is always the priority of the director. The boat that is a film-shooting crew must always be piloted to a safe port.