Sunday 29 June
Many of the scenes are filmed in three or four consecutive days; there’s an atmosphere of intense concentration as actors, Martin Scorsese and the DoP think of new ideas, which are brought to the shoot the following day.
There is constant work on the CONSTRUCTION of the film that’s being shot, during the shoot. There is a great deal of work on each detail of the shot. There is absolute professionalism, which must not be confused with automatism. It is something that’s often misunderstood.
Being professional doesn’t mean doing things quickly and efficiently, without any emotional attachment to the job. It’s wonderful to see how, here, professionalism leaves scope for craftsman-like search, so the set is a place where questions are asked, a creative place where the work of the head of each department is valued and the passion they all have for their work is very clear.
There’s something of the amateur spirit in that, which takes nothing away from their professionalism. On set, a great sense of teamwork is palpable.
Marty, as well as the DoP, the AD and the continuity director work together, thinking and rethinking the mise-en-scène, to get the most out of each shot, to make it better, more complex and interesting, with different levels of reading, in order to produce something more subtle and powerful.
The point of departure is always the screenplay; there’s always a very clear notion that the basic scene from which they depart will always grow and grow with the mise-en-scène. It is in the mise-en-scène that the film lives and breathes.
Wednesday 2 July
The last day of shooting. It’s very hot. Retakes. It is quite remarkable because the set for the interiors of the ferry bath are constructed in the same parking lot as a corridor in Dachau.
On one side, a corridor in Dachau with all the famished-looking extras, behind barbed-wire fences. On the Dachau décor it is snowing (artificial snow is poured on) while on the other set it isn’t.
This almost surreal superimposition of sceneries creates a strange, hallucinatory feeling on set. Cinema as the purest, most fantastic fiction/recreation.
Like This? Then try...
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