I like to ride to work with the AD and the cameraman. But that’s where rehearsals were invaluable. Add six security men, two per shift, three shifts if you’re on that location overnight. It’s one of the most stylized movies I’ve ever made. I will say to the actors, “Go as far as you feel. Among other problems, we were undecided about how to end it, so I had shot two different endings. It can adjust to a lot of light or a little bit… Some highlights have been hidden or truncated due to export limits. If William Holden is making love to Faye Dunaway, he doesn’t want to see some teamster sipping coffee behind her. I wanted to get that dreary, lifeless feeling London has in winter… Some highlights have been hidden or truncated due to export limits. By now I have an almost set speech I make just before the first reading of the script. I tend to shoot everything at eye level, but I’m talking about my eye level. They fuss, they coddle, they make themselves seemingly indispensable. For example, if I were doing a tracking shot or dolly, or simply panning from right to left, I could create the illusion of the photographed object… Some highlights have been hidden or truncated due to export limits. It’s trying to sell you something you don’t need and is stylistically geared to that goal. There are four sprocket holes per frame, so we have to go up and back many times to find the right place to cut. But the process I’ve been describing—of the sum being greater than the parts—that’s shaped by the director. For Hepburn, this pattern was reversed. Here I wanted the exact opposite of The Deadly Affair. We filled the courtrooms with people and gave them no instructions on, what to wear. On my pictures, all these organizational problems are addressed two to three weeks before shooting. “It’s chiaroscuro,” he said. To begin with, I’ve worked hard all day, and I’m tired. On the first shot, I’ll pick something that involves no acting and is mechanically simple: Dustin Hoffman walks down the street and goes into the building. But all location work requires a huge crew. How many hours, how many days, have I spent in dark rooms, looking at this movie? He doesn’t want to see anybody other than Faye watching him, even if he has great concentration. You’re a better director for having worked with him. The Hitchcock team was available for every picture. last thing we would have considered. composed, clean faces at the beginning. For consistency in interior scenes, we added blue gelatins to the lights. Finally, as much as I resist it, I can always have the actor come in and redo the line in an audio studio. This is normal, and none of the actors mind. But that’s a lot of work, and they can use a breather. The Hill was also done in a naturalistic style, so no score was used. I don’t go out at all during shooting. The mix is where we put all the sound tracks together to make the final sound track of the movie. I used three cameras. Sometimes a take has been printed because I want one tiny moment from it. It’s not only a question of getting the camera to the right position—“hitting the mark.” He also has to be able to watch and “feel” the actor. But for me, and I think for other directors, there is enormous tension in handing the movie over. I knew one would have to go. No color was excluded, but we wanted one color to dominate each scene. “It’ll play better when we add the music,” is true. I’ve found that it’s just the opposite. As the picture unfolded, I wanted the room to seem smaller… Some highlights have been hidden or truncated due to export limits. For many years, the cliché about editing was: “Pictures are made in the cutting room.” That’s nonsense. Starting with the normal range (28 mm to 40 mm), we progressed to 50 mm, 75 mm, and 100 mm lenses. But a few are dreaming of finding out what matters to them, of saying to themselves and anyone who will listen, “I care.” A few of them want to make good movies. If push comes to shove, you can then say the obvious truth: “This is a script we both said yes to. Any athlete will tell you that tension is a sure way of hurting yourself. I think it’s quite clear by now that my movies proceed with great control and preplanning. If you feel it, let it fly. Sidney Lumet, (born June 25, 1924, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.—died April 9, 2011, New York, New York), American director who was noted for his psychological dramas, which typically featured characters wrestling with moral or emotional conflicts involving betrayal, corruption, or disillusionment. Murder on the Orient Express is a first-rate whodunit that keeps you completely off balance. It gave everything a ghostly, cold, blue pallor, including flesh tones. And some stars are suckers for it. Although you would expect most of the descriptions to involve camerawork and the actual act of directing, during a good portion of the chapter Lumet describes his habits in the morning… I love dialogue. Our goal here was sheer physical beauty. First of all, there’s no place I’d rather be. Two blocks away, Victor placed a lamp to backlight the crowd standing on the corner. And if many extras are involved, increasing makeup, hair, catering, and props, you can get up to hundreds in crew. If it’s a gentle moment, I’ll say “Action” just loud enough for the actors to hear me. They just did what came naturally, and it was wonderful. The stop is created by… Some highlights have been hidden or truncated due to export limits. How great to have an entire book written by a great director. But, finally, we’ve heard a train leave the station. Writers are so used to being slapped around that they’re stunned that I want them at rehearsal. Now, with the “first team” (the actors themselves), there are corrections to be made. The original negative goes into a vault. This was enormously helpful with three cameras. While it’s absurd to believe that pictures are “made” in the cutting room, they sure as hell can be ruined there. A warm brown would have fought against what we wanted to… Some highlights have been hidden or truncated due to export limits. They had to be the best actors—great actors, if possible—and, in addition, have great personas. Technically we refer to the lenses on the lower millimeter range (9 mm, 14 mm, 17 mm, 18 mm, 21 mm) as wide-angle lenses, and to those from 75 mm on up as long lenses. There were no distractions. Each contains three compartments, so three actors can share it. I… Some highlights have been hidden or truncated due to export limits. In addition, when on location, we also use a rigging crew. On Running on Empty, a small picture, we wound up with about sixty people on location, not counting cast. So I couldn’t tell anybody. In Daniel, the palette was critical. Is the camera operator rehearsing with the dolly grip? I wanted an aura around him of gentility and tenderness. All of this is dangerous in two ways: it costs a lot of money that doesn’t wind up on the screen; and even without meaning to, the stars begin to get a sense of power that can hurt their work. Vowels are harder because they are rarely at the same vocal pitch and you might hear the difference at the splice or cut. Movies with heavy special effects, battle scenes, big stunts, and crowds usually run much longer. Art direction had a lot to contribute, and we’… Some highlights have been hidden or truncated due to export limits. Then we slowly kept reducing those sounds until we played the final interiors, with the least exterior sound possible. Each one works differently. I don’t know what makes a hit. You can always recognize a Matisse.” Of course you can. Someone once asked me what making a movie was like. (More later.) Immediately, a “lens plot” occurred to me. That's why critics love them so.” ― Sidney Lumet, Making Movies. Camera position was also important visually. In addition, there is the complex time problem (jumping forward and… Some highlights have been hidden or truncated due to export limits. In comedy, there is high comedy (The Philadelphia Story) and low comedy (Abbott and Costello Meet You Name It). What it’s about will determine how it is to be made. Partially it’s because he uses himself brilliantly. She wanted to play the retarded Swedish maid. To “match” the light in different shots taken at different times with three different cameras would’ve been nearly impossible, and shots that aren’t matched can look like hell once they’re cut together. This was accomplished through the use of different lenses. But I had also heard Richard Rodney Bennett’s magnificent music score for the same scene. If the same pace is maintained throughout, it will start to feel slower and slower. Sometimes one augments the other. We really do know what we’re doing: It only looks as if we don’t. We looked for browns, russets, deep yellows, burnt orange, burgundy reds, autumnal hues. The only shot that had sky in the frame was practically… Some highlights have been hidden or truncated due to export limits. There are other rules in looking at rushes. People emerged from the background. Then, because the actor moves at a different pace than the stand-in, a camera movement will have to be adjusted. We had a minimum of five hundred people a day for over three weeks. benches. They were shot seven or eight days apart. These are not exact, quantifiable elements, and very often they overlap. We used filters. It wasn’t only acting. He merely smiled that enigmatic little smile of his.) Their reality has nothing to do with the reality of an audience watching a movie for the first time. In fact, by using a long lens at a wide-open stop, a close-up may have the eyes sharp but the ears and back of the head slightly out of focus. It seemed redundant. The important thing is that the interpretation by the director be committed enough so that his intention, his point of view, is clear. In acting, that’s the basis on which everything is built. I’ve never regretted it. As the lights came up, Merrick derisively called from the back, “Is that it?” I called back, “Ask me in that tone of voice again and I’ll smack you, you shit-heel.” Like all bullies, he hurried out of the room. He knew. Nothing helps actors more than the clothes they wear. The afternoon passes quickly. The call sheet is our bible. We could see the source of the light, one of the basic no-no’s of lighting. It doesn’t happen as often, because first-rate work doesn’t happen as often. If it’s not on the call sheet, we don’t need it. Nowhere was the crowd more critical than in Dog Day Afternoon. Their laughter’s the equivalent of what nightclub comics call “band jokes”—jokes that break up the musicians working behind them but are often meaningless to the audience sitting in front of them. or wallpaper on the walls gets damaged from constant movement and has to be repaired. We could shoot in any direction, and the light would be the same. It is extremely valuable. And an arc does cause squinting. Boris Kaufman, the great black-and-white cinematographer, with whom I did eight movies, would writhe in agony and argue if he felt a camera movement was arbitrary and unmotivated. Oswald Morris, with whom I did three movies, began the technique with Moulin Rouge, where it was… Some highlights have been hidden or truncated due to export limits. My first meeting with Hepburn did not go well. If the leading role of Danny Ciello was played by De Niro or Pacino, all ambivalence would disappear. Sidney Lumet was a master of cinema, best known for his technical knowledge and his skill at getting first-rate performances from his actors -- and for shooting most of his films in his beloved New York. I’ll have all the leading actors in on rehearsal. There are no minor decisions in moviemaking. Dog Day Afternoon presented a difficult problem. 13 likes. Some people can do both, but I’ve never known anyone who wasn’t better at one than the other. We call it an arc or a brute, and… Some highlights have been hidden or truncated due to export limits. If extras are being used and the location’s outside the city, as Running on Empty was, a bus must transport them. We’d never recover. It’s the work of one person working alone! Every color was reinforced in this way. But get two. On Prince of the City, about one hundred and twenty. “You’re running 2:02”—the running time of the movie. No script has to fit into an overall theme of my life. When actors have heard “Print,” they know they have a good one in the can and they relax. The sheer detail of lighting a set is mind-boggling. minutes out, or I will.” And with that, she marched out. I don’t know about other directors, but I rarely leave the set when lighting is being done. Sometimes, as here, not. He may go much faster or slower than… Some highlights have been hidden or truncated due to export limits. Henry Fonda was more accurate than the script girl. But it can be done. The movie was about a man’s salvation, his fight to rid himself of his past. unacceptable monopoly. For the first time, I heard what an incredible job he’d done. I can always go into overtime, but I don’t unless it’s absolutely essential. It has happened many times since: Why would he give up the total control of the creative process that a novel provides to write instead for communal control. Unfailingly, they all admitted that self-deception was important to them. We had one great piece of luck. Each scene that would be repeated was shot twice—the first time with normal lenses for the movie (50 mm, 75 mm, 100 mm) and the second time with a very wide-angle lens (21 mm). For perhaps the only time in their lives, they speak the naked,… Some highlights have been hidden or truncated due to export limits. If you’ve ever walked in the woods toward a setting sun, or looked south down Fifth Avenue on a sunny day from a slightly elevated point of view, you might remember how beautiful the leaves or the avenue… Some highlights have been hidden or truncated due to export limits. On Family Business, Sean Connery came into rehearsal after having been with Ann for a clothes fitting. Each bus has room for forty-nine extras. If we had to supplement the light because of focus problems, we simply added more fluorescents. How can we get actors with totally different life experiences and acting techniques to look like they’re making the same movie? And at rushes, it turns out to be wonderful. We added exterior sounds to interior locations (pile drivers, buses, auto horns) at the beginning of the movie. A classic case of stage fright. I wanted no relationship… Some highlights have been hidden or truncated due to export limits. Tears welled up, overflowed, she said the line, and we had a terrific take. And this is the connection that, for me, separates true stylists from decorators. It can take four or five hours to light a shot that goes 360 degrees, sometimes a full day. we talked in musical terms from then on: “Ralph, a little more staccato.” “A slower tempo, Ralph.”. Wide-angle lenses (9 mm to 24 mm) tend to distort the picture; the wider the lens, the greater the distortion. The day turned out to have a solid cloud cover. Knowing that most movies don’t deserve to run more than two hours, I rarely go more than fifteen reels (two and a half hours) in my first cut. “I want the picture under two hours.” I didn’t have final cut in those days. It’ll be the first time I’ve noticed it. But how much in charge am I? I don’t stage the piece in my head before rehearsals. For Q & A and Dog Day Afternoon, everything had to feel accidental—no planning, no color control. To compensate for this, we put an amber-colored filter in the camera. I’ll be asleep within minutes after lying down, a technique I learned in the army during World War II. It can make a good performance better. There was nothing to do but bite my lip for the next seven weeks and try to make the movie look as professional as possible. Ergo, “pictures are made in the cutting room.”. Just as in music, fast tempo usually means energy and excitement. Buildings throw different shadows and reflections. And that’s just in the making of the movie. The decorators are easy to recognize. But sometimes you feel that something wonderful is happening. His answer was “confidence.”. We discuss where the trucks will park, what lamps are to be used, where they will be placed, what has to be redecorated or repainted for the look of the picture. That’s what the two days of discussions have been about. Just moving to shoot against wall A, then turning around 180 degrees to shoot against wall C is usually a four-hour job, a half day’s work! Some of those dialogue lines I didn’t like get cut out. It’s not the stars. Each grip stand requires a sandbag so that the stand doesn’t fall if someone trips over it. and yellow. I can’t approach it cerebrally. Most good actors have their best take early. Sometimes the style of the picture is apparent when I close the script after the first reading. In fact, what people really wear when getting on a train is the. It can make a miracle. In section 3, the Xs beside the numbers indicate stunt people and the characters for whom they are doubling. I want life created. If they have evening clothes, it’ll be stated on their résumé and they’ll get paid extra for a dinner jacket or an evening gown. On a large set, the microphone on the boom may not reach all the actors. That’s why I used those lenses. It’s a lot easier and safer to lay the cables in daylight, when you can still see. It’s what we’re going to shoot that day. Their first obligation is to the star’s looks. Things were a little testy between us for the next few days. Sometimes it’s important not to do anything with the camera, to just shoot it “straight.” And equally important for me is that all this work stay hidden. Emotion came pouring out of him. And you thought all that gazing into the mirror was just vanity. most directors’ closest relationship is with the cameraman. Sometimes they even stimulate you to better, more imaginative work. If the, scene took place in an office, the walls were crowded with bulletin boards and diplomas, federal and, local flags hung on stands. Sometimes, during the take, I’ve been thoroughly convinced it was perfect. I take the chiefs of all the departments—props, electrical, grip, scenic artist, AD, locations, stunts (if used), teamsters, rigging—on what we call the survey trip. Certainly, The Group would have benefited from a lighter comedic feeling in its first twenty-five minutes, so that its deeper seriousness could emerge slowly. Camera height changes are also marked. But will it ever happen? I ordered an ice pack so her cheek wouldn’t swell up and knew that I would never do anything like that again. Only now, because they’d taken on a greater melodramatic significance as evidence, they appeared on the screen much more dramatically, forcefully, etched in hard lines. Obviously, any mechanical error endangers the reality of the movie. Everything has to move—chairs, makeup tables, sound boom, camera dolly; the dressing (curtains, shelves, pictures, et cetera) comes down off wall A and has to be put back up on wall C. The paint, plaster. I have cast cameramen or composers the same way I have actors: Are they right for this picture? In England, the camera apprentice brings a tray of tea for the cameraman and camera crew, for what is called “elevenses.”. He seemed a little bitter in the end, but he had the right. I felt she was fighting to dominate the situation, which could lead to problems during shooting. Just as in life, really talking and listening to one another is very, very difficult. The wider-angle lens (35 mm) has a much larger “field” than the 75 mm lens. When I saw the orange sky in… Some highlights have been hidden or truncated due to export limits. As a general rule, if I’m going to take more than two days to shoot the scene, I’ll build… Some highlights have been hidden or truncated due to export limits. “Don’t work,” I tell the actors. I also make sure that I have the time to read a script straight through. Add two station wagons to transport them. Pacino always comes. So I asked him, what if the script called for him to kill her? But there’s a wonderful intensity about night shooting. But when a lighter touch was needed, we ran into problems. The talent of acting is one in which the actor’s thoughts and feelings are instantly communicated to the audience. They are members of the Screen Actors Guild, and many appear regularly on and off Broadway. Behind the lens are little slots where frames about two and a half inches by three and a half inches can be inserted. This is… Some highlights have been hidden or truncated due to export limits. For this picture, I wanted the exact opposite of the rigid visual structure of Prince of the City. Making Movies Sidney Lumet Snippet view - 1996. At this point, I don’t want any outside opinions. I wanted not just stars but giants. As the picture progressed, camera setups became more rigid, more formal. There is an editor in charge of looping called the ADR editor. Making Movies By Sidney Lumet Making movies home facebook. On 12 Angry Men, the wonderful Faith Hubley was script girl… Some highlights have been hidden or truncated due to export limits. Dustin Hoffman isn’t. music tells them, sometimes even in advance. I’ve talked to novelists, conductors, painters about this. We finished in nineteen days (a day under schedule) and were $1,000 under budget. A net is literally a piece of net held in a rigid metal frame that fits behind the lens, outside the camera. Most actors are used to them after a few pictures. For whatever reason, producers and studio executives sit in the last row. Nothing was to look normal, or anything close to what the… Some highlights have been hidden or truncated due to export limits. One of the interesting peculiarities in the process is that the second nonstop reading, after three days of rehearsal, usually isn’t as good as the first. The distance from where the image reverses itself to the recording surface (the film) is what determines the millimeter count of the lens. That reduced the number of setups to twenty-two plus one, still a formidable amount of work. Commercial success has no relationship to a good or bad picture. And then I go to sleep for fifty-five. Sometimes a whole scene gets removed. We went out with a hidden camera and photographed every ordinary incident we could shoot on a hot August day. To emphasize her progression, once we were using the same lens for each of them, we added nets to her side. Then there’s the honey wagon, four portable toilets built into one truck. A first cut that runs over three hours can really damage a picture. Backlight is one of the oldest and most frequently used ways of making people look more beautiful. all TV ads, posters, print ads, even the title of the movie are tested, all “audience surveyed” and, of course, broken down demographically. They work in advance of us, the shooting crew. I’m dependent on the talents and idiosyncrasies, the moods and egos, the politics and personalities, of. Wide-angle lenses have a much greater focal depth of field—the amount of space in which an object moving toward or away from the camera stays in focus without… Some highlights have been hidden or truncated due to export limits. Some actors never come. One of the greatest directors of all time, Sidney Lumet has made movies that have been nominated for more than 50 Academy Awards. So he refused to do it. Depending on how much lighting the location will need, they arrive one, two, sometimes three days ahead of us. Some tell a story, leave you with a feeling, give you an idea, and reveal something about yourself and others. So let’s do it.”. We started with an almost naturalistic look. Inevitability doesn’t mean predictability. Sometimes if I feel the actor is struggling with a scene, I’ll call “Print” even. And this is the connection that, for me, separates true stylists from decorators. Almost everybody is concentrating on his own work. It’s called “going to rushes” because the lab, in order for you to see the work as quickly as possible, does one-light printing. In France and Italy, they usually shoot without synchronous sound and loop the whole performance in a sound studio later. Therefore, the first decision made was that we use no artificial light. As Sean comes toward us, the camera has to pan up to hold his head in the frame. The letter X without a number indicates the stunt coordinator, to whom the stunt people report. Most experienced actors can do it without breaking their concentration. Every technical advance has brought added problems. We don’t usually put up the music tracks until everything else on the reel has been mixed. The object was to thrust the audience into a world it never knew—to create a feeling of how glamorous things used to be. They’re different talents. At supper after the screening, many of the French directors were complaining about the lack of writers. Of course it is. Some pictures deliberately contain more than one form. In melodrama, the story determines the characters. The stories weren’t the same, but the genre was: a melodrama, layered with light comedy, played by the most glamorous actors he could find (also the most commercially popular at the time), photographed often by the same cameraman, with music composed by the same composer. When you know what you’re doing, you feel much freer to improvise. If anyone did know, eh’d be able to write his own ticket. The fourth time it happened, I replaced him.). If we didn’t use them, his face would go completely black. It might look badly edited, but because of how poorly it was shot, it may in fact be a miracle of editing that the story even makes sense. The way he describes it, “production assistants nervously awaiting,” “PA’s who have set the tables up wrong,” etc. Tom Landry said it: It’s all in the preparation. We had to achieve in the production the tragic dimensions of the script. They checked sound levels and made sure the projectors were in good shape. Some things we are naturally talented for, and some things we have to learn. We’ve been in the studio. But almost no critic spotted the stylization in Prince of the City. So what? This kind of [[PDF]] Making Movies without we recognize teach the one who looking at it become critical in imagining and analyzing. I always call “Action” in the mood of the scene. Going back to its theme (nothing is what it appears to be), I made a decision: We would not use the midrange… Some highlights have been hidden or truncated due to export limits. Since light affects the focal depth, the stop (the amount of light allowed to pass through the lens) is very important. If he feels he blew it, he’ll ask you to reshoot, if possible; it invariably comes out better. To me, there are two main elements to editing: juxtapositioning images and creating tempo. It’s like a conductor giving the upbeat. Making Movies Chapter 7+8 Summary Chapter 7: During this chapter Lumet describes a number of shooting days that he has endured in his filmmaking career. Making Movies: Amazon.de: Lumet, Sidney: Fremdsprachige Bücher Wählen Sie Ihre Cookie-Einstellungen Wir verwenden Cookies und ähnliche Tools, um Ihr Einkaufserlebnis zu verbessern, um unsere Dienste anzubieten, um zu verstehen, wie die Kunden unsere Dienste nutzen, damit wir Verbesserungen vornehmen können, und um Werbung anzuzeigen. But an awful lot of writers, actors, and directors have– including D.W. Griffith. And so often it doesn’t. Boris Kaufman, with whom I did eight pictures, was a great dramatic cameraman. If they can get into a shot of less than five people, they become “special business” and receive a slight increase in their day’s pay. In the first third of the movie, we tried to have the light on the background brighter than on the… Some highlights have been hidden or truncated due to export limits. Almost every picture is improved by a good musical score. Because it seems closer, the object seems to travel past the background at a much greater speed on a long lens. Whether or not it will happen is something we never know. This pattern was broken temporarily as Stockwell and Richardson went into their lyrical arias of self-examination in Act IV, when each one explores what he wanted in earlier and less tortured times.… Some highlights have been hidden or truncated due to export limits. Lumet also describes why he makes movies and how he does it. with a feeling and give you an idea. We take our first rehearsal. Then, with his charming Polish accent, he pinpointed it. Inside the package were perhaps twenty-five sugar wafers in various pastel colors: very light green, pink, tan, aqua, white. Sidney Lumet begins by speaking about the actor and crew call in the morning and how it normally goes. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. it’s because they hate movies and want to be as far from the screen as possible. Where something took place no longer mattered. 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