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“I was so informed by the time I finished television and commercials that doing a film became physically pretty straight forward. You’d watch the problem coming over the horizon and if it’s a problem, knock its head off before it comes near you,” he shared during The Hollywood Reporter‘s Director Roundtable.
Another reason why he seems to have his films so streamlined is due to his intense pre-planning. “I never rehearse ever. I know what I am going to do. I block it. They come in.”
It’s easy to do, he says, because “I story board everything from scratch, straight on through, so I’ve shot it on paper before I get there. Actors will say, ‘But you’re leaving no room for me.’ I’ve done every which way, I’ve had two very good actors say, ‘How about we have a go the scene.’ All they end up doing is talking standing facing each in the middle of the bloody room.”
Scott does see his films as a place for collaborative thought, saying, “It’s team, it’s all team.” But the most important thing for him when meeting actors is getting to know them, not walking them through the script. “If I’m talking to an actor/actress about if we will work together or not, I talk about everything but the bloody screenplay, cause I want to just know who you are. I want to see how you tick.”
The roundtable was rich with discussions about the work of Stanley Kubrick, but Scott put the other directors to shame by revealing a secret friendship and creative partnership between the late director and himself.
“I had finished Blade Runner, and it was a disaster. My investors were giving me a really hard time, saying ‘You can’t end the film with picking up a piece of origami, looking at the girl, walk in the elevator, nod, and bingo that’s it.’ I said, ‘It’s called a film noir.’ And they said, ‘What’s a film noir?’ That was a big problem. And he said, ‘We have to test this with an uplifting ending, where they will go off into the wilderness together.’ I said, ‘Well if they go off into a beautiful wilderness, why do they live in this dystopian environment?'”
“By then I had talked to Stanley [Kubrick] a few times. I said, ‘I know you shot the hell out of The Shining, can I have some of the stuff?’ So at the end of the film in Blade Runner, that’s Stanley Kubrick’s footage.”
The full Director Roundtable will air on Close Up With The Hollywood Reporter on Sunday, Jan 3, at 11 a.m. ET on Sundance TV.
SundanceTV’s HD Channels (for National Providers):
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