Post Magazine

December 2018

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Page 27 of 43 26 POST DECEMBER 2018 OUTLOOK DIRECTORS T o paraphrase Mark Twain, reports of the death of movies are greatly exaggerated. In an era of stream- ing and hand-held devices, new competi- tion from the likes of Amazon and Netflix, and fierce competition from an old rival like television (think Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, The Big Bang Theory), audiences are still flocking to theaters in massive numbers. In fact, it's been a very good year for Hollywood, especially in terms of the global block- busters. Avengers: Infinity War led the pack with an astounding $2 billion-plus haul at the box office, followed by Black Panther, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and Incredibles 2, which all grossed well over $1 billion each. But it wasn't all about superheroes and big-budget franchise outings like Mission: Impossible — Fallout, which grossed nearly $800 million, and Deadpool 2 (see below), which grossed over $734 million. Low-budget dramas tackling serious and timely issues and thrillers also performed well, proving that helming thought-provoking smaller, grit- tier films can often be an equally-smart choice for a director. Here, several top directors — Francis Lawrence, David Leitch, Baltasar Kormákur and George Tillman, Jr. — tackle Post's SWOT questions and air their views about the inevitable changes coming in the years ahead. FRANCIS LAWRENCE The Hunger Games franchise, Red Sparrow, Water for Elephants, I Am Legend Director/producer Francis Lawrence got his start — and honed his skills — mak- ing music videos for such A-listers as Beyonce, Jay-Z, Lady Gaga, Janet Jackson, P!nk, Britney Spears and Jennifer Lopez (J.Lo), as well as high-end commercials for Pepsi, Coke, L'Oreal, Bacardi and Calvin Klein, among many other clients. After moving into feature films, his career turbo-charged when he took on the ambitious challenge of di- recting the last three of the four Hunger Games films and helped steer the sci-fi dystopian series into the record books as one of the most successful franchises of all time. STRENGTHS: "[Post is] my favorite part of the whole filmmaking process, where you actually get to see your film come together, and you finally have more time. I don't feel that terrible pressure of time slipping through my fingers that I do on set, with all the pressures of weather, the fading light and so on — and then there are also far fewer personality problems. Plus you have the safety and stability of post. It's very calm for me." WEAKNESSES: "Someone once said that you have four chances to ruin your movie — the first being the way you write it, the second is the way you shoot it, the third is the way you edit it and then the fourth is the way you use music. And I think that's very true." OPPORTUNITIES: "Post also gives you the opportunity to change anything, and what I've learned over the course of the seven films I've done is that it's all so fluid. I used to think that you began with a plan, you shot that plan, then you cut that plan and that was your movie. But now I real- ize that shooting is this limited amount of days where you collect as much raw material as you can. You need a plan, but what you're really doing is just gathering stuff for post, which is where you actually make the film. Maybe some directors like the chaos of just gathering material with- out a plan, but I always like a plan, so that when you get to post you can start to see what the shape of it is, the pace and ener- gy and dynamics and the emotion." THREATS: "Some directors complain that there's never enough time and budget for post, but I feel the opposite. There's never enough time or money for the shoot, but I never feel that way in post. The threats for me are always outside influences — like some rogue actor who may not like something or want something changed, or the rogue producer who suddenly doesn't want any violence and wants stuff cut, or the studio suddenly not getting it, or a test OUTLOOK 2019 — DIRECTORS WEIGH IN ON THE YEAR AHEAD FRANCIS LAWRENCE, DAVID LEITCH, BALTASAR KORMÁKUR AND GEORGE TILLMAN, JR. ADDRESS THE INDUSTRY'S STRENGTHS, WEAKNESSES, OPPORTUNITIES AND THREATS IN POST'S ANNUAL SWOT FEATURE BY IAIN BLAIR Lawrence on the Hunger Games Hunger Games Hunger set.

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