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March 2013

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Fighter, was unavailable. Jay is the person I clicked with over the phone — and at that time we were already on location. I quite liked him and what he did with Into the Wild. "I can't look at an assembly. I would want to jump off a bridge. I would rather just go through the whole thing together starting at the beginning. I've done it enough times to know that I never want to do it again." POST: Jay mentioned that Bradley Cooper was in the editing room a lot. Did he make many suggestions? RUSSELL: "Bradley is a very generous actor in the sense that he's not there just looking at his performance. He thinks like a filmmaker, so he was looking at the whole film. He's a very smart guy, and a good voice to have in the editing room." POST: So you welcome the opinion of others? RUSSELL: "I believe in healthy debate, and I believe that the creative process benefits from being challenged. I don't believe in being precious about it. I'll take notes from anybody — from Harvey Weinstein, or a preview. I like trying things in different ways and making sure it's the best way it can be. That way you get the best moments, the best scenes and the best performances. "With a movie like this you have to define the tone, and it's a tone that's uncomfortable at first. But above all it had to feel authentic, and letting each character be as alive and riveting as they could be. There were many discoveries in found, in our early cuts, that a little bit of Bradley's darkness went a long way. We had much more in the beginning, and people were like, 'Wow, I get it, but it's really intense and I am having a hard time getting on board with this guy.' So we had to find that right balance." POST: As a writer and director, you come at filmmaking from all angles. What is your favorite part of making a film? RUSSELL: "When you are in production, you end up falling in love with production, I do at least. I am a little sad when it's over because it's such a wonderful family you created. In this case it really was a family, with everyone in that house, so I was sad when that ended. But, I do love editing, because once you've been the hunter/gatherer and you've captured all of your performances and your emotions and moments, that's when you can go on and continue to craft the film. I love them both. I do think that post is pretty awesome because you can come and go in that cocoon and keep making the film better and better." POST: You did a digital intermediate on this over at Technicolor. What do you like about DI, and how do you use it? While the topic is dark, Russell opted for humor as well. RUSSELL: "The first DI I ever did was on The Fighter. I like it because that department, and many ways to cut that." usually there is a lot of warmth I like to retain. POST: There are many moments of humor in That is my favorite thing. I don't like to make the film. Had you considered going a different way? things cold, and I don't like it if it makes it RUSSELL: "There was a much darker more accurate. There is a certain character to movie in there if we wanted it. Bradley, Jennifer what things look like, and while it might not (Tiffany) and Robert DeNiro (Pat's dad) all did be called dead accurate, it's what I like. It has very dark sides of their characters, so we could a personality and color in it. That is what I was explore that on the set. You end up finding the always looking for in the DI." right measure of that in the editing room. We POST: Can you talk about your DP, Masano- bu Takayanagi? RUSSELL: "He did a phenomenal job lighting, so it had natural feeling to it and sometimes it's very beautiful and also allowed the actors complete mobility like they were on stage. They could go 360 degrees and the camera could go anywhere at any time with any character in any part of the house. That took quite a bit of work. "He made the dance scenes feel so magical…that pool of light by the bar where Tiffany goes. He also designed a computer lighting program around the dance floor that was timed to their dance moves. I wouldn't have known to ask for that." POST: Can you talk about the film's music, since it plays such a big role? RUSSELL: "Our music editor Phil Tolman did The Fighter with me as well. We have a great shorthand; he knows my taste and knows how I like to use music. Sue Jacobs was the music supervisor on both as well. There is an amazing use of Led Zeppelin in both films over major story points. In The Fighter over Christian Bale's crime spree, and in this film over the bi-polar episode that shows how Tiffany touched a nerve inside Pat. All that music is story specific and takes so much work." POST: Can you talk a bit about Danny Elfman's score? RUSSELL: "It was perfect, with the right tone and heart, and it complements the music perfectly. It was a lean budget, so he did it all himself in the studio with a couple of musicians. He felt the heart of the film. He created a theme for Pat and Tiffany. Like everything else in the film, it was designed to be without pretense and almost seamless or invisible. That's what we aspired to do." Post0313_014-15-directors chair david o russellRAV4FINALREAD.indd 15 Colorist Tony Dustin at Technicolor Hollywood provided the DI using DaVinci Resolve. Post • March 2013 15 2/28/13 6:28 PM

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