Post Magazine

September/October 2022

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the last two days. Originally, we expect- ed it to be quite hard filming in Venice, as it's always so crowded and full of tourists, but by the time we got there it was during the height of the pandemic and it was totally deserted, which was probably a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We didn't have to worry about crowd control, and no one bothered Harry, so it was perfect." Talk about the look you and your DP Ben Davis went for. "I worked with Ben on Genius and I love working with him, as we seem to share the same aesthetic, and he always seems to know how I want to approach a scene. We finish each other's sentences and it's a very natural collaboration. As the film keeps shifting between the two different time periods, I wanted to make that 30- year difference feel as effortless as pos- sible, and to introduce the idea that the three main characters are almost stuck in time. I guess the whole treatment of time and memory was central to the storytelling, so the jumps between 1999 back to 1958 and then back again were a big part of that. And then we had the melancholic beauty of Peacehaven, with its lower skies and figures almost pressed down into the frame, which was a nice counterpoint to the more colorful '50s look of Brighton, where the characters have their whole lives in front of them. So the palette is much brighter and more expansive after we make that first switch back in time, before the story descends into the hell that they and society create. Then the two worlds start to collide, and you have the oppression of the court- room and prison scenes. All that sets up the visual language of the environment in which they play out their lives in their later years." Tell us about post. Was it remote because of COVID? "Yes, we did most of it remote and then got together in-person when we could. All the edit was in London with Chris Dickens, who cut Genius for me. We did the DI at Goldcrest with Ben, and colorist Adam Glasman. I was very involved in that and the very specific color palette for the two periods." Film post is a very different process from anything in theater. Was it a steep learning curve? "It was on Genius, as there's nothing like post in theater, although you can tweak stuff a bit after a show's opened. But this time around I found the whole post pro- cess far more enjoyable, especially getting back together with Chris Dickens. We had the usual 12 weeks of post for my direc- tor's cut before we had to share the film with anyone, and that's the most wonder- ful time in post, as you get to shape and shift it without having anyone breathing down your neck. And I learned just how important it is to keep sharing your vision for the film with everyone in post. You share the vision with your actors, DP and production designer, and everyone in prep and on the shoot, but it's just as import- ant to do that in post, and to do it verbally with your post team so they don't just receive it through the picture." How did you and Chris Dickens, whose credits include Slumdog Millionaire, for which he won the Oscar, and Les Miserables, work together, and what were the main editing challenges? "Chris is such an amazing editor and so experienced, and we also had a great team of assistants in the next room. The big challenge was coming up with lan- guage we could use to switch back from 1999 to the '50s. I was very clear with Chris from the very start that I wanted to move effortlessly and cut very smooth- ly between the two periods, so you'd never ever question it. And occasionally I wanted to cut from the '50s to the '90s without you realizing it, if it wasn't for an older version of the characters being in frame. So the idea generally was to create a landscape for the whole movie, and it's Marion's memory, when she's an older woman, that takes you back. From the very first cut, we then go back and forth, and that's how we edited. And once that language was set up, we could play with it and the pacing and rhythms of the story." Talk about the importance of music and sound to you, as they function almost like other characters in the film. "They're both such crucial parts of post, and what I learned with Genius is that the earlier you incorporate them in the prep, the better. That way, you go into the shoot having already had a dialogue with the composer, and then when you get to post, you've already been listening to a lot of stuff, and you can really get down to building the style and tone. I had a wonderful collaboration with the compos- er Steven Price, who won the Oscar for Gravity, and he really got into my head very early on. I remember saying to him, 'It's about longing and regret, counter- pointed by youthful lust and ambition, and the thread that links all of those is a very British restraint.' And that restraint sits at the heart of his score, which is haunting and very beautiful. And he gave individual voices to all three characters. The sound design was done by Ian Wilson and Dan Morgan, and we did all that and the mix at De Lane Lea in Soho." There are a few VFX. What was entailed? "They were all done by Bluebolt, and when you shoot in Brighton in 2021 and it has to look like the '50s, there's a lot of work to do removing modern buildings, signs, cars, so it's a lot of clean up. When Tom and Marion first meet on the beach, it was a big VFX shot, as we created the whole period backdrop for it." Did it turn out the way you first envisioned it? "It did, especially the visual look. It's exactly how we planned it all out, and now I'm looking forward to directing my next project." 17 POST SEPT/OCT 2022 The feature was shot by Ben Davis. Oscar-winning editor Chris Dickens cut the film.

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