ADG Perspective

January 2022

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Director Pablo Larrain shared with me a script he had become obsessed with written by Steven Knight (Dirty Pretty Things, Eastern Promises). Pablo's excitement was contagious, and I sensed from his descriptions that he wanted to steer away from a traditional biopic and instead wanted to show a glimpse into Diana's private life. Pablo wanted to create a very special and intimate experience showing the real Diana Spencer, hidden from her public image as the Princess of Wales. There's always been a great deal of interest in the late Princess Diana and her years of inner turmoil while she was a part of the British Royal family. Even though Diana was the most photographed person in the world, much of what is known about her is purely tabloid news or secondhand accounts. On Diana's tragic passing in 1997, she was still very much a mystery and only a handful of her close acquaintances knew the details about her marriage. The script; Spencer, named after Princess Diana's maiden name, didn't set out to describe exactly what went on behind the closed doors of the Royal family in the early nineties, but instead focused on the emotional journey of a young woman taken from her idyllic life as a part of English nobility, and transformed into an existence of vigorous schedules and constant scrutiny. It's quite apparent looking at photographs from that time period that Diana was so insulated from the rest of the world that she must've felt there was no escape and no end in sight. The design of the film is there to support the idea that the past, present and future are the same from her perspective. The film picks up ianas life story during Christmas 1991, focusing on three days spent with the Royal family at their Sandringham Estate in Norfolk. The story hopes to get to the heart of what might have been tormenting her. Pablo saw the script as a modern-day fairytale, an upside- down fable where the princess and her prince don't end up living happily ever after. The production tried not to constrain itself with replicating every tiny detail within the Royal household. We built elaborate archives of historical photographs and references and spent a lot of time trying to distill the visual essence of each location being portrayed in the film. e were very focused on perfecting the emotional arch of our characters. It wasn't just Diana that intrigued Pablo but also Prince Charles and the reality of his declining popularity at the time. There was also the fact that we needed to portray the two young princes, still so innocent at the time and somewhat unaware of the icy relationship between their parents, and the array of household staff surrounding the oyals and their military precision and undying devotion to the family traditions. All these characters presented tempting avenues to explore for the director. A. KEY FRAME OF DIANA SANDRINGHAM, REFLECTING ON THE CRUEL TABLOIDS AND THEIR DEPICTION OF HER. ART BY GUY H. DYAS. B. LOST DREAMS AND ASPIRATIONS, THE SCRIPT TRIES TO GET TO THE HEART OF WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN TORMENTING DIANA. PABLO SAW THE SCRIPT AS AN UPSIDE- DOWN FABLE WHICH HE ILLUSTRATED WITH SURREALISTIC MONTAGES. PRODUCTION STILL BY PABLO LARRAIN. A B

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