Post Magazine

JULY 2011

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 13 of 51

— Bad T eacher H director’s chair Jake Kasdan OLLYWOOD — Following in the footsteps of his father, writer-di- rector Lawrence Kasdan, director By IAIN BLAIR Jake Kasdan has carved out a successful ca- reer bouncing between movies and televi- sion, with the focus on comedy. He made his feature debut as both writer and direc- tor of Zero Effect, starring Bill Pullman and Ben Stiller in 1998. The following year, he directed the pilot Going for the laughs once again. for the short-lived, highly-acclaimed televi- sion series Freaks and Geeks, which also marked Kasdan’s first collaboration with ex- ecutive producer Judd Apatow. Kasdan then served as a consulting producer through the run of the series, directing several episodes, and also directed his second television pilot, the Apatow-produced Undeclared. Returning to feature films, he directed 2002’s Orange County, starring Colin Hanks and Jack Black, in 2005 wrote, directed and produced The TV Set, starring David Duchovny and Sigourney Weaver, and in 2007, co-wrote and directed Walk Hard:The Dewey Cox Story, which won him a Golden Globe nomination. For his new film, the R-rated comedy Bad Teacher, Kasdan assembled a high-profile cast that includes Cameron Diaz and Justin Tim- berlake in the story of a foul-mouthed, pot- smoking, hard-drinking teacher (Diaz) who doesn’t give a damn about her students but who’s very eager to impress a nerdy but rich new teacher played by Timberlake. Here, in an exclusive interview with Post, Kasdan, who also directed the pilot for the new Fox series New Girl starring Zooey Deschanel, talks about making the film and his love of post. POST: You seem to move happily between The film was cut on an Avid system by Tina Timpone, a long-time contributor of Kasdan’s. movies and TV, so how do you go about decid- ing what your next project will be, and what made you choose this? JAKE KASDAN: “I just thought it was one of the funniest scripts I’d ever read — it was that simple.There weren’t any particular criteria I was looking for. It just made me laugh, so I went for it, and it came together fairly easily.” POST: What are the biggest challenges of making an R-rated comedy? KASDAN: “The same as the challenges of making any comedy — you want it to be funny all the time and you don’t want to be seduced by the R-rating in a way that makes you forget what’s actually important: the 12 Post • July 2011 Jake Kasdan, on the post process: “The fact is, you can make the movie better and more quickly in post than at any other time in the whole process.” KASDAN: “No.We all loved the script and everyone wanted to do it, then it was just a matter of everyone’s schedules and so on.” POST: Where did you shoot and how long was it? KASDAN: “It’s set in Chicago but we shot at various schools in LA around their spring breaks, so we had to do stuff like spray fake snow for all the winter scenes and so on. It was a really fast shoot by studio comedy standards — just 35 days. So it was very intense and a lot of fun.” POST: Where did you do the post? How long was the process? KASDAN: “It was scheduled for 22 weeks and we ended up shooting a couple more scenes, and that extended it a few weeks more.We did the initial cutting at The Lot in Hollywood, and then when we got more into post and sound and so on we moved to the Sony lot and did all the rest of the post and DI there. I’ve worked there a lot and they’re excellent. “John Naveira,VP of post production at Sony, was in charge of post on this movie and he’s just great and it all went very bly gratifying, and I love working with all the various artists and crafts involved in post.” POST: You’ve worked with editor Tara Tim- pone on all of your films. How does that rela- tionship work? KASDAN: “She doesn’t spend much time on the set — just the occasional visit. But by the time I’m into shooting she’s al- ready starting to cut.We did this on Avid. We work very closely together and we’re good friends, and basically she’s one of my key collaborators. She’s cut all five of my movies and really knows the intention of my footage better than anyone, which is key. There’s a certain rhythm to cutting comedy and the editing is a huge part of comedy, so I really enjoy the whole process of seeing it come together. POST: Who did the visual effects and how many visual effects shots are there? KASDAN: “Hammerhead did them all, but there weren’t that many. In the scenes where they play dodge ball we did quite a lot of enhancements, and then there were various corrections, rig removals, painting stuff out, that kind of thing. I’m actually a big fan of visual effects though I’ve never used a story, the performances and the comedy. But generally it gives you more freedom than anything else, although I’m not a big fan of the ratings system.” POST: You assembled a great cast, includ- ing Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake.Was that tough? smoothly, which isn’t always the case.” POST: Do you like the post process? KASDAN: “I love it. I love shooting too, but I really love post. The fact is, you can make the movie better and more quickly in post than at any other time in the whole process. A really good day editing is incredi-

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Post Magazine - JULY 2011