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December 2014

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Page 25 of 51 24 POST DECEMBER 2014 DAVID O. RUSSELL American Hustle, Silver Linings Playbook, The Fighter The director/writer made his directorial debut with 1994's dark comedy Spank- ing the Monkey, and has since amassed a small but diverse body of work that includes the Gulf War thriller Three Kings, the existential comedy I Heart Hucka- bees, and the sports drama The Fighter, which earned him The Acadamy's Best Picture and Best Director nominations. He repeated those nominations with 2012's Silver Linings Playbook, a hit drama about bipolar disorder, and 2013's American Hustle. STRENGTHS: "I love post. It's where you really brew the tea and bring it to its greatest richness and depth, and bring out the true voice of the fi lm. The movie always tells you what it wants in post, and we all learn things. There are always big surprises. Scenes you thought were going to be one way suddenly turn out to go another way — or they drop out completely as you realize you just don't need them anymore. Performances you thought were leaning one way now lean another way altogether, and things you'd overlooked become gold. I remember I did a lot of ADR and voiceover in Amer- ican Hustle, more than I'd ever done, and the VO that was passed around the actors had to be crafted entirely in post. So they came in all the time to do that, and they'd also send in stuff from their iPhones and iPads. Christian Bale was on location in the Canary Islands shooting Exodus with Ridley Scott, and he'd send great VO ma- terial. Same with Bradley Cooper who was in Hawaii. So you fi nd better words and make the whole script better in post. You get to keep rewriting and improving the fi lm all through post. It's this whole other level of cinema-making." WEAKNESSES: "You can't invent scenes and coverage that just aren't there — though you'd be surprised! (Laughs) With VO and the right images, you can work magic. So I love post so much I don't see many weaknesses. I suppose time constraints are the big one. You feel like you're squeezing 20 pounds into a 10 pound bag. There's never enough time to do all the little things you want to." OPPORTUNITIES: "We do so much great work with John Ross, our mix guy, and [editor] Jay Cassidy it's hard to know where to begin. We do so much just in the edit room with Jay, and he's the master of fi nding new ways to do things and turning stuff around faster — and more cheaply — than the studio ever imagined. And that allows you to keep being creative. We did a 5.1 mix for American Hustle, but now you have the new Dolby Atmos system which gives you this whole new level of sound mixing, and having our own in-house VFX team on that fi lm meant that we could turn around shots in a matter of hours when we were changing the cut. That was a huge benefi t." THREATS: "I'm in love with post so I'm always fi ghting off anything that inter- feres with it — and that's usually time and money. Post on American Hustle was really fast and you get slammed with all the deadlines. So it's very important to me to keep the post process as stress- free as possible." OUTLOOK FOR 2015: "I feel that every year you're lucky to have a fi lm out at all — and you're doubly lucky if you get to be part of a group of good fi lms. So I count my blessings. It's always an unpre- dictable combination of great talent and good timing — and getting the budget to do what you want to do. Obviously, with the international market expanding more and more, a lot of movies are now aimed specifi cally at that market, and all you can do with your fi lm, if it's not some big superhero-type movie, is stay true to it and hope that it fl owers. The rest of it is out of your hands." OUTLOOK DIRECTOR O OUTLOOK O OUTLOOK I love post. It's where you really brew the tea and bring it to its greatest richness and depth, and BRING OUT THE TRUE VOICE OF THE FILM."

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