Pretty much everything [Bill] did in the movie was improvised, except for the big speech he gave on the Dalai Lama. But almost everything else—I would say 95 percent of his work—was improvised. The speech he performs as he cuts off the heads of the flowers with a garden tool was completely improvised. Only the action is indicated in the script: “The greenskeeper, Carl, lops the heads off tulips as he practices his golf swing…”
With that particular speech, the “Cinderella story” speech, I had been out jogging one day, and one way I kept up my spirits was to be the announcer at the Olympics: “It’s the end of the last lap of the marathon; let’s see who’s entering the stadium…oh, it’s Harold Ramis!” So I said to Bill on the set, “You know when you’re pretending that you’re a sports announcer and calling the play-by-play…” He said, “Don’t say anymore.” I got it.” He started talking and improvising, and that speech was the result.
In the new book Cabinet of Curiosities (out now via Harper), visionary Pan’s Labyrinth and Pacific Rim filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro presents — according to the volume’s subtitle — “My Notebooks, Collections, and Other Obsessions.” In other words, the books offers the rare opportunity for an all-access peek into the working methods of the acclaimed moviemaker. The lavishly illustrated coffee-table book pulls from Del Toro’s notebooks, drawings, journals, behind-the-scenes photos, and more. Preview a few of its remarkable pages below.
Piece by Ted Hope aimed at filmmakers, but true for all artists, especially authors:
If you make films, it is your responsibility to help others discover what is good to watch. If you love films — or a particular type of film — it is your responsibility to help others learn to appreciate those films too. ”Discovery” is not something you can expect others to EVER do unless you yourself embrace the practice first. ”Spreading the word” is part of a filmmaker’s job description, albeit sincerely & authentically.
Independent filmmaking must be a community activity if it is to survive. You can’t leave good films alone. You have to make it your battle to get those movies seen.
Blogging is a great way to contribute:
I launched this blog and maintain it in hopes that a process of sharing, of collective thinking, transparent effort and experimentation may bring us back to a sustainable enterprise. Through it I have been able to meet many new filmmakers, entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and just generally interesting people. They have helped elevate my work, and I am excited when I can also help them. I like to think that this community effort somehow pushes our rock a bit more up the hill. Filmmaking though is only part of the equation. Film consumption is equally important. Are we helping the good movies get discovered and appreciated?
Dean alleged that some Avatar production workers had studied and referenced Dean’s art as they worked on the movie. The lawsuit claimed the film copied “floating mountains,” “stone arches” and the antennae and markings on flying creatures.
With an equally ridiculous statement by Cameron’s lawyer:
Cameron lawyer Bert Fields called Cameron the “most original and creative person in the motion picture business today” and said he doesn’t need to copy from anyone.
I need to sort of tear down everything I’ve done and rebuild from scratch. And that’s a process that I think is not incremental…. I just need to just destroy everything that’s come before and see if I can kind of become a primitive again. I’m not even sure it’s possible. I don’t know if it’s something you could do…It means just throwing away everything that you’ve learned and thought and trying to become in essence a completely different filmmaker, because I’ve hit a wall of what I feel I’m able to do at this point - not because I’ve figured everything out, I’ve just figured out what I can’t figure out and I need to tear it down and start over again.
Whenever you work with someone who you idolize, you realize … he’s just a person trying to make a movie as best he knows how and that doesn’t look so different from other people trying to do the same thing. And he’s wildly smart and brilliant and funny, but it’s moviemaking and there’s something kind of democratic about how difficult it is because everybody — whether you’re Woody Allen or Noah or P.T. Anderson — it’s hard. Making movies is a hard thing and it’s slow. So you can glorify the product, but the process is difficult no matter who you are.