By George Stevens Jr.
“This ebook, lovingly prepare from 1000's of dialogues with the various maximum administrators, writers and technicians who ever labored within the medium is a worthwhile source for filmmakers in any respect levels. . . . And for those who easily love video clips, it’s a pleasure to read.” —Martin Scorsese
The first e-book to collect those interviews of grasp moviemakers from the yankee movie Institute’s popular seminars—a sequence that has been in life for nearly 40 years, because the founding of the Institute itself.
Here are the mythical administrators, manufacturers, cinematographers and writers—the nice pioneers, the good artists—whose paintings led the best way within the early days of moviemaking and nonetheless survives from what was once the 20 th century’s artwork shape. The booklet is edited—with commentaries—by George Stevens, Jr., founding father of the yank movie Institute and the AFI middle for complicated movie Studies’ Harold Lloyd grasp Seminar series.
Here speaking approximately their paintings, their art—picture making in general—are administrators from King Vidor, Howard Hawks and Fritz Lang (“I discovered in simple terms from undesirable films”) to William Wyler, George Stevens and David Lean.
Here, too, is Hal Wallis, one in all Hollywood’s nice movie manufacturers; mythical cinematographers Stanley Cortez, who shot, between different images, The great Ambersons, because you Went Away and Shock Corridor and George Folsey, who was once the cameraman on greater than a hundred and fifty photos, from Animal Crackers and Marie Antoinette to Meet Me in St. Louis and Adam’s Rib; and the both celebrated James Wong Howe.
Here is the screenwriter Ray Bradbury, who wrote the script for John Huston’s Moby Dick, Fahrenheit 451 and The Illustrated Man, and the well known Ernest Lehman, who wrote the screenplays for Sabrina, Who’s petrified of Virginia Woolf and North through Northwest (“One day Hitchcock stated, ‘I’ve consistently desired to do a chase around the face of Mount Rushmore.’”).
And the following, too, are Ingmar Bergman and Federico Fellini (“Making a film is a mathematical operation. It’s completely very unlikely to improvise”).
These conversations accumulated together—and released for the 1st time—are jam-packed with knowledge, motion picture historical past and ideas approximately photo making, approximately operating with actors, approximately the right way to inform a narrative in phrases and circulate.
A pattern of what the moviemakers need to educate us:
Elia Kazan, on translating a play to the screen: “With A Streetcar Named hope we labored tough to open it up after which went again to the play simply because we’d misplaced the entire compression. within the play, those humans have been trapped in a room with one another. because the tale improved I took out little residences, and the set acquired smaller and smaller.”
Ingmar Bergman on writing: “For part a yr I had an image inside of my head of 3 ladies jogging round in a purple room with white outfits. I couldn’t comprehend why those damned ladies have been there. i attempted to throw it away . . . discover what they acknowledged to one another simply because they whispered. It got here out that they have been staring at one other girl demise. Then the screenplay started—but it took a few 12 months. The script continuously starts off with an image . . . ”
Jean Renoir on actors: “The fact is, if you happen to discourage an actor you could by no means locate him back. An actor is an animal, tremendous fragile. You get a bit expression, it isn't precisely what you sought after, yet it’s alive. It’s anything human.”
And Hitchcock—on Hitchcock: “Give [the viewers] excitement, an analogous excitement they've got after they get up from a nightmare.”
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Extra resources for Conversations with the Great Moviemakers of Hollywood's Golden Age at the American Film Institute
We went out to the Rose Bowl and for two weeks did comedy business. We tried to play a football game and got nowhere at all. All the dailies were just sad. We had to start at the beginning because it’s a character comedy that needed to be built on a particular idea. We knew that the whole picture was really a boy who wanted to go to college with the idea of trying to be very popular. He goes with a completely erroneous idea of how to go about it. So he’s in nothing but trouble all the time, and something pulls him out.
He kept in fine physical condition. He weighed a hundred fifty-two pounds and he’d mark what he weighed each day after he worked out. He had his own pool that he’d jump into after his steam bath. Charlie Chaplin used to come over every evening and the three of us would take a steam bath and talk about pictures. What was the schedule and the budget? They had no budget in those days. Fairbanks had his own organization, and they never set a schedule because sometimes he’d work for two or three days and then lay off to work on the script or something and then go again.
Everybody had turned down scripts, and nothing had come up. ” He said, “All right. ” What were the circumstances surrounding Sadie Thompson, which starred Gloria Swanson? At what stage did you decide to act in it? I took tests of most every male actor for the part of the sergeant, but she didn’t like them. I don’t know why—I worked pretty hard with these fellows, friends of mine, trying to get them the part, but Swanson turned them all down. ” I said, “All right. ” That was the only reason I acted in the film and also directed it.