By George Stevens Jr.
“This publication, lovingly prepare from enormous quantities of dialogues with many of the maximum administrators, writers and technicians who ever labored within the medium is a necessary source for filmmakers in any respect levels. . . . And for those who easily love videos, it’s a pleasure to read.” —Martin Scorsese
The first booklet 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 nice artists—whose paintings led the best way within the early days of moviemaking and nonetheless survives from what used to be 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 heart for complicated movie Studies’ Harold Lloyd grasp Seminar series.
Here conversing approximately their paintings, their art—picture making in general—are administrators from King Vidor, Howard Hawks and Fritz Lang (“I realized in basic terms from undesirable films”) to William Wyler, George Stevens and David Lean.
Here, too, is Hal Wallis, considered one of Hollywood’s nice movie manufacturers; mythical cinematographers Stanley Cortez, who shot, between different photographs, The remarkable Ambersons, because you Went Away and Shock Corridor and George Folsey, who was once the cameraman on greater than one hundred fifty images, 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 famous Ernest Lehman, who wrote the screenplays for Sabrina, Who’s frightened of Virginia Woolf and North by way of Northwest (“One day Hitchcock stated, ‘I’ve continually desired to do a chase around the face of Mount Rushmore.’”).
And right here, too, are Ingmar Bergman and Federico Fellini (“Making a film is a mathematical operation. It’s completely very unlikely to improvise”).
These conversations accrued together—and released for the 1st time—are choked with knowledge, motion picture heritage and concepts approximately photo making, approximately operating with actors, approximately the way to inform a narrative in phrases and flow.
A pattern of what the moviemakers need to educate us:
Elia Kazan, on translating a play to the screen: “With A Streetcar Named wish we labored challenging to open it up after which went again to the play simply because we’d misplaced all of the compression. within the play, those humans have been trapped in a room with one another. because the tale stepped forward I took out little residences, and the set acquired smaller and smaller.”
Ingmar Bergman on writing: “For part a 12 months 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 stated to one another simply because they whispered. It got here out that they have been staring at one other lady loss of life. Then the screenplay started—but it took a couple of yr. The script continually 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, a similar 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
Qxd 12/16/05 10:18 AM Page 36 36 king vidor sion or something. The great advantage of silent films was that they didn’t have words, so not everything was literal. The audience could make up its own words and dialogue, and make up its own meaning. When sound films first came in and the audience heard a great lover, like John Gilbert, say “Darling” or something, it got a laugh. The minute you say, “I love you,” it sort of gets humorous. But if it’s silent it can mean a lot of other things. In silent pictures you couldn’t turn away from the screen as much.
My thinking was that the audience was giving me credit I needed by being the main comic, so why did I have to have the credit for doing the direction? I enjoyed being the comic, and it helped the boys. Do you have anything like a philosophy of comedy? Gags are done from inside. You must feel them, you must know how they are, you must time them, you must react to them. If you could get ten comics doing the same piece of business, one will invariably do it much funnier if it suits him, if it’s his type of business.
It was fine and it’s been fine ever since. In fact, the picture probably did as much for us as anything because it was the first feature picture we made. We didn’t intend for it to be a feature—we started it as a two-reeler. In fact, our group—Hal and myself, our staff—we were thoroughly entrenched in making two-reel pictures and doing pretty well with them. But this had such a nice theme that it just kept growing, and we let it grow. It grew into a five-reel picture. When it came to getting more money for it, the exhibitors were a little loathe to pay us more than they had been paying us for two-reelers.