1. Director Alexander Payne’s film Nebraska is nominated for 6 Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director. In his recent conversation with Terry Gross they discussed his short in the 2006 anthology film Paris Je t’aime. Terry asks the director about actress Margo Martindale’s emotional scene:     


"You see in that clip that she has very ready access to emotion, and that’s what the great actors have and that’s why life is often so difficult for them because they can’t keep their emotions tamped down as you and I can. So then if you can put an oil pump on the spurting oil well of emotion, then you can be a professional actor.
And so I think we did 4 or 5 takes and she was equally good in all of them and it was just a matter of making sure the camera was right and the timing with the voiceover and so forth. But I clearly remember having 3 or 4 great takes to deal with. The good ones keep it going, it’s not just like oh, one take where they really hit that emotion—well, maybe, but let’s try it again. The cameraman missed it. The assistant cameraman made your eyes out of focus. We need to do it again.
Or, I remember telling Paul Giamatti in Sideways, he was really in a deep place and I had to say, “Okay, stop Paul. Could you please rotate your head 12 degrees to the left?” I mean, we all have to understand that film is technical as well as emotional.”


Fun extra: Here’s Payne on the Colbert Report 

photo via salon credit: Merie W. Wallace View in High-Res

    Director Alexander Payne’s film Nebraska is nominated for 6 Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director. In his recent conversation with Terry Gross they discussed his short in the 2006 anthology film Paris Je t’aime. Terry asks the director about actress Margo Martindale’s emotional scene:     

    "You see in that clip that she has very ready access to emotion, and that’s what the great actors have and that’s why life is often so difficult for them because they can’t keep their emotions tamped down as you and I can. So then if you can put an oil pump on the spurting oil well of emotion, then you can be a professional actor.

    And so I think we did 4 or 5 takes and she was equally good in all of them and it was just a matter of making sure the camera was right and the timing with the voiceover and so forth. But I clearly remember having 3 or 4 great takes to deal with. The good ones keep it going, it’s not just like oh, one take where they really hit that emotion—well, maybe, but let’s try it again. The cameraman missed it. The assistant cameraman made your eyes out of focus. We need to do it again.

    Or, I remember telling Paul Giamatti in Sideways, he was really in a deep place and I had to say, “Okay, stop Paul. Could you please rotate your head 12 degrees to the left?” I mean, we all have to understand that film is technical as well as emotional.”

    Fun extra: Here’s Payne on the Colbert Report 

    photo via salon credit: Merie W. Wallace

  2. fresh air

    alexander payne

    directing

    acting

    nebraska

    paris je t'aime

    film

  1. Posted on 20 February, 2014

    123 notes | Permalink

    Reblogged from heidisaman

    Tomorrow we’re re-airing our interview with director Alexander Payne. His most recent film, Nebraska, is nominated for 6 Academy Awards (including Best Picture and Best Director) and is now out on DVD.
heidisaman:

"I’ve been madly in love with film as long as I can remember. If you love film, you love life. It’s the most verisimilar mirror we have, if we look to art in general to be a mirror of our lives and give us context and give us something to reflect off of…It also captures time, it defeats death in a way because you can see people who have long since died…Also, I like the plasticity of it. I like the jigsaw puzzle of making a film, of coralling all of these forces and elements into basically a two-hour form."
— Alexander Payne

Still from The Descendants (2011, dir. Alexander Payne)

    Tomorrow we’re re-airing our interview with director Alexander Payne. His most recent film, Nebraska, is nominated for 6 Academy Awards (including Best Picture and Best Director) and is now out on DVD.

    heidisaman:

    "I’ve been madly in love with film as long as I can remember. If you love film, you love life. It’s the most verisimilar mirror we have, if we look to art in general to be a mirror of our lives and give us context and give us something to reflect off of…It also captures time, it defeats death in a way because you can see people who have long since died…Also, I like the plasticity of it. I like the jigsaw puzzle of making a film, of coralling all of these forces and elements into basically a two-hour form."

    — Alexander Payne

    Still from The Descendants (2011, dir. Alexander Payne)

  2. fresh air

    alexander payne

    nebraska

    the descendants

  1. I’ve observed that actors and directors envy each other. I think a director envies an actor’s ready access to emotion and how beautiful that is, and I think actors can envy directors’ dealing more clinically with emotions, ordering them about dispassionately.

    — Alexander Payne, Oscar-winning director talks to Fresh Air about the technical and emotional aspects of filmmaking

  2. fresh air

    interview

    alexander payne

    nebraska

    the descendants

    sideways

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  1. Director Alexander Payne speaks to Terry Gross today about how he mixed non-professional, professional, and non-actors on the set of Nebraska, trying to create a believable, real life feel:

All of my films, and [Nebraska] even more so, are a combination of highly seasoned, professional actors who typically live in Los Angeles or New York; local, non-professional actors … [who do] community theater, local commercials, that sort of thing; … and then non-actors, people really off the street or, in this case, off the farm whom John Jackson, my casting director, and I make a point of finding.
For this film, it took over a year of casting to find, for example, those retired farmers who play some of Bruce Dern’s character’s brothers and their wives. And it was a long process of putting out casting notices on, for example, rural radio after the farm report or in small town newspapers. …
That’s how we began to assemble the cast. So there are many people in the film who have never even been in a high school play. … At the same time we’re trying to find non-actors who can reliably present an unselfconscious version of themselves when the camera is running, I also have to ensure that the professionals coming from the coasts are believable in that setting.



image via LA Times 
From left, Dennis McCoig as Uncle Verne, June Squibb as Kate Grant and Bruce Dern as Woody Grant in a scene from the film “Nebraska, ” 
View in High-Res

    Director Alexander Payne speaks to Terry Gross today about how he mixed non-professional, professional, and non-actors on the set of Nebraska, trying to create a believable, real life feel:

    All of my films, and [Nebraska] even more so, are a combination of highly seasoned, professional actors who typically live in Los Angeles or New York; local, non-professional actors … [who do] community theater, local commercials, that sort of thing; … and then non-actors, people really off the street or, in this case, off the farm whom John Jackson, my casting director, and I make a point of finding.

    For this film, it took over a year of casting to find, for example, those retired farmers who play some of Bruce Dern’s character’s brothers and their wives. And it was a long process of putting out casting notices on, for example, rural radio after the farm report or in small town newspapers. …

    That’s how we began to assemble the cast. So there are many people in the film who have never even been in a high school play. … At the same time we’re trying to find non-actors who can reliably present an unselfconscious version of themselves when the camera is running, I also have to ensure that the professionals coming from the coasts are believable in that setting.

    image via LA Times

    From left, Dennis McCoig as Uncle Verne, June Squibb as Kate Grant and Bruce Dern as Woody Grant in a scene from the film “Nebraska, ”

  2. fresh air

    interview

    alexander payne

    nebraska

    casting

    film

    bruce dern

    directing

  1. Director Alexander Payne (Nebraska, The Descendants, Sideways) also directed the last short film in the anthology Paris je t’aime, where each arrondissement (district) of the city has its own narrative. Payne’s short is for the 14th arr starring Margo Martindale. In her interview with Fresh Air she explains what she was thinking about that allowed her to give such an emotionally honest performance.

    Today Payne talks about directing that moment:

    You see in that clip that she has very ready access to emotion… I think we did 4 or 5 takes and she was equally good in all of them it was just a matter of making sure the camera was right and the timing with the voice-over and so forth. I clearly remember having 3 or 4 takes to deal with. The good ones could keep it going, it’s not just one take where they really hit that emotion, well, maybe, but, “Let’s try it again, the cameraman missed it.” … We all have to understand that film is technical as well as emotional.

  2. fresh air

    paris je t'aime

    14th arrondissement

    paris

    margo martindale

    interview

    alexander payne

  1. Tomorrow: Oscar-winning Director Alexander Payne (Nebraska, Sideways, The Descendants) speaks to Terry Gross about working nonprofessional actors, his love of silent films, and shooting the most expensive scene in Nebraska. View in High-Res

    Tomorrow: Oscar-winning Director Alexander Payne (Nebraska, Sideways, The Descendants) speaks to Terry Gross about working nonprofessional actors, his love of silent films, and shooting the most expensive scene in Nebraska.

  2. fresh air

    alexander payne

    director

    nebraska

    Oscars

    the descendants

  1. Fresh Air film critic David Edelstein reviews Nebraska:

There’s a tension between the crabbed characters and the expansive wide frames, heavy on farmland iconography and cows and puffy clouds, shot by Phedon Papamichael in crisp and gorgeous black and white.


Yesterday Terry spoke to the film’s star, Bruce Dern (left). Dern said he took his hearing aids out to play Woody, to help him feel more “spacy” and “out there.”  View in High-Res

    Fresh Air film critic David Edelstein reviews Nebraska:

    There’s a tension between the crabbed characters and the expansive wide frames, heavy on farmland iconography and cows and puffy clouds, shot by Phedon Papamichael in crisp and gorgeous black and white.

    Yesterday Terry spoke to the film’s star, Bruce Dern (left). Dern said he took his hearing aids out to play Woody, to help him feel more “spacy” and “out there.” 

  2. fresh air

    review

    david edelstein

    nebraska

    alexander payne

    bruce dern

    will forte

    phedon papamichael

    black and white

  1. Bruce Dern (left) is the star of the new Alexander Payne film Nebraska in which he plays an aging father with signs of dementia on a road trip with his son (played by Will Forte).
Tomorrow he joins us to look back on his career, his Oscar nomination for Coming Home (1978), and how his personal life helped him prepare for his role in Nebraska.


via screencrush View in High-Res

    Bruce Dern (left) is the star of the new Alexander Payne film Nebraska in which he plays an aging father with signs of dementia on a road trip with his son (played by Will Forte).

    Tomorrow he joins us to look back on his career, his Oscar nomination for Coming Home (1978), and how his personal life helped him prepare for his role in Nebraska.

    via screencrush

  2. fresh air

    interview

    bruce dern

    alexander payne

    Nebraska

    will forte

    road trip

    dementia

  1. Best Directors on Fresh Air
Alexander Payne, The Descendants Michel Hazanavicius, The ArtistMartin Scorsese, HugoWoody Allen, Midnight in Paris Terrence Malick, Tree of Life View in High-Res

    Best Directors on Fresh Air


    Alexander Payne, The Descendants
    Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
    Martin Scorsese, Hugo
    Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
    Terrence Malick, Tree of Life

  2. oscars

    academy awards

    best director

    woody allen

    alexander payne

    martin scorsese

  1. The Descendants gets to you by mixing devastating sadness with sick humor — and showing how they’re karmically connected.
 — David Edelstein, "In Paradise, A Stranger To Himself." View in High-Res

    The Descendants gets to you by mixing devastating sadness with sick humor — and showing how they’re karmically connected.

    — David Edelstein, "In Paradise, A Stranger To Himself."

  2. david edelstein

    movie review

    the descendants

    george clooney

    alexander payne

  1. Anytime you cast a movie and you need someone famous in the lead part, you’re a prisoner of whoever happens to be famous in the six month window in which you’re trying to get a film financed. I lament that many times, a director has to compromise about who these lead actors must be, simply in order to get the film financed — when that’s the single most important element of the film that should be never compromised.

    — Director Alexander Payne is lucky, having cast George Clooney, Jack Nicholson, Reese Witherspoon and Paul Giamatti in his films. But he says many directors in Hollywood have to make casting compromises to finance their projects. [complete interview here]

  2. alexander payne

    the descendants

  1. Alexander Payne talks about casting George Clooney in The Descendents: "He’s right for The Descendants because he’s the right age, he’s the right look — one of those handsome rich guys out in Hawaii. And also emotionally [right] for the part — because we film viewers have detected in Clooney’s work a certain charming detachment from emotions … how he looks at the proceedings going on around him with a certain twinkle in his eye. … I thought that would be accurate for the character of someone who’s grown detached from the emotions of his own life and has to grow to be more connected and aware and in touch with his own feelings.” [complete interview here] View in High-Res

    Alexander Payne talks about casting George Clooney in The Descendents: "He’s right for The Descendants because he’s the right age, he’s the right look — one of those handsome rich guys out in Hawaii. And also emotionally [right] for the part — because we film viewers have detected in Clooney’s work a certain charming detachment from emotions … how he looks at the proceedings going on around him with a certain twinkle in his eye. … I thought that would be accurate for the character of someone who’s grown detached from the emotions of his own life and has to grow to be more connected and aware and in touch with his own feelings.” [complete interview here]

  2. alexander payne

    election

    sideways

    the descendents

    george clooney

  1. nodirectionhope:

Dir: Alexander Payne (1999 - 2011)

Tomorrow: Alexander Payne. View in High-Res

    nodirectionhope:

    Dir: Alexander Payne (1999 - 2011)

    Tomorrow: Alexander Payne.

  2. alexander payne

    sideways

    about schmidt

    election

    the descendents