Interview: “Glass Castle” Writer/Director Destin Daniel Cretton

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For WheretoWatch, I interviewed Destin Daniel Cretton, writer/director of “Short Term 12” and now “The Glass Castle.”

It’s not necessarily experiences that we have all gone through but I do think that there is something about The Glass Castle that still resonates and feels very familiar. We may not have gone through something to that degree but I think everybody has a Rex Walls in their life. Everybody knows what it feels like to want to love somebody so badly and have the struggle of how difficult that can be with someone who is either an alcoholic or has ups and downs in their life or who can’t be what we need from them. And it’s incredible to watch somebody like Jeannette go through something like that and come out the other end, not just learning how to accept that part of it but to take it and make it something that makes her so much of a better person. That’s really inspiring to me.

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Brian Selznick on “Wonderstruck”

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For Rogerebert.com, I spoke to author/illustrator Brian Selznick, who has written the screenplay for the film adaptation of his book, Wonderstruck. I was fascinated by his description of casting deaf actors as hearing characters in the silent portion of the movie.

I realized that with a silent section in our movie it gave us the opportunity to hire deaf actors to play hearing characters. Deaf actors were hired all the time in the silent movie era because they were so expressive. They knew how to tell a story without spoken language. And so we used six deaf actors as hearing people. We had these amazing days on the set with hearing actors, deaf actors, sign language interpreters. The rest of the cast, the crew and everybody worked together.

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David Lowery on “A Ghost Story” — The Costume, the Pie, the Story of Grief

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My interview with writer/director/editor David Lowery is on HuffPost.  He explains the mechanics of the surprisingly complicated ghost costume worn by Casey Affleck through the film, and the already-legendary scene of Rooney Mara eating an entire pie.

It definitely started with Charlie Brown. We initially thought that were going to take a childlike image of a ghost, the Halloween costume that everyone knows from Charlie Brown and finds some pathos in it. But to find that pathos we really had to develop that symbol, that image that costume to a degree we hadn’t expected.

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Interview: Zoe Lister-Jones, Writer/Director/Lyricist/Star of “Band Aid”

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For rogerebert.com, I spoke to writer/director/lyricist/star Zoe Lister-Jones about her film,

“Band Aid,” made with an all-female crew.

Why did you insist on an all-female crew?

First and foremost, I just wanted to see what it would feel like to make art with other women and exclusively so. It’s so rare that there are even a handful of women on a crew, let alone an entire crew made up of women. So I just thought that it’d be really interesting to see how that lent itself to the creative process. And then I also was very aware of the under-representation of women on film and TV crews and I wanted to create opportunities for women in departments where they are very rarely afforded them.

How did that affect the production?

It was amazing. It exceeded my expectations and expectations were already pretty high. It was just a really distinct energy and everyone who came on set immediately acknowledged it. All the extras who came on set for the first time would be like, “Whoa. This is really different and cool.” It was just a very calm and patient and gracious community of people making work together. It really did give a communal energy to the work. And it was on top of that just super efficient and productive which is maybe the biggest takeaway.

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Read My Interview With “Baby Driver” Writer/Director Edgar Wright

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In my interview for rogerebert.com, “Baby Driver” writer/director Edgar Wright talks about how the songs he picked shaped some of the most intense and brilliantly choreographed action scenes of the year and where Baby (Ansel Elgort) got his endless supply of sunglasses and mp3 players.

The songs inspired the movie and some entire scenes are completely dictated by the music. Songs actually dictate what the action was. ‘Bell Bottoms’ is a good example because it has maybe two and a half minutes of buildup to where the actual rock really kicks in. I listened to that track about 22 years ago and straight away thought: ‘Oh, this is the guy sitting outside. The other guys have gone into the bank and then while he’s singing along with the music he is looking at what’s happening in the bank. And then they get out and that’s where the chase starts. The song has these amazing little anchor points of where hero moments are going to happen.

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