Director Quentin Tarantino sets up a shot on location
Cliff (Brad Pitt) meets Marvin Schwarz (Al Pacino) as Rick (Leonardo DiCaprio) looks on
that interrupts that or threatens that
is something that I've worked hard
to prevent. How they experience
those characters has to be through a
sense of beliefs and through a sense
of connection. So I'm looking for different approaches in different films,
but that connection is the common
theme, first person or third person.
S&P: Can you tell us about your
technical approach to this film?
MU: A good way to analogize this is
when a cinematographer comes in,
he brings a full palette of lenses. You
can do a waist-up single shot with a
100-millimeter lens, a 25-millimeter
lens, or a 50, and the shot scale will
be the same in all three, but each
lens choice will be saying something different. I approach mic’ing
the same way. I think in terms of
how we are experiencing this character. In Ad Astra it's a very internalized first-person novelistic journey.
It's sort of Heart of Darkness meets
2001 and so I need to make sure that
we experience those characters in
that kind of internalized way.
Once Upon a Time is a much
more raucous, freewheeling, almost
observational, universe; maybe a little more third person, so my mic’ing
and mix will be reflective of that, but
both want to keep that connection
going. So I use lavaliers, I use boom.
People ask me, was that a boom
scene? Was that a radio mic scene?
And I answer with, you're missing
the point! Did you stay connected?
Did it connect with you emotionally? I'm using technology, but
sometimes the word "technician" is
almost a derogatory term. It's somehow less than creative. But in filmmaking, every shot's handmade and
everybody's a technician. You know
who's most technical on set? It's the
actors. I don't think there's anything
more technical than an actor who
on day one has to perform the final
scene, and on day 17 perform the
very first shot of the movie. If that
actor doesn't have the technical capacity to calibrate their performance
so it works when it’s assembled in
the chronology of the story, otherwise the movie doesn't work.