? I am interested in which directors direct in which way. Can anyone tell me of other directors who have a directing style like Herzog’s, with improvised shots, unplanned coverage, and add in improvised dialogue?
This can be contrasted with what I have heard about Eastwood, who meticulously plans out every shot, every angle.
I remember watching a video of Jarmusch and Linklater talking about how they used to use storyboards but increasingly, as their career progressed, started to ignore them.
Nouvelle vague + all the waves: A lot of improvised dialogue.
Hitchcock, for one, was an extremely meticulous planner.
Gus Van Sant began his career with a script for Mala Noche which he apparently abandoned early in the shoot, working only from his storyboard sketches. He uses improvisation extensively as a technique.
I don’t think Shane Meadows uses storyboards, don’t quote me on this, but I think I heard him talking about it somewhere.
I’m pretty sure Bresson didn’t use a storyboard, at least that’s what he claimed.
It can’t be said for sure, since not much help ever emerges from this particular quarter, but the little we do know may indicate that Terrance Malick is storyboard averse. We do know he’s quite open to the improvised and unplanned.
Yeah Van Sant’s “experimental films” (Elephant, Gerry, Last Days, Paranoid Park) apparently used a lot of improvisation. Lodge Kerrigan comes to mind, in particular, Keane but Clean Shaven would also be one I would imagine. Another would be Harmony Korine (who’s film, Julien Donkey Boy, Herzog actually stars in giving a wonderful performance). I’m not sure about Mister Lonely as it didn’t seem there was much improv going on, but it’s possible I suppose.
Also, it’s said that Cassavetes used improvisation quite a lot and it certainly seems like it in certain scenes. I think he really explored “naturalism” extensively in his career often using surrealism to emphasize that. Faces and Opening Night (among others) were pretty strong in improv I think.
I’m thinking also of perhaps some Von Trier work, namely The Boss of It All and The Five Obstructions. Perhaps his other films as well I’m not sure.
I have heard of some of those directors. Thanks for the replies all. I still need to familiarize myself with Van Sant’s and Cassavete’s work.
The reason why I bring this up is because I have a lot of experience working on shorts, student films, and a couple of no budget features. It seems like some of the best shots we get are thought of on the spot. A lot of this has to do with adjusting to location, where shots are planned according to where we decide to film a scene ‘guerrilla’ style.
In regards to dialogue, a script can be very important, of course, to move the plot along and prevent meandering. I would say that plot needs script but character benefits from improv. Unless the script is just impeccably well written.
But it just seems to me that as a rule, shot lists and story boards can stifle creativity. I think that the main purpose of them is to save time. They are a tool of the ‘Hollywood machine’, their main purpose is to expedite the production process to save money. In a situation where there is not such a time crunch, actors are not being pair exorbitant fees, and film is being made and profit is second to art, storyboards are actually the time waster. All the time spent planning shots can be spent getting coverage.
I know he is not the most artful director, but I read that Mann surprised the cast and crew during the filming of Miami Vice, changing the script and locations last minute. I respect him for that.
The Coen Bros are pretty well known for their storyboarding and rarely straying from it when it comes to actual shooting.
Cassavetes did improvise, but that was mainly during rehearsals. Improvisations were then added into the official script they shot with. Now, he also never planned shots because he couldn’t give a damn about camera angles.
Scorsese storyboards his shot but also does a lot of improv with his actors in rehearsal.
I was watching an episode of “The Incredibly Strange Film Show” which featured Ray Dennis Steckler. According to him, he never worked with a script on his films. I don’t know exactly what they would have done on set, just make up everything as they go?
From my own experience, Gabriel, I’ve learned to trust shot-lists and storyboards for my own short films. The ones that I’ve planned in advance and really set out to cover have been the short films that have worked the best in terms of continuity, angles, and just simple dramatic framing. However, indeed coverage and spontaneity is more than important and various directors will figure out what they need as they get better at telling stories their own way. Once again, I’m firmly in the “there’s no one way to do it” belief (Hitchcock said directing the movies was boring because by the time he got onto the set, he already knew exactly how the movie would look—so sez the legend), but for my own purposes I make sure to have the shots all planned out and intentional before I start, else I always tend to miss something.
I do not agree that storyboards are the shackles of the Man. They are a tool to be used or discarded just like anything else.