UK director Paul Greengrass is renowned for his dynamic and visceral style that puts the audience in the centre of the action. Editor Christopher Rouse, who worked with Greengrass on United 93 and also cut The Bourne Supremacy, shares the director's aesthetic sensibilities.
"We are both relentless in exploring the potential of a piece," he says. "As we move through our process, we challenge each other constantly with new concepts."
The Bourne Ultimatum, the third film in the franchise, required an elaborate run-and-gun style mandated by extensive revisions as the shooting schedule radically expanded during production.
The film features three astonishingly choreographed action sequences: a bravura sequence which sees Bourne and a journalist (Paddy Considine) attempting to outmanoeuvre a team of CIA killers at London's Waterloo Station; a dazzling central sequence of Bourne and a rival hit man duelling to death in Tangier; and finally, a car chase in New York. "What makes Paul's material so powerful also makes it very labour intensive," says Rouse, who is currently working with Greengrass on his Iraq project Green Zone. "His shots are not traditional masters or close ups that are dedicated to specific images. Instead, his shot can move from one character to another and back again and then it can change in the very next take.
"For the Waterloo sequence, I was at times constructing as the script indicated, but also revising off-page if it made sense. As far as selections of angles and cutting rhythms, those choices seem to occur naturally once I am anchored in the piece."
PAUL THOMAS ANDERSON
The director of There Will Be Blood tells Mike Goodridge about adapting Upton Sinclair's novel
As the starting point for his latest opus There Will Be Blood, Paul Thomas Anderson took a 1926 novel by Upton Sinclair called Oil! which was inspired by Sinclair's own experiences with the burgeoning oil industry in California.
"(Sinclair's) wife owned a plot of land down by Long Beach where they struck oil," says Anderson. "Some of the neighbours wanted to get together and get a community lease which they would then sell off to an independent prospector so (the Sinclairs) drove down there to meet with this community group, and Upton Sinclair said he witnessed the worst of mankind: greed laid bare. That's what triggered him to write the book."
Anderson says he was not particularly faithful to the book. "Not at all, to be honest," he laughs. "The book is about 500 pages long and the stuff that we used is in the first 100 pages or so.
"The book focuses on a father and son but ultimately the book belongs to the boy and the boy's growth from a young man to an adult, stuff that would quite honestly have been impossible to film or impossible to obtain the money to film. The stuff that was best about the book, which we liked, was the more detailed descriptions of the workings of the derrick, what it meant to work in an oil camp, the accidents that would happen, the interaction among these oilmen and unsuspecting farmers."
The character of the preacher Eli is also taken from the book, he says. "What I did was just kind of elaborate on those things or follow through on minor stories that were introduced early in the book that were really exciting and seemed very filmable. I just kept those stories alive."
Indeed, even Daniel Plainview, the central character played by Daniel Day-Lewis in the film, is a secondary character in the book. "He's called J Arnold Ross in the book and he is an independent oilman with a son. After about 100 pages, he becomes a background character, so Daniel Plainview is a bit more of a made-up creation. He's a little bit more of our creation."
The Ratatouille composer approaches his work emotionally. Patrick Z McGavin reports
Composer Michael Giacchino was bowled over the first time film-maker Brad Bird showed him Ratatouille.
"You think, 'It's about rats in a kitchen,' and your mind goes all over the place," says Giacchino, who also worked on Bird's The Incredibles. Even so, Giacchino was unprepared for the movie's emotional range and its emphasis on creativity and artistry. "When I watched it, the movie resonated inside of me like no film I'd seen in a long time, and there was no music in it. There was a lot of discovery involved."
The movie's freedom extended to the score's range of musical styles and influences, incorporating American and French jazz and Latin American-infused pop rhythms. Every once in a while Giacchino worked in an insouciant French boulevard rhythm, but he reiterates the key was not location but creating an inner expression to the character. "The settings, the art direction, will give you a sense of where you are. The music needs to tell what the character is feeling and is not necessarily about where he is located in the world," he says.
Giacchino makes no great distinction between working in animation or live action. He recently wrapped JJ Abrams' new Star Trek movie and is completing work on the Wachowski brothers' Speed Racer. "The nuts and bolts of writing music are the same because you're keeping in a tone. Everybody I talked to assumed there has to be a vast difference in the approach; I'm looking at it emotionally."