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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

New ideas from Iain Smith

Iain is a top producer for a multitude of films including Cold Mountain, 7 Years in Tibet and my favorite film of 2006, "Children of Men" AND my second favorite, "The Fountain" - what a legend. And here is his advice...

On starting a film: find out who is in charge. It may be the director, it may not be. It doesn't matter but someone needs to be in charge and everyone needs to agree on who that person is.

On working with directors: a director must trust a producer to make things happen. But also trust him to say no.

On the role of a producer: to represent the audience, to say 'I don't understand why you are doing this' or 'what does that all mean?'. But also to bind the crew and production staff together in a spirit of collaboration rather than confrontation - to be the "stitches in a wound".

On film: Cinema has a broad spectrum of approaches, uses and ideas. We tend to use a ridiculously narrow band of them.

On Children of Men: For that raw documentary feel don't cut until an action has happened. Let an explosion occur just off camera. A 'real' cameraman will not know it's about to happen. The amazing long single shots in the film are in fact 4 shots joined up and are sometimes filmed in several locations.

On the future: the film industry follows the music industry. There they have seen a massive rise in the power of the genre. Customers are happy to be RnB people or Emo people. Distribution methods such as LoveFilm or NetFlix means that you can have 'Horror' people or 'World Cinema' people. And producers will become experts in one genre and only supply for that one genre.

Image taken from the official talent campus site.
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