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Monday, February 12, 2007

New ideas from Walter Salles

Walter Salles is the director of Central Station and Motorcycle Diaries. Here are his new ideas (in no particular order) that he wanted to share...

One: Documentary should be closer to fiction and fiction should be closer to documentary. He has a technique to make a documentary as part of his research / pre-production stage. By exploring the issues himself, first hand AND on film he feels confident to make a drama. Maybe we don't need to invent everything from nothing? For example the first two people in Central Station are real people dictating real letters. It's the storydust idea taken one step further - to film dust!
Two: A challenge - can your film feature people who aren't normally seen in movies? Whole great masses of the population remain off-screen.
Three: You shouldn't know the ending when you start. The journey is the thing. This doesn't mean a free-for-all. In fact a great script is more important as it needs to be our guide to get back on track if we enjoy a detour. This attitude goes even further with the actors where he uses a technique I also use - learn it, then forget. Learn the lines, understand the lines - so you are free to forget them.
Bonus: Do you need a central character at all? His clip of The General Line by Eisenstein used a crowd montage to capture a mood. Could this work today?

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