Clive James Meets Roman Polanski – A rare TV documentary filmed in 1984. Running 46 minutes and encompassing a wide variety of topics Polanski speaks frankly about his childhood in the Warsaw ghetto, his mothers death, his beginnings in filmmaking, his tragic marriage to Sharon Tate and eventually even his arrest for sexual assault. For fans of Polanski this DVD is worth purchasing for this insightful little documentary alone.
David Fincher has been behind the camera for some of the most original, innovative and technically masterful commercials, music videos and feature films in the last twenty years. His work has a singular look and passion that has elevated him to the highest ranks of creative artists working in motion pictures. Join John and Andy for the 1st edition of MasterClass, a new series dedicated to a single filmmaker whose work has risen above the industry standard to achieve signature status.
If you want to learn from the man who won an Academy Award nomination for Best Director for his 2008 film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, then you are in the right place. The selection of films he has directed really shows his dedication as a director, he seems to have the drive of a poker player and the artistic talent of a true artist. Having an opportunity to hear from such a legendary man is a real honour and will certainly help with your own ambitions.
Here is a remarkable improvised audition by Henry Thomas that moved Steven Spielberg to tears.
Okay Kid, you got the job. Henry Thomas goes into more detail in this interview for Esquire Magazine.
ESQ: It’s a movie that’s impacted a lot of kids over the years. What was it like to be a young kid going through that?
HT: It was definitely not something I expected when I got chosen for the role. I didn’t expect any of the success to come about in the way that it did. It was the second film I had ever done. I got the part through a weird alignment of coincidences, and luck. Suddenly my phone was ringing and everybody wanted me in their film. It was kind of a roller-coaster ride for a few years there.
ESQ: Did you not understand because you were too young?
HT: I understood why films were made, and if they made a lot of money, they were successful. All of these things I knew. As a ten-year-old boy, I didn’t really think a lot about finances or celebrity. I always viewed films as kind of what I imagined a summer camp to be like.
ESQ: And you made Spielberg cry in your audition?
HT: Yes. I made everyone cry, and then I got the job.
ESQ: What exactly were you doing?
HT: I read a scene from some early version of the script, and then I was asked to do an improvisation. I think the gist of the improv was, “You found someone, and they’re going to take them away from you, and it’s your friend, and you really don’t want your friend to go away.” So I started crying, and really going for it I guess.
“In this shot, E.T. is on a hilltop overlooking the city. We realized the shot using a combination of a miniature set in the foreground and a matte painting in the background for the city. E.T. was a small puppet mounted to a rod that slid down a track, which gave the appearance that he was walking down the hillside toward the city. A lot of what makes this shot successful is the lighting and composition. The foreground looks a bit foreboding, whereas the cityscape has an almost magical quality about it. Hundreds of twinkling lights beckon him. In a way, it reflects what E.T. is feeling at this point in the story.”