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Oscar Nominees Discuss Their Preparation – Part II

Last week we shared videos of the insights of but a few of the incredibly talented ‘The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ acting nominees, created by Movies OnDemand. Today we flip to those behind the camera. 2015 Oscar nominated directors Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher, and Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Birdman, discuss their their approach on bringing their vision to the screen.

Miller and Iñárritu couldn’t have delivered two more disparate films than Foxcatcher and Birdman, but what they did share was their incredible commitment to their subjects. Miller spent months researching his story, flying around the country to interview as many people who were connected to the wrestling brothers Mark and Dave Schultz as possible, as well as finding those who knew John du Pont, the eccentric heir who would come into the brothers' lives and change them forever. As for Iñárritu, he decided he wanted to tell his story in what would appear to be a single, continuous shot. Pulling that off meant giving up many of the safety nets directors rely on, including shooting coverage and the ability to cut away. As he told us when we spoke to him over the phone during a break from production of his current film, Revenant, every sequence was a piece of the puzzle he was putting together, and every sequence had to be filmed perfectly or the entire thing could have fallen apart. Iñárritu, his irreplaceable cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, and his courageous actors and crew helped him turn what seemed an impossible task into an unforgettable film.

We’ll let the directors speak for themselves, and check out the entire host of interviews on Movies OnDemand here.

Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher

“The Story Sticks with You”

“Once you have a vision for something that means you believe it…you believe in it. It exists, it might not exist yet, it might not be material. It needs to be realized, but if you see it, it becomes harder to let it go and give up on it…there is a faith.”

Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Birdman

“Unorthodox Approach”

“When I had the idea of Explore the Eagle, which I thought was very…abstract…It took me a lot of time to figure out how to really make something about it that can be interesting. I really thought the only way to experience and make the audiences really feel the journey of this guy was to put the audiences in the shoes, and in the eyes, and in the mind of the way we live our lives….It is only fiction that allows us to do that [escape], which is why we love so much fiction. Our life is a continuous shot, so I said let’s put everyone into that journey.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

The Credits

The Credits is an online magazine that tells the story behind the story to celebrate our large and diverse creative community. Focusing on profiles of below-the-line filmmakers, The Credits celebrates the often uncelebrated individuals who are indispensable to the films and TV shows we love.

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