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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride

Paul Schrader posts on his Bret Easton Ellis project, THE CANYONS

THE CANYONS. “The material is classic BEE. Character driven, dialogue driven, explicit in word if not action. Two visual poles are emerging in the low budget world: on one side, Wong Kar-Wai’s Fallen Angels. On the other Xavier Dolan’s Heartbeats. Both styles mix approaches, use hand held, work economically. Both are composed as opposed to faux vérité. You could distinquish them by saying Fallen Angels aspires to the characters’ POV, Heartbeat to the director’s. A third path? Better examples from the microbudget world?”

John DeFazio will be the DP for The Canyons. John and I are now discussing possible approaches. Many things are possible on a microbudget. Some things are not. For example, you have to plug in for power rather than bring a generator. That limits the amount of artifical light you can use. Which means in turn that post-prod color effects may be more practical than onset gels. And so on. “Undoing” is just one style of cinematography we are dicussing. Any thoughts what the “look” of Canyons should be. Hard or soft? Back or front? Hand held or tripod? There are no longer any rules in cinematography, only choices.” (The project has 11 days left in its Kickstarter campaign, but is already 50% over its funding goal.)


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“I think [technology has[ its made my life faster, it’s made the ability to succeed easier. But has that made my life better? Is it better now than it was in the eighties or seventies? I don’t think we are happier. Maybe because I’m 55, I really am asking these questions… I really want to do meaningful things! This is also the time that I really want to focus on directing. I think that I will act less and less. I’ve been doing it for 52 years. It’s a long time to do one thing and I feel like there are a lot of stories that I got out of my system that I don’t need to tell anymore. I don’t need to ever do The Accused again! That is never going to happen again! You hit these milestones as an actor, and then you say, ‘Now what? Now what do I have to say?'”
~ Jodie Foster

“If there’s one rule Hollywood has metaphysically proven in its century of experimentation, it’s that there’s no amount of money you can’t squander in the quest for hits.

“Netflix has spent the past couple years attempting to brute-force jailbreak this law. Its counter-theory has seemed to be, sure, a billion dollars doesn’t guarantee quality but how about three billion dollars? How about five billion dollars? Seven?

“This week’s latest cinematic opus to run across no-man’s-land into the machine-gun emplacements has been the Jared Leto yakuza movie ‘The Outsider.’ Once again, debuting on Netflix, another thing called a movie that at one glance doesn’t look like any kind of movie anyone has ever seen before, outside of off-prime time screenings at the AFM.

“If you’re working at a normal studio, you have one or two of these total misfires in a year and people start calling for your head. How many is Netflix going on? Fifteen? Twenty? This quarter? Any normal company would be getting murdered over results like that.”
~ Richard Rushfield