The Wachowskis & Tom Tykwer About Their Work as Directors
Couple of days ago I went to see Cloud Atlas and I loved it.
Here, I said it.
Many of you will probably booh me and wonder if I am blind (the make-up, dude!). To this group I will just say I feel very lucky I had the opportunity to be in the right state of mind to fully appreciate the Wachowskis and Tykwer‘s work.
And also that I really wish to see a masterclass with Cloud Atlas’ editor Alexander Berner appearing soon on the Internet because he did an amazing job. And actually I can apply that statement to all departments.
I can understand there are many reasons why people would be disturbed by the movie and reject it, one of it being if you are a lover of David Mitchell‘s book (from what I’ve been told). I haven’t read it yet, I have it, it is next on my to-read books, and I have no doubt I will love it and appreciate everything that makes it similar to and different from the movie.
When I was in my teens I watched Run, Lola Run and The Matrix when they came out and both movies blew my mind and affected me deeply. I can say without a doubt that they are part of the reasons why I decided to become a director and thus, down the line of ripple effects provoked by their existence, I ended up writing this article.
everything is connected
Back then, there was no Youtube to watch videos about directors talking about their craft, and even if there had been, the Wachowskis wouldn’t have been around anyway. Today I had the chance for the first time to spend numerous hours listening to three directors I look up to talking about their art, their craft and their new movie.
The two videos I am sharing here are from the Nerdist Podcast and DP/30. They are complementary, and although there is a little overlap between the two, they are certainly worth watching. The Nerdist is less about the technical aspect of filmmaking and focuses more on the three directors and their views, while the DP/30 has a ‘pro’ flavor to it.
One of the point I found very interesting was to find out that for Cloud Atlas, the trio embraced Tykwer’s working method which consists in composing the music before shooting the movie and using it during table read with the actors. (See Chapter 2 of the DP/30 interview for more on that).
I did a table of contents for each video. In bold are the chapters that I found particularly enlightening and interesting (for reasons that might only be mine, mind you).
Table of Content – The Nerdist Podcast:
- Chapter 1: About the Wachowski Starship’s joke
- Chapter 2: Pitching the movie to studios and distributors
- Chapter 3: Having an audience that has read the book vs an audience with a fresh perspective
- Chapter 4: Connecting all the stories in a fluid way
- Chapter 5: Actors’ reaction to multiple roles offered + challenging the conventional way of making movies.
- Chapter 6: Keeping directorial continuity as a team of three.
- Chapter 7: Tom Tykwer about building their relationship despite fate
- Chapter 8: Struggling about financing, and the value of making a movie out of love vs making money
- Chapter 9: a general culture lesson to the nerdist
- Chapter 10: Run, Lola Run and The Matrix and their love for free will and determinism themes.
- Chapter 11: The mechanics of selling a movie
- Chapter 12: The Actual Cloud Atlas Main Character
- Chapter 13: The mood post movie completion
- Chapter 14: Defining a movie for press and audience
- Chapter 15: The possibility of encouraging an audience to try another form of engagement
- Chapter 16: Staying open to new perspective as an audience
- Chapter 17: Learning from their own production
- Chapter 18: What they do during their free time and about The Swerve by Stephen Greenblatt
- Chapter 19: The impact of a Book in History and in Cloud Atlas
- Chapter 20: The Nerdist about the James Burke’s Show Connection
- Chapter 21: The inspiration coming from both movies and TV Shows for Cloud Atlas
- Chapter 22: About Ray Kurzweil, Transcendent Man
- Chapter 23: How Technology helps to connect to otherness
- Chapter 24: Semi-Conclusion
- Chapter 25: Tom Tykwer about German and US culture.
Table of Content – The DP/30
- Chapter 1: catering on set (yes for real)
- Chapter 2: Making Music before Shooting a movie
- Chapter 3: The power of their relationship as a trio
- Chapter 4: How they met
- Chapter 5: About not knowing well other directors
- Chapter 6: About the similarities in their approach
- Chapter 7: About Religion, Spirituality and Philosophy
- Chapter 8: About the intention behind the Matrix Trilogy and Cloud Atlas
- Chapter 9: About Cloud Atlas’ visual construction
- Chapter 10: About Going Against Passive Movie Experience
- Chapter 11: About working with the actors
- Chapter 12: About their organic process
- Chapter 13: About the Wachowskis love for anonymity