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films in order to
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happens if I have no
resources?' Now, having
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people haven't seen
for a while."

Sean Penn to
direct De Niro
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in The Comedian

Scarlett to make
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debut with
Capote story

Keith Gordon
teaming up
with C. Nolan for
thriller that
he will write
and direct

Recent Headlines
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-Picture emerging
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-De Palma's new
project with
Said Ben Said

-De Palma to team
with Pacino & Pressman
for Paterno film
Happy Valley

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Sunday, October 14, 2012

After Noah Baumbach talks a bit about autobiographical elements in his own films (in which he notes that is is most often things no one would think are autobiographical that actually are autobiographical), moderator Scott Foundas asks Brian De Palma if he specifically looked for someone who resembled himself ("the you that you wished you had been at that age?") when he cast Keith Gordon in Dressed To Kill. "Well, we made Home Movies first," De Palma replies, "and that's where we found Keith. And then, he was such a good actor that when I was writing Dressed To Kill, I wrote the part for him. And of course, he went on to be quite a good director, too. It was quite an experience developing him, because he's extremely talented."

Foundas persists, "But did he in some way remind you of yourself at that age...?" De Palma replies, looking over at Baumbach, "Well, I don't think it's that... I don't think you think that way. [Baumbach nods in agreement.] You just, you know... you're not the best specter on yourself, you know. I think what happens when people make autobiographical films, the problem is they have the least insight into themselves sometimes. They usually miscast themselves. {Laughter from stage and audience.] You know, it's like, 'Why did you use that person? That's nothing like you.' And I think you have kind of blind spots about that to some extent."

The discussion in the rest of the video gets into the process of finding locations (and which comes first, the location or the idea). Here, De Palma stresses that if you're willing to do the work, you can find visually striking places that will look good on camera. "And I've told this to my film students, too: You've got to walk the location. And you should physically shoot every angle you're going to use, because if you can't take a picture of it, and it doesn't look right, don't use it. So I haunt the location, I walk all around it, and then when I finally think that it works for what I want to do, then you can also shoot video, too, having the actors walk in the different places. I mean, this is something, if you are hard-working enough, you can test out everything. Certainly in the day of the digital cameras, there's no excuses for having a crummy location. What I find in so much of what I see, all the time, is like, nobody's thinking about what anything looks like. I mean, you know, New York: helicopter shot of New York. Wow. [Laughter] Now there's an idea. I mean, I think they did it in the thirties, maybe the twenties, I mean, how many helicopter shots have you seen of Manhattan? You know, or a car driving up to a house. And also, in the beginning of movies, where they waste all this time, of, you know, coming into the city. You see the second unit going out there, shooting all those, you know, arriving in New York, arriving in Chicago, and all the titles go across. The audience is, in the beginning of a movie, you're ready for anything. You're all excited. And suddenly you start seeing this terrible travelogue... [Laughter]. Drives me crazy."

After Baumbach speaks a bit about beginnings of films, Foundas explains that he is now going to show a clip from Baumbach's Margot At The Wedding and a clip from De Palma's Carlito's Way. In each clip, Foundas' focus is on the introduction of a character: Margot in the first, and Penelope Ann Miller's Gail in the second.

Posted by Geoff at 11:37 AM CDT
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Monday, October 15, 2012 - 1:46 AM CDT

Name: "rado"
Home Page: http://rado.bg

Very nice to see recognition for Keith Gordon from BDP. "Waking the Dead" is a stone-cold masterpiece.

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