Tradition is rarely sexy. Yet, in an interview with DGA Quarterly, Christopher Nolan comes off as the Don Draper of directors: supremely knowledgeable of his craft, cunningly innovative, and effortlessly stylish. His origin story epitomizes the dream of every amateur filmmaker – creating his first feature, Following, over a year of weekends with friends and no formal education, it was picked up by a studio following the San Francisco Film Festival, allowing him to make the genre-upheaving Memento.
Nolan can offer up a Rolodex of influences on his style of non-linear storytelling and, in one interesting quote, explains his directorial style with a story from the set of Memento.
“That day, the financier of the film just happened to be visiting the set and was literally standing right behind me. We did a take that I thought was very good, and I knew we were out of time. So I asked Guy [Pearce] if he felt he’d gotten it, and he said, ‘No, we should do it again.’ I remember having a ‘What do I do?’ moment. Do I let him do it and risk running over?”
Nolan chose to go for the extra take, which turned out to be Pearce’s best and wound up in the final cut.
The full interview is fascinating, addressing Nolan’s preference for in-camera effects, aversion to 3D, continued election of film over video, and all the other traditional predilections for which he’s known.[DGA via Collider]