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Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas at Produced by 2012
Christopher Nolan & Emma Thomas were humble and introspective in front of the eager audience at as they opened Produced by 2012 last weekend. Nolan and Thomas worked together in England before bringing their first film Following to the US in 1998, at a time in the US when there was a "movement of cheap films that secured distribution through the festival circuit." They submitted it to the Sundance Film Festival, didn't make it, but there met a programmer from the San Francisco International Film Fest who thought Following would be a good there. Nolan and Thomas have never gotten into a film festival through an application, but instead just by meeting people (connections are everything).
They say trying to get your film out through the festival circuit is tricky. It takes a few years of getting to know people, and it's lots of effort. It was a smart move that while shopping Following they had the script for a similar, non-linear structure film that used some of the same narrative devices, Memento, already done. "It's a good combination to show people a film, then have them read a script," says Nolan. "If you're lucky enough to have that moment where someone says, 'I like this, what are you doing next?'' Then you are ready, says Nolan. It's a huge disadvantage to have to say, "I'll contact you in six months."
The moderator asked Nolan and Thomas about the divying up of responsibibilties between a producer and director. "As a director, it's really about the creative relationship. Finding a degree of trust creatively," says Nolan.
"Producers have to try to preserve the director's relationship -- preserve that trust, preserve that very close bond," said Thomas. Thomas says she will be the one to ask actors to be to set on time, etc. and leave the more creative stuff to the directors.
Nolan and Thomas made Following with $6,000.00. Memento was made with 3.5 million, and Insomnia, the next film, was made with 45 million. The moderator pointed out how Nolan's films tend to have a nonlinear style, but with a continual thread so no one gets lost. "I can think like that very easily," says Nolan, who speaks more often than not with a producer's head too. "My feeling is that all production is non-linear." When you have a production you make a schedule, but, "That schedule is complete nonsense. You have to creatively turn on a dime."
The moderator asked the pair what it must feel like to go from such small budget films to large ones. "Large
"Isn't it crazy to get that huge check?" Asked the moderator.
"It's never just one check," said Nolan to a laugh from the crowd.
Producing tips? "Always be
The moderator asked Nolan
Nolan talked about the duality of dream life and real life in his movies. "It's
Director /writer of mindblowing movies such as Memento and Inception, I wanted Nolan's perspective more to see inside his brain but since it is a Producer's conference the focus stayed towards that. This was the most I got: "The structure of Inception in some ways is analogous to the
Inevitably some of the reason Nolan has been so successful is how his
Nolan is used to finishing editing in 10 weeks, and showing what the film will be
On working with writers, Nolan says it's largely about
Nolan didn't speak much about the next Batman movie, but he
"We make movies we'd like to see. There's no conscious
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