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Coverage in true grit? (5 replies and 2 comments)

Ian Crabb
4 months ago
Ian Crabb 4 months ago

In True Grit, when Mattie is negotiating about her father, the ponies, and the saddle. The camera angles and the compositions are so connected to how the negotiation is going, ever power dynamic shift is represented in each shot.

My question: Was this a scene that was storyboarded and only shot what was needed, or did you guys shoot coverage.

Roger Deakins
4 months ago
Roger Deakins 4 months ago

The Coen Brothers never shoot 'coverage'. Like all the others that scene was storyboarded. It is more than likely that we shot fewer angles than planned. When I first worked with the Coens, on 'Barton Fink', I counted the shots we had made that were not used in the edit. I could find just five shots they hadn't used and that was because they were part of a stunt that didn't work and which we had covered in a different shot.

Vanniyan
4 months ago

But why some people's using coverage rather than well planned shots.

olfrosty
4 months ago

Scorsese seems to move the camera around a lot while shooting to both capture the storyboard and give himself room for sporadic inspiration in the edit bay.

Roger Deakins
4 months ago
Roger Deakins 4 months ago

No reason I can think of.

Roger Deakins
4 months ago
Roger Deakins 4 months ago

I don't think that is the reason for his moving shots. It is my experience that they are all well thought out and each has a purpose, so it's not a matter of finding the scene in the edit.

olfrosty
4 months ago
olfrosty 4 months ago

That's insightful. Hearing rumors of his tendency to revel in improvisation, when I saw the amount of moves that didn't make the cut in BTS footage from Wolf of Wall Street I assumed it was in attempt to expand his options beyond the planned assembly.

It's as if he plays the scene whole from every angle in a way where he could almost use each shot uncut and it would cover all the beats. Have you ever spoken to him about that?

Roger Deakins
4 months ago
Roger Deakins 4 months ago

'Kundun' was my only experience of working with Marty and that was quite a unique project. There were only a few long moving shots in the film and everything I can think of made the cut.

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