Date created: April 2010
Birthdate March 21, 1958
[On the shooting for his writing/directing debut Nil by Mouth (1997)]: I set aside three weeks for rehearsals. Those long scenes are like a play. But I wanted things loosely structured, more like jazz. Though there was very little improv on screen, sometimes we`d improvise, rev up, to get the energy before shooting. One rule that I broke was that you need to leave a little air between people`s lines, that you can`t overlap dialogue because you`ll clip words on a cut. But you can overlap dialogue, even though editors don`t like it. Otherwise, it`s your turn to talk, my turn. Another thing: I used only one camera! I`d say to the cameraman, "I need it from this angle!" From my brief association with Isabella Rossellini, I got a new appreciation of Pier Paolo Pasolini and how he was religious about where the camera should go, whether it was too high, too low. I would ask questions on the set, quietly: "For this emotion, is the camera angle too wide, is the camera too low?" I wanted night to look like night! I bullied the cameraman a bit until he got into the swing. You could pick up the light metre and say, seeing how little light, "You`ve got to be fucking joking!"