Hollywood Directors Share Their Insights In The THR Roundtable

By Aditya Savnal. Posted on February 13, 2015

A coming of age film shot over a decade, a journey to another galaxy to ensure survival of mankind, a chronicle of a misunderstood genius during the world war era, a biography of an eccentric and brilliant painter, a tragic mentor-prodigy relationship and an American soldier's attempts to survive in a prisoners camp.  These are the themes around which some of the most popular films were made in Hollywood in 2014.

So when The Hollywood Reporter got the director's of these movie to sit together and discuss their craft, we got excited. Their discussion is absolutely delightful and gives an insight into what really goes into the making of any film.The roundtable included Richard Linklater (Boyhood), Christopher Nolan (Interstellar), Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game), Mike Leigh (Mr.Turner), Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher) and Angelina Jolie (Unbroken).

THR roundtable 2014 - 2

So what did we learn?

That big filmmakers are scared too.

Mike Leigh says he has never made a film where he didn't think it wont be a disaster. While Morten Tyldum and Christopher Nolan admit to being scared of watching the first edit and the dilemma of being faced with what portions to edit and what to retain.

Also Read : Watch This Video To Find Out What Makes For A Good Cinematographer?

The biggest challenge they faced while making their films?

Angelina Jolie found the first day of her film's shoot to be the toughest for her as she was facing the challenge of bringing her thoughts and ideas onto celluloid. Christopher Nolan felt that shooting in water in the cold regions of Iceland was the toughest part of making Interstellar and how often his crew would grumble about it yet ensure that the shoot carried on smoothly. For Morten Tyldum, shooting 'The Imitation Game' was a challenge in itself as this was his first English language film.

THR roundtable 2014 (1)

What else?

Four of the six directors on the panel have directed biopics including Mike Leigh, who feels that a director must try and be as authentic as possible while making a biopic. Morten Tyldum feels that while directing a biopic, one has to accurately depict the characters and responsible filmmaking is necessary to make  a good biopic. Director Bennett Miller feels that coercion can only result in conflicts and not help in making a good film.


Richard Linklater, who is one of the most influential voices in independent American cinema names John Sayles, Spike Lee, Jim Jarmusch and the Coen Brothers as his inspirations while Christopher Nolan names George Lucas and Ridley Scott as those who influenced him.

This round table cover a lot of ground and is a must watch for film-buffs as well as those aspiring to be filmmakers.

Also don't forget to check out our director’s corner for more such filmmaking advice from around the world.


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