Fernando Meirelles and Daniel Bertorelli at BAFTA - September 2010
At a panel discussion led by Isabel Davis (UK Film Council), with Producer Gail Egan (Potboiler Productions) and Christine Langan (Creative Director, BBC Films), Director Fernando Meirelles (City of God
, The Faithful Gardener
) talked about his early career. Smiling and upbeat, he was humble enough to say that his movies had international appeal often by “sheer luck.” Meirelles, who has become almost a household name after the critical and public acclaim for films like City of God directs O2 Filmes and has directed and produced more than 700 commercial films. He explained that his previous work on commercials and advertisements has taught him to be fast paced in an environment where you have to “tell a story in three seconds.” His movies are full of layers and very visual but even so, he considers himself a lover of dialogue.
Meirelles future project as a director is to be called “360″ from a script by Peter Morgan (Frost/Nixon
,The Last King of Scotland
). The plot is based on the Arthur Schnitzer play La Ronde
(circa 1900) which examines sexual morality and class ideology through a series of sexual encounters of couples from different social classes. At one point the story goes full circle, thus the interesting title 360(degrees).
Last June Meirelles posted in his “O2 Filmes” blog a set of directions concerning the excess of digital material that is being created due to the fact that digital is cheaper than film, but he thinks that it backfires with the additional editing and storage costs.
What was supposed to be a set of directions for use for his own O2 Filmes “has become a big deal” in his own–again humble–words about digital material: “We are reinventing how to make movies.”
Sir Ben Kingsley speaks up
I (Daniel Bertorelli) asked him if “The Method” had already had an impact artistically. (I made it clear I was not talking about “Stanislavski.”) I explained myself by saying that it is my opinion that with fewer takes, the actors must be more focused and maybe show a “fresher” work, instead of having dozens of takes that may lead to much more editing and work for editors but poor performances. Meirelles again emphasized the absurd amount of raw footage created by too many takes. Sitting by my side was SIR BEN KINGSLEY who added to Meirelles answer with his own actor’s perspective.
Sir Ben Kingsley
Sir Ben Kingsley said he prefers to work with one camera only and with “an eye line.” Kingsley (an Oscar, BAFTA, Golden Globe, and Screen Actor’s Guild winner) explained how important it is for an actor to have something or somebody to look at while acting and to know where the camera is (something hard to do when there are a lot of cameras rolling at the same time). Meirelles agreed and said no one there was better able to answer my question!
Sir Ben Kingsley