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iW Video: Natalie Portman Sings Praises Of Assistant Director; Launches Website

iW Video: Natalie Portman Sings Praises Of Assistant Director; Launches Website

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first in a series of videos running this week of the indieWIRE/Apple Filmmaker’s Talks that happened during the Tribeca Film Festival. All the videos were shot and edited by Tim LaTorre.

“Pretty much everyone’s role on a film is indispensable,” Natalie Portman said during a discussion at the Apple Store SoHo last week, singling out the first assistant director as an example. “Without a good first AD, your movie falls to pieces. And those are people who never, ever, ever get interviewed anywhere. And they make the movie. I feel like you could probably run a set better with a good first AD and no director than a good director and no AD. There are people like that who you never hear from, and we want people to have an idea about who these people are if they’re interested in filmmaking.”

Portman was joined by Christine Aylward to discuss the launch of Makingof.com, a behind-the-scenes web portal that gives access to exclusive interviews from a variety of people involved with filmmaking (including those underappreciated ADs). Aylward is the CEO of the site, which was co-founded by Portman. It launched April 23rd, and though it is still a work-in-progress, it already includes some 40 interviews – from director Michel Gondry to casting director Todd Thaler to stuntman Ron Yuan to actor Jason Bateman.

“You hear about people whose fathers are focus pullers,” Portman said at the talk. “Or a makeup artist who is the mother of a hairdresser. It’s a very family business, and it’s nice, having the opportunities we have, to open things up beyond that. So you can have access even if you don’t have a network.”

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