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Sofia Coppola Talks ‘The Bling Ring,’ First Digital Shoot, Feeling-Over-Talking Technique

Sofia Coppola Talks 'The Bling Ring,' First Digital Shoot, Feeling-Over-Talking Technique

Director Sofia Coppola sits down with the DGA Quarterly to discuss her upcoming film “The Bling Ring” (June 14), starring Emma Watson as the leader of a pack of celebrity-looting Hollywood teens. Highlights from the interview below, including Coppola’s interest in today’s social-mediated youth, her experience with shooting digitally for the first time, and her methods for communicating feeling in a scene.

Watch the trailer for “The Bling Ring” here.

On today’s youth being constantly “aware of their audience”:

“I was curious about these kids growing up always aware of
their audience, constantly posting pictures online. For visual references, I
borrowed the cell phones of my actors and studied their Facebook and Myspace
pages. This world isn’t as visually beautiful
as some of my other films. It’s more Pop.”

On communicating feeling through a scene, and not relying on talking:

Scarlett [Johansson] perched in the window ledge in ‘Lost in Translation,’ looking
out over Tokyo? You project your feelings on her. That’s what I’m going for. I
want the visual ways to tell the story rather than have the characters talk…The
scripts are notes to let cast and crew know what I want to do. I don’t make a
shot list. There’s no sense in that until you see the actors rehearse the
scene. So, I’ll say, ‘In this scene I want to show X.’” 

On using a digital camera (the RED) for the first time on “Bling Ring”:

“It feels more immediate, and since you’re not limited by
the film in the camera you can go on and on and have really long shots… [but] I spent more time watching the
monitor than being on set. It felt passive. I see how it can distance you from
the action. I had to keep reminding myself to get back on the set. I’d shoot on
film again, if it’s still available.”

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