As we close the decade, there is still one near-universal truth that connects those directors who defy the cineplex odds by making great cinema: Their visions are realized by some of the finest below-the-line talent the industry has ever seen. Even as the familiar infrastructure seems to be evaporating, the role that top craftspeople play has become that much more vital as the breadth and depth of their talent pool expands.
IndieWire spent months speaking with directors, producers, costumers, designers, cinematographers, cutters, composers — craftspeople across all disciplines — seeking the behind-the-scenes collaborators behind some of your favorite films. And our questions went something like this:
Who are the filmmakers whose innovative use of craft is influencing how you make movies?
Who are the artisans at the cutting edge of using new technology to advance the art form?
Who are the pioneers opening doors and expanding our visual and aural palettes?
We wanted to know about the people who are not only brilliant in their work, but who also are the collaborators and peers leading us forward. And once we had those names, we sought testimonials from the people who knew their work first hand.
You’ll hear from directors Quentin Tarantino, Greta Gerwig, the Safdie Brothers, Sam Mendes, Todd Haynes, Damien Chazelle, Taika Waititi, Barry Jenkins, Christopher McQuarrie, and more. You’ll hear from top-of-field cinematographers, like Rachel Morrison and Bradford Young, talking about who has influenced their work. Performers like Eddie Murphy and Keanu Reeves break down how behind-the-camera stars have impacted their work in front of it. Marvel boss Kevin Feige reveals the real superhero who assembled the Avengers, while “Joker” director Todd Phillips will introduce you to man who built his Gotham.
Many thanks to Sony Pictures and “Once Upon A Time … in Hollywood” for being the sponsor for IndieWire Influencers: The Craft of Filmmaking. We’ve loved the process of identifying these people, we’re honored to tell their stories, and we can’t wait to do it again.
Influencers: The Craft of Filmmaking, Vol. 1:
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
Chad Stahelski and David Leitch