Hello and welcome back to the Chris Brodhead show (http://chrisbrodhead.net/). Where I interview fascinating entrepreneurs, filmmakers, artists, and anyone else with valuable knowledge to share.
And this episode’s guest, Logan Stone (Instagram @IAmLoganStone http://www.cinestone.com/), delivers beyond expectation. I am so excited for you to hear our conversation.
Me and Logan met at a film meetup in Pilsen a while back and have kept in relatively close contact ever since. Logan is an incredibly talented, not to mention award winning filmmaker and cinematographer. His cinematography actually looks the way we always wish our footage would look. I have been wanting to chat with him on the record for some time now and after hearing he had finished principal photography on his first feature “Noise and Color” I knew now would be a great time.
The feature length film is about a disillusioned man struggling in a dystopian Middle America who finds a mysterious videotape that proves the existence of a mythic paradise in the desert. They filmed over 20 days with a crew of 18 people in New Mexico and St. Louis. The stories and insights he shares any filmmaker or person interested in film will find super valuable. You can find out more about the feature and Logan Stone at http://www.Cinestone.com/.
If you’d like to read the show notes, see a list of awesome quotes, and engage in an insightful and fun discussion about the episode please go to http://www.ChrisBrodhead.net/LoganStone.
I plan on releasing regular podcast episodes with other fascinating folks as well as video essays on my favorite subjects… which will most likely be Batman and filmmaking. Thanks again for listening and keep having an awesome day!
Listen to it on iTunes
1:30 How the production went for “Noise and Color”
3:30 How Logan came up with the idea for “Noise and Color”
8:30 Logan’s editing tips and style
14:45 How Kubrick edited his films
19:40 What changed from Logan’s initial thoughts for the film to the finished production
28:45 How did you assemble your ideal crew?
30:30 The biggest issue encountered during production
34:00 Why Logan chose to make this a SAG approved production
35:30 How many people did Logan audition for the main roles?
39:30 Why Logan chose intentionally did NOT do any rehearsals
43:00 Did your directing philosophy or style evolve over the course of production?
46:45 Any happy accidents during production?
52:00 How do you know when you’ve got THE take?
1:02:45 How do you speak an actor’s language?
1:07:00 What will you do different for your next feature?
1:10:45 How are you planning to market and release the film?
- “Any work done with feeling is more a reflection of the artist than the work”
- “Trying to make my way toward becoming an efficient proficient filmmaker, which I don’t think I am yet, on this journey, it’s kind of like crabs in a bucket in a way, if a crab sees another crab about to climb out of the bucket it will pull it back down, your success is my failure.”
- “There’s a lot of sacrifice, a lot of trusting your gut, and your intuition, that’s necessary when you’re trying to pursue something so big and audacious and fucking and scary as trying to go make your dreams happen.”
- “My favorite thing about the story is the dude, like the protagonist is not a good guy.”
- “Sometimes cutting shitty people out of your life is the price you have to pay to make it to paradise”
- “You go into a shoot with a script and ideas and a vision in your head and rarely if ever are you going to film exactly what’s in your head… it’s like suggested improv.”
- “Editing the footage is the final rewrite of the script”
- “I was doing it alone for a while but you got to get your team.”
- “You have to strong-arm (your film) into existing”
- “Putting a healthy chunk of my own money into the production was a trust building exercise with the investors”
- “Looking at the timeline (of the edit) and I feel like I’m at basecamp of Everest”
- “Kubrick is notorious for stopping a take and spinning a can of beans in the background a quarter of an inch.”
- “Consciously or unconsciously a director is making a thousand decisions for any given scene.”
- “You kind of have to let those expectations go and be adaptable, keep going and trust yourself in the editing room.
- “There’s almost a victory in having just done the thing (finishing principal photography on his first feature). If it’s good that’s just the cherry on top.”
- “Film school wasn’t necessary. (Making this film) taught me way more.”
- “The biggest issues during production were always needing to put out (metaphorical) fires that were miles away from set”
- “Filmmaking is creative problem solving”
- “The level of talent that a SAG performer affords you just worked for the film”
- “When the characters are so neutral it allows the audience to project themselves onto them. All the actors have to do is be a blank slate. A millimeter toward the desired emotion and a job well done.”
- “If you google ‘How to direct actors’ 90% of the answers will be ‘cast well’”
- “intentionally wanted to stay away from rehearsal bc I didn’t want them to already make decisions on how they were going to play the scene and have it baked in.”
- “i did get on the phone with each actor once a week to break down scenes and what is the subtext of this line. We all had done the homework.”
- “We would always go big (with the performances) at first and then reign it back”
- “(when editing) I can just go to take 3 or 4 bc I know they are going to better than 1 or 2”
- “The role of director is to calibrate the mood on set. Filter the decisions through a singular lens.”
- “What you make of your time together is ultimately what the film becomes.”
- “(A big storm rolled in during shooting) If we’re not in danger we are absolutely going to use this.”
- “(you have the take when) the two actors are so tuned into each other neither are in their head”
- “After the actors finish their lines, just let the camera roll for like 10 seconds and watch what they do”
- “You call cut on the rhythm. And that same rhythm still applies in the edit… If I watched it on mute I bet I would still call cut at the same point.”
- “I use a stand desk bc editing is very much like a dance. You stand up to allow your body to feel the tempo of the scene.”
- “Is it internal or external. Internal meaning let me feel the emotion that will color the lines which is in my opinion more effective.”
- “It’s a battle, you’ve got 20 people in New Mexico, in the hot sun, you’re out of your groove as far as your routine goes, giant temptation to yell ‘yeah we’re good on this take’, it’s reminding yourself of why you started this. The discomfort you feel in this moment is temporary so push through and make sure you’re getting what you need.”
- “Take your time to really visualize the film from start to finish… The more work you do in the beginning to make those creative choices and at the same time be ready to fucking throw the plan away.”