Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Thinking in Pictures

John Sayles, who visits 2/27, wrote one of the bibles of independent filmmaking in 1987-- Thinking in Pictures after making the movie Matewan. Here's an excerpt:

"It's like there's this house you want to build and you know certain specifications you want, sometimes very specific, like the kitchen counter should be 45 inches high, and others more vague, like the living room should be comfortable and--you know--have a lot of light or something. You raise a certain amount of money to build this house and maybe you draw a picture of it or tell somebody who can draw what to put down, and then you hire people who know about plumbing and wiring and roofing and windows and all that. You know you want the tub here and the sink here and maybe the plumber tells you it would work much better here and here, and maybe you do it his way or maybe yours. When the house is finished you hope it feels like the one you imagined way back when, but of course the oak was too expensive and you had to go with yellow pine and they don't make kitchen counters that height and customizing was out of the question, but then the woman who put in the windows had this great idea--you never would have thought of it in a million years. The closet on the second floor is always going to be a problem and you try not to think about it when you think about the house. After a bit the house takes on its own character, and though you had a lot to do with how it is, it exists as this thing and it's hard to imagine it any other way." More.

Picture: A scene from Matewan.