|Name: Debbie Allen||Find on Amazon India: Link|
|Nationality: American||Find on Amazon: Link|
Michael Ralph brilliantly plays the street prophet, a West Indian who foreshadows the Harlem riot.
Everything has to be well thought out – what do you really need, when can you do with less coverage.
I design my shots. I walk the rehearsal as the camera and say ‘this is where I want to be… I want this look.
I didn’t need the insurance. I do it again if my DP tells me it didn’t look good in the camera or if the actors didn’t hit their marks. But if everything was working why do it again?
I got my dailies every day, although I couldn’t always look at them because I was usually preparing for the next day’s shoot, both as an actress and as the director.
I use something that is a real staple in the directing world. It’s called a dance floor. You lay it down so that it’s so smooth you can roll around, and you can put furniture on top of it. It’s seamless and you don’t see it.
I’m always moving forward.
In scoring we have a lot that was not evident in the shooting. The radio is on all the time.
It goes back to a style of moviemaking I remember seeing as a child, in movies like The Man With The Golden Arm, which I think was shot all on a sound stage.
Even when you have a big budget, you can’t just shoot everything.
Making this movie was a great opportunity for me to explore high-definition. I’m glad I got to see what the challenges are, what makes it better. It works wonderfully.
The biggest challenge was that we had to shoot so quickly and with such a limited budget.
That’s the only way I can control my movie. If you shoot everything, then everything is liable to end up in the movie. If you have a vision, you don’t have to cover every scene.
The clothes back in those days were made so much better than clothes are today. They actually took time to make clothes to fit a woman’s body. Today they make clothes that fit sizes, so it stretches to fit this and that.
The radio for these women is like television is for us today, which is really like looking at the radio.
The riot isn’t seen in the movie, but it is alluded to. He has this one speech that gives a great sense of texture and paints a picture of what was happening in Harlem then.
There are some scenes that work beautifully in a moving, sweeping master, which is how I like to work.
Time management is a big part of the director’s job.
You have to examine a scene on the page first. Then you get into the basics of acting: Who are you? Who are you talking to? How do you feel about that person?
A director just pushes them a little this way or that way.
It’s kind of dangerous to cut in the camera, but that’s the only way I know how to direct.
But it was not possible to do this movie, in this matter of time, without a solid rehearsal period.
As far as pacing the shoot is concerned, I know when I’ve got it. I don’t think there’s any reason to take ten takes unless you need them.
The production team’s first meeting took place at my house. I had ideas and a color scheme in mind, how I wanted the movie to look, because that has to be a real collaboration.
But out of limitations comes creativity.