The premiere issue of “Premiere Magazine”, which had its U.S. street date last week, is now available for purchase in all retail outlets. The issue features an in-depth interview with the director of the forthcoming “The Road”, a film about a bus tour around the world that is premiering at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. The film, starring John Goodman and Michael Shannon, had its international premiere at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival. During the Sundance premiere, the film garnered mostly positive reviews from critics, who called it “an all-time great”.
Director Spotlight: Rob Pattinson
Most people know Rob Pattinson for his role as Edward Cullen in the Twilight films, but beyond Twilight, he has been trying to break out of Hollywood’s “boy band” image and show his acting skills in more mature roles.
In 2011, he took on an ambitious new project, directing and starring in the film adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s beloved trilogy, “On the Road”. The film had its world premiere at the 2011 Venice Film Festival and was later purchased by Netflix for $9 million.
Pattinson has been open about his depression and anxiety, saying that he used to feel “paralyzed” by the fear of making a mistake with his directing. Now that he has completed his first feature film, he is looking to take on more challenging projects and continue to prove his worth as a filmmaker.
Interview: Director Of “The Road” On The Making Of The Film And Terrible, Horrible, Noisy Neighbors
In the first half of the premiere issue of “Premiere Magazine,” journalist Christine Vachon interviews the director of “The Road” about the making of the film and his approach to tackling such a daring and unusual project.
From the outset, Pattinson wanted to do something different with “The Road”, deciding that he was going to give voice to the voiceless. Instead of focusing on typical movie topics like love and affection, the film explores the difficult decision-making process that a man has to go through when he is faced with the impending end of civilization as we know it.
The interview covers a number of interesting topics, including:
- The differences between writing for films and writing for literary works
- Pattinson’s approach to adapting Jack Kerouac’s work into a screenplay
- The challenges of shooting in one continuous take without cutting the scene
- Why Johnny Depp was the perfect Edward
- Why Michael Shannon was the perfect Bert
- Working with the exceptional cast, particularly John Goodman
- The symbolism in “On the Road”
- Pattinson’s plans for the future
Why “On the Road”?
The idea for “On the Road” came to Pattinson when he was reading Jack Kerouac’s literary works for English Literature A-Level. The writer was particularly famous for his rambling, stream-of-consciousness style of writing and Pattinson was immediately captivated.
The project initially started as a stage production, but as more and more people got involved, it started to become clear that it wasn’t going to be feasible for the play to remain in that form. There were just too many people working on it, so the group of friends and family decided to take a different route. They turned the play into a screenplay and started pitching it to various studios. Eventually, they found a home at Reliance Entertainment and the ball began to roll.
The project was originally slated to be released in 2012, but it was pushed back to early 2014. Reliance decided to give the film a worldwide premiere at Venice Film Festival and invited Pattinson to direct. He ended up having to decline the offer due to his Twilight commitments, but he was able to secure the services of one of his favorite cinematographers, Seamus McGarvey, and a few of his actors, including Michael Shannon and Kirsten Dunst, to fill in for him. It was a great learning experience for Pattinson and allowed him to show off his directing skills.
An Unusual Approach To Adapting Kerouac’s Work
The biggest challenge of adapting Jack Kerouac’s work for the screen would be to give it the cinematic feel that it deserves. The way in which Kerouac writes is very much an improvised nature, jumping from person to person and scene to scene, so the cinematic adaptation had to reflect that. It was also crucial that the adaptation of “On the Road” stayed true to Jack Kerouac’s vision, especially since so much of the source material involves on-the-road experiences with a variety of extraordinary characters.
Pattinson decided that he was going to give voice to the voiceless, with the people in his life being the main characters. In general, he decided to stick pretty closely to the script that Jack Kerouac had written, but he did make some significant changes, primarily in the form of improvising some new dialogue and inserting some of Kerouac’s short stories into the narrative. Even though Pattinson’s approach was very much “in the spirit of” Jack Kerouac, he still had to make some significant changes to the work, primarily in terms of adapting it to fit a more cinematic form.
The biggest challenge of adapting “On the Road” for the screen was not only to make it into a cinematic masterpiece, but to also do it justice. To achieve this, he drew upon his extensive knowledge of literature and his passion for American culture.
Besides, it wasn’t just about adhering to the script and incorporating some of Kerouac’s tropes, but about finding a new way to tell the story. There were a lot of instances where Pattinson had to change tack midstream, as Kerouac’s writing often involves stream-of-consciousness narration that is not meant to be taken literally. This posed a unique challenge for the director, who had to keep a certain amount of control over the creative process, but at the same time, had to allow the raw material to flow naturally throughout the whole film.
The Film In One Minute
One of the things that really sets “The Road” apart from other films is that it is an unedited, uninterrupted take. The cinematographer, Seamus McGarvey, did an exceptional job pulling off such an ambitious feat. It was only fitting that McGarvey was nominated for the 2016 Golden Globes for Best Cinematography, since he certainly deserves the nomination for the impressive work that he did on “The Road”. For those who are unfamiliar, cinematography is the art of capturing imagery on film and the technical skill of a good cinematographer is invaluable.
To highlight just how special this is, it is worth pointing out that this is actually the second time that McGarvey pulled off an unbroken shot, as he also did it on “The Fighter”, which was nominated for the same award in 2011. One of the key scenes in “The Road” is the argument that Bert and Robbie have about whether or not to travel to New York City to save Bert’s marriage to Carla. The scene starts out rather mundane, with Bert and Robbie bickering about whether or not to visit New York City on their journey, but it quickly turns into a verbal roller coaster, as their arguments become more and more heated. There are several takes for this particular scene, but McGarvey and his team were able to shoot an unbroken take, which lasts for nearly thirteen minutes.
Once the film was finished, Pattinson and his team went through a rigorous editing process, trimming around four minutes from the original length and cutting it down to what feels like the perfect running time. When asked about this process, he said: