Adam Arkapaw:We used half a day to light and rehearse
it, and then shot it for
the rest of that day and half of the next day. We built
replicas of the houses on our stage so the stunt team could rehearse it.
Then we did a couple of scouts of the neighborhood to make plans,
rehearse and see what equipment
we’d need. The challenge of a long take is always to figure out how to
light it without making too many compromises on the aesthetic you are
going for. For that reason, we were pretty specific about what the
camera would and wouldn’t see. There were small lighting units hidden
almost everywhere offscreen. Getting the
camera over the fence at the end was a fun thing to figure out. We ended
up going with the age-old ‘grip jumping off the crane platform as the
steadicam operator jumps on’ trick. (x)
In the trailer commentary for Y Tu Mamá También, Alfonso Cuarón confesses, [The film was] something that I really needed. It was after I felt I was losing my way in Hollywood, and I needed to recharge myself and inject back the love of why I love cinema in the first place. Teaming up with friend and frequent collaborator DP Emmanuel Lubezki, Cuarón shares what inspired the making of the film: The point of departure that we took is: let’s do a film we would have done if we hadn’t gone or before we went film school. The film we would have done if we didn’t know that rules existed…It was such an enjoyable experience.
Passion is at the heart of great filmmaking. Without a strong emotional connection to a project, the creative process is hindered. Still, this is not to say that passion wipes away the stress and difficulties of the process. All films come with stress and difficulties in production. However, when a filmmaker injects his or her love for cinema into a project, most anything is possible, and combine that with expressing your true self as an artist, those possibilities lead to a captivating work.
An environment of love, as film director Steve McQueen describes, is also the perfect counterbalance to the hardships of the film process. This is probably the most important element in the behind the scenes video to Y Tu Mamá También. From a steadicam operator who stays on set to help out even though production made no use of the steadicam to the producer who becomes the actor playing the role of the president, it is clear that the best of films are made by those who are passionate about the project. That strong emotional connection to a project is present throughout this behind the scenes presentation and shows how filmmaking can be the adventure of a lifetime.
Enjoy the making of Alfonso Cuarón’s Y Tu Mamá También!
Too many people to thank and praise for pulling this one off. So instead here’s a moment that sums up why we love making this show: It’s 4AM in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, and 8 below. And we’re screwed. Massively, unforgivably late after filming the shootout inside. So we need to get the next scene in a oner – one big crazy shot to take us to commercial, which we’ll break up later with little additional pieces. Stunt performers Nitasha and Declan sail out the second story window of a rickety old townhouse (with Nitasha breaking her collarbone but keeping it to herself until the take is done). The amazing Shahi steps out, fires off a few rounds, walks up the sidewalk with steadicam operator Ron Baldwin in tow, admires a couple kneecapped guys, engages in a firefight with Paul Sparks and disappears. Cut. Amanda, Richard, Manuel, Mike and I look at each other. Did we get it? Then I hear it – a strange roar. Even Brooklyn is silent at 4AM when it’s this cold. What the hell is that? We turn around and it’s the huge apartment building behind us. The stairwells are filled with people watching the whole, bizarre enterprise. And they’re applauding.
I met up with homeismyimpala and lilith1967 and got a ride in Lilith! They are awesome and a ton of work has gone into this gorgeous machine, and it shows. She is powerful! They kindly let me ride shotgun^.^ Being surrounded by the sound and feel of that engine is kind of surreal.
The whole experience completely made my day!
(I know, I know; I’d never get work operating a steadicam. Let us never speak of it.)
Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall film the intense staircase scene in The Shining (1980). According to both Steadicam operator Garrett Brown and assistant editor Gordon Stainforth, the scene was shot about 35-45 times.