For the second time in two weeks Juliet Landau took questions from fans on the internet. She took questions this part February 18th at a Facebook site, mainly about her new documentary, Take Flight, which looks at how actor Gary Oldman made a music video of a Jewish hip-hop group, and only used cell phones to film it.
From Mapi Vera: Hi, Juliet, nice to meet you here! Who had the idea of turning this "making of" into a film?
When I saw the footage I had gotten, I got excited by the rare POV I had and i asked Gary if it could develop into short documentary
My question: After doing this, and if you wanted to direct again, would you do another documentary, or try to direct a feature or TV episode?
I co-directed the Hero music video for the band Godhead and I am co-directing the TAKE FLIGHT viral campaign. I'm looking forward to directing a narrative.
Jayme Vellante: What was your favorite part of working on the film?
I loved coming up with the structure. Since Gary operated one of the cell-cam's we get this rare POV that is like being in his head, seeing through his eyes. I intercut the cell footage with the standard def and high def footage. First we get glimpses, then longer more expansive pieces and by the very end, we are completely released into Gary's view. I also loved choosing the music for Gary's internal creative world.
Lucy Moore of The Grove School: Would you consider working with Gary Oldman or Chutzpah again in the future?
Yes, Absolutely. Gary is sooooo talented!
Charles Norton: What scenes did Gary Oldman direct with you on Take Flight?
Gary directs the music video within the film. The film chronicles his process during that shoot.
Jona Sims: Was it fun working with Gary? Do you have any other projects that you are going to do together?
I loved working with Gary. He is one of the best artists of our time. I'd absolutely love to work with him again
Anthony Ryan: How/where do you find music for a film? How do you get past copywrite?
I cleared all of the music rights. It took a lot of time... Because I self financed the film, I have huge thanks to The Vaughan Williams estate, SourceQ and Universal for working with me and making it possible
More from Charles Norton: So, relying on Gary's cell footage, you were pretty much on your own then? That is you shot all the film other than the music video?
I had 3 cameras and access to all of the cell footage. Yes, I directed everything in the film. Gary gave me free reign. I was really nervous when I went to show him the movie, because he hadn't seen any of it throughout the editing. He loved it and was very excited that it shows a different side of him.
Also: The music credits are at the end of the film.
More from Jayme Vellante: When are we ever going to see you in front of a camera again? Are you still working on the movie you were raising funds for? Do you have any other directorial plans?
Is there going to be a public screening for Take Flight or is it only going to be available online?
Yes, I am still raising funds for It's Raining Cats and Cats. it is an ambitious project. Lots of other projects brewing!
At this point it will be available to purchase for streaming online. I am excited to get it out there. Feb 25th is only 1 week away! Yay!
Mary Emmons: What was the best advice you received when taking on this project?
My producing partner suggested that I make an outline prior to the shoot, of what I wanted to be sure to capture on set. He also told me to watch the footage as many times through until it "spoke to me." I watched all 50 hours 3X through, and indeed I discovered the structure I wanted to use. I passed this advice on to a friend the other day who was going begin editing her first project, as I found it invaluable.
She also said that some of the music in the documentary had bird names in their titles. She said it was "unintentional but pretty magical considering TAKE FLIGHT and all."
Then, a good question from Bryan Curry: Do you think that the ability to reach such a large audience via social media like you are doing right now will allow more projects like Take Flight to reach a larger audience and other non-studio projects to achieve greater success? Or are there still a lot of hurdles in the industry that technology and social media has yet to overcome?
I hope so! There are still some hurdles in terms of it being financially feasible for filmmakers on the internet. But hopefully people will support this and other cutting edge, cool, exciting Indie projects. I love the ability to connect directly with people on forums like this. It is amazing!
More from Anthony Ryan: Can you tell us more about the interviews for the film that you have been talking about on Twitter? When will those be available?
The TAKE FLIGHT viral campaign is a sister project I put together. Since TF is about Gary's creative process, I talked with other artists I admire about their creative process and also asked them how they would market a film about Gary, Jewish Hip Hop and cell phones?! There are so many great answers!! These will be available on Youtube. We will be releasing 1 every other day starting the 25th. I have enjoyed working on them tremendously! :)
Another question from me: When you were directing, did you apply any lessons you may have learned from seeing Joss Whedon at work? That is, how does he affect your work in this documentary?
I have been fortunate to work with great directors like Tim Burton and Joss Whedon. I have learned from them immensely!!
Another from Charles Norton: Are there any plans for a DVD version?
Not as of yet, but there may be...
Lindsey Day of Vista del Lago HS: What inspired you to direct Take Flight?
Gary asked me to direct a behind the scenes making-of and it bloomed from there. I have always been inspired by the depth, range and power of his work.
More from Mary Emmons: Which do you prefer, being in front of the camera or behind it?
Deverill Weekes: Hey JL, Can you talk about the crew you worked with on TF and how was that as a first time Director.
As a debut director, I was lucky to work with unbelievably skilled and talented people: Not only was I filming one of the most talented movie stars of our time, I worked with two-time Emmy winning sound editor Pembrooke Andrews, who produced TF, was one of the cinematographers and did the sound editing, Jeremy Alter, who produced David Lynch's INLAND EMPIRE, Ingela Ogard who edited with me tirelessly, Jon Vasquez who produced and was the much needed technical advisor, the extremely busy Larry Benjamin who was our amazing re-recording mixer, William Haefeli, who is a cartoonist for The New Yorker and did my credits/titles and FotoKem, who did an amazing job of color-correcting!!!!!!!
Anthony Ryan: Are you planning on submitting Take Flight to any of the film festivals, like Sundance or Toronto Film Festival?
We'll see! I am screening it at the Vineyard Film Festival in Cyprus, where I am serving on the jury. (My film is not in competition, but showing there.) I'd love to show it somewhere like Comic-Con cause I think it would be way cool! Last year was my first CC and it was so much fun!
A third question from me: After your first time as a director, what skills do you hope to improve as you take on future projects?
I have so much to learn. That's one of the things I love about what I do. One can always absorb and learn and grow.
She concluded the chat by saying: Thank you everyone for your great questions! I had a wonderful time hanging out with you! Thank you Jenny Christodal for putting this together! You are fantastic! Meant to thank you on Twitter last night after the Kat Von D shoot, but failed to do so. So, thank you for all your hard work yesterday as well. it is much appreciated!
If you guys like the TF virals... tell Jenny because I may carry on with them when stuff calms down in a month and a half or so... ??
Take Flight will be streaming on February 25th at http://www.julietlandaustakeflight.com