Just two weeks before her documentary, "Take Flight", will be released on the internet, Juliet Laudau (aka Drusilla on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel) took questions from fans on Twitter. Most of the fans asked about how Landau got involved in the project, and why she took on the role of a director. The film looks at how actor Gary Oldman filmed and directed a music video by a Jewish hip-hop group called Chutzpah. He also did it by using only Nokia cellphones.
Her website includes a trailer which shows how Oldman was able to take some interesting camera angles, and how Landau approached this project. She said it started as a "making-of video" but wound up as a documentary. There are also interviews with cinematographer Deverill Weekes, and Pembrook Andrews, who had several roles including producer, cinematographer and sound editor.
It was interesting how Juliet's fans tried to ask questions while limited to 140 characters or less, while her answers had to stay within the same limit. It was still a lively exchange of information about the documentary, how directing is different from acting, and even whether she'd play Drusilla again on TV.
Here's a list of many of the questions:
From @starwriterlv: what was one the best things about doing Take Flight?
@starwriterlv It was a labor of love all the way around. Research, shooting, editing, picking the music. Loved getting to work with Gary.
From @octopusgrabbus: How many people worked with you on Take Flight? #takeflight
Producing TAKE FLIGHT took a while because I was working around everyone's schedules @octopusgrabbus. Excited that the 25th is near!
@octopusgrabbus: Gary directed the music video on cell phones to do something inventive under budgetary constraints.
@octopusgrabbus: 3 cameras. 1 was HD. 2 were standard def and had access to all the cell footage. It cuts seamlessly.
From @AmandaSpaceman: howdy. have you got a favorite oldman role?
He's wonderful in everything @AmandaSpaceman. So different in all. I'll list a few: Sid and Nancy, State of Grace, Dracula, True Romance..
From @benjaminkeay: What prompted you to step behind the camera into the producing of this? Has production/direction always been an interest?
I really like having a vision and bringing that vision to fruition @benjaminkeay. I think I got bitten by the bug w/ TAKE FLIGHT.
From @ravenu: Whose idea was it to shoot it with the camera phones?
Got really excited in editing bay @ravenu. Cell footage offers a rare POV that you wouldn't have w/ a traditional camera. (Gary Operates.)
Gary brought me in to direct a making of. But when I saw the footage, I asked if it could be a short doc. He gave me his blessing
from @superactorbrian: HI!!! :) What have you learned/applied for your processes as a director after having seen another director in action?
Hi @superactorbrian!!!! I learned to really explore and investigate, in the same way as I do as an actress.
From @girlalex87: how long did the music video and documentary take to complete?
@girlalex87: It feels like a lifetime!!!! :)
From @CharliePrime: what other projects r u working on?
Shot adorable kids movie, Monster Mutt playing blonde, Russian baddy @CharliePrime. Right now lots of TF promo...
Another from @octopusgrabbus: It seems like shooting with a cell phone would be different than with a traditional camera with a view finder
Yes @octopusgrabbus. The shots are beutiful, especially the sunset beach footage. Looks like 35mm.
The cell cam is so different than reg camera. W/Gary operating, it's like audience is in his head, seeing through his eyes @octopusgrabbus.
I asked her if she would consider making her own movies or documentaries using only Flip or Kodak Vi6 cameras (actually, Zi6 cameras).
Possibly @impalergeneral. I liked working with the Red camera on the Hero music video I co-directed.
From @19Sebastian67: Gary Oldman is an amazing actor and director. What was it like working with him? I'm looking forward to seeing your doc.
Thanks @19Sebastian67! Gary is wonderful to work with!! Such an amazing talent! I was inspired.
From @virtualbri: What other docs, if any, influenced how you approached Take Flight?
Did a lot of research @virtualbri. Loved making-ofs + docs that captured people in throes of their creative process, striving to achieve...
From @leeogrady79: when was the last time u saw james (Marsters) i love u 2 on #buffy
Thanks @leeogrady79! Saw James not too long ago
She also talked about when the documentary may be on DVD or iTunes, aside from streaming on the Take Flight website: At this point it will be available for streaming on the TF website @ravenu. But possibly later. Also have so many cool viral interviews
From @SarahBlanchee: what was the most challenging aspect for you as a debut director working in doc format?
I had 50 hours of footage, which I watched 3X through. Challenge to condense it into 25 min film which includes Gary's video @SarahBlanchee
From @_laurayup15_ : if you were asked to reprise the role of Drusilla, would you?
You bet @_laurayup15_ !
From @kabienvenue: this may be a question for your editor, out of curiosity, even though it killed the cat...What are you editing Take Flight on?
Final Cut Pro @kabienvenue. Color corrected at FotoKem, who did it cause they loved the project.
Then this happened: Typing so fast, I didn't notice @impalergeneral.. :)
I said: @julietlandau Oh, that's OK. I was just happy you answered one of my questions. I'm covering this for #Whedonopolis
Back to the questions:
From @daryldarko: i'll tell you 1 thing Juliet. after seeing what you did with your cell phones, i want to go out and make a short with MINE 2!
You should do it @daryldarko!!!!
From @KriiseHoi: Do u have any new projects? Would LOVE 2 see u on screen again! :)
Kid's movie Monster Mutt @KriiseHoi. Check out The Green Lantern: First Flight if u like animation. I play Labella.
From @EKAdams:How much of the 'Take Flight' documentary was planned versus completely improvised?
Hi @EKAdams!!!! Great to hear from u! Preparation is key. Whether acting, directing or writing it always pays off. Will bring that to all.
From @allisonbh: Why did you decide to do a documentary on Gary Oldman?
@allisonbh: I have always loved Gary's work. It was an opportunity too good to pass up.
Another from @superactorbrien: and how was it having two directors working on similar projects with two POVs? I bet it was awesome to compare notes! :)
Gary gave me free reign, so I was nervous to show him my cut @superactorbrian... I thought he'd have pges of notes, but...
More from @EKAdams: Had you listened to any of Chutzpah's tracks before doing the project?
@EKAdams: yes, I listened to a lot of Chutzpah before beginning.
More from @virtualbri: Did your vision of the doc change while filming or in the editing room, or stay pretty consistent throughout the process?
This was combnied from three entries: My vision stayed consistent, but it grew. I was so excited about the conceit of "looking through Gary's eyes"...that the structure changed. I decided to keep the cell footage 4X3 and everything else 16X19, so that audience...would be clear when we are in Gary's POV. It all cuts seamlessly...
From @marialba: While very hi-tech, the cameras used posed different challenges than usual. Could you discuss some of them
@marialba: Having all the different footage timeline, made the output a bit tricky. But it all worked beautifully after much hair puling
From GATORFAN70: Who would you consider a "dream of yours" to work with? I LOVE your work!
@GATORFAN70: It was a dream to work w/ G.O. I did a reading w/ Sean Penn. Would love to do a film w/ him.. also Meryl Streep... many others.
More from @kabienvenue: Hi! have you always wanted to try to direct, or was this just something sper of the moment?
@kabienvenue: I was interested in directing, but this experience made that interest even stronger.
From @hellmouthcast: I have two boys who are big fans of the cartoon Ben 10. How did you get involved with the show and the video game?
@hellmouthcast: Andrea Romano brought me in to do Justice League 1st and then onto Ben 10. So much fun!
From @buffyboards: hi Juliet, did u find the expierience as fun as acting?
@buffyboards: I did enjoy it as much as acting. Some elements are different and some are very similar.
From @wolfcub76: best of luck with TF, looking forward to seeing it. will you be doing anymore of these POV docs?
Thanks @wolfcub76!!! I'm not sure. Having great time now w/ TAKE FLIGHT virals. People are giving such great answers in the interviews.
From @draya22: do you ever relax?! You are the busiest person I know of!
@draya22: I relaxed in Hawaii. It was wonderful!!
More from @kabienvenue: Have any advice for a want to be director/writer, but willing to act as well?
@kabienvenue: learn your craft, then get on as many sets as you can. Follow what you love to do.
More from @EKAdams: How much of the 'Take Flight' documentary was planned versus completely improvised?
@EKAdams: I had an outline of what I wanted to get, but then also wanted to be free to go with the flow.
From @tholmes86: what gave u the idea to do Take Flight?
@tholmes86: The DP of Gary's music video recommended me.
From @thesadeianwoman: youre great! many of ur tweets seem to be about editing or the gym, etc. how are you so balanced & focused?!
Who says I'm balanced and focused @thesadeianwoman!
To @Raeven7: Hi! Can you explain how Christian Kane and Amy Acker are involved in Take Flight? I'm confused!
@Raeven7: I'm doing a viral campaign to time out w/ the release. I'm interviewing a bunch of cool folks. Amy and Christian are part of it.
She took questions for about one hour and 40 minutes before closing:
Thanks everyone! It was great hanging out! I hope there weren't too many typos.. I was answering fast, trying to keep up!
"Take Flight" will start streaming on julietlandaustakeflight.com on February 25th.