The LA Times sits down for a roundtable discussion with directors David Fincher, Ethan Coen, Ben Affleck, Tom Hooper, Darren Aronofsky, and Lisa Cholodenko. Three of these directors — Fincher, Coen and Aronofsky — are my favorite working directors.
Aronofsky: I think it’s a myth that you [get] exactly what you have in mind. You’re in three dimensions with weather, atmosphere, technology that has limitations, time that has limitations. And you don’t want to control an actor to that extent because it’ll just suck the life out of ’em. It’s a constant form of improv and you just sort of roll with it.
Tom Hooper: I think it’s an extraordinary thing when you watch your first assembly [of the roughly edited movie], the film always has become something slightly different from what you thought…
Aronofsky: The worst day of my life, every time.
Affleck: Way worst.
In what way?
Aronofsky: When you watch an assemblage, you just know you’re getting drunk that night. It’s just a miserable experience. Because you realize you have so much work [to do on it].
Lisa Cholodenko: And you have no idea if it’ll ever be there.
Aronofsky: And you really thought you did better work. You thought you did better stuff. And it has nothing to do with the editor. It just takes time and time to refine, because you’re so far away from that final mix where you’re really putting on that final sanding, the final shellac.
Coen: It’s always funny because we cut our own movies and I feel exactly the same way.
I could read this kind of thing all day.