‘Crazy Heart’ Filmmaker Scott Cooper on the Movie Biz

As part of its advanced coverage of the 2010 Spirit awards, Indie Wire interviews “Crazy Heart” writer/director, and Spirit “Best First Feature” nominee, Scott Cooper. Some of the more interesting tidbits:

  • The biggest challenge was raising the financing. Actors were interested from the beginning, though it did take a while to attach Jeff Bridges, but because it’s an actor’s piece, there were no shortage of actors willing to take the risk. Character-based dramas are very difficult to get made. More now than ever, sadly.

  • My approach to the film was guided by some direction Robert Duvall had given me as an actor: “Just tell the truth.” That allowed me to personalize the story as best I could and allow me to emphasize characterization and behavior over plot. I then steeped myself in 1970’s filmmaking. Hal Ashby, Malick, Bogdonavich, Coppola, Rafelson and watched their films without sound. It taught me how to move the camera, use the lens and the performer to tell the story. I wanted the film to feel invisibly directed and edited. So that all the audience is conscious of are the performers and their world. Not my ability to move the camera in a clever fashion.