Producers Panel at SBIFF 2018

Reviewed by Margaux Pfau.

This year SBIFF was honored to receive eight incredible producers whose movies are nominees for the Academy awards 2018.

From left to right: Graham Broadbent ( Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), Lisa Bruce (Darkest Hour), J.Miles Dale (The Shape of Water), Evelyn O’Neill (Lady Bird), Glenn Whipp (journalist from The Los Angeles Time), Peter Spears (Call Me By Your Name), Emma Thomas (Dunkirk), Sean McKittrick (Get Out) and Daniel Lupi (Phantom Thread)

For Phantom Thread, Lupi talked about the difficulty of filming in England with a british crew. But also working with Daniel Day-Lewis on what appears to be his last movie, which makes him being really involved in the realization of Phantom Thread.

When asked about being a producer, Emma Thomas (who’s also Nolan’s wife) said that she didn’t start thinking of being a producer.  She has started producing Nolan when they were studying at the University just to help him, but she didn’t really know what she was doing at that time. She added “In many ways the process doesn’t really change that much if you keep the same small crew”. When Whipp asked her how Nolan think when making a movie, she answered that he’s putting himself in the viewer’s position.

For Ladybird, O’Neill said that as a producer, she had to be very protective of the movie when looking for investors because she wasn’t sure they would get the idea, and the specific woman perspective that Greta Gerwig (director) has.

Talking about his colaboration with Guillermo Del Toro, J. Miles Dale claimed that “Any good director’s aspirations exceed the budget”, indeed Del Toro’s first idea was for The Shape of Water to be in black & white. He added that for most of the directors, the budgets is ” a state of mind” and that’s the reason why the producer’s job is to put boundaries and stay realistic about the projects.

Lisa Bruce revealed that Joe Wright wouldn’t have done Darkest Hour if Gary Oldman hasn’t expected the role. Focusing on the producer job, she claimed that it is easier to be a producer as a woman than a director, because a feminine perspective is really differant than a man’s and therefore not always appreciate.

Which brought them to a really controversial question nowadays: what they thought about women’s position in the film industry.

They all agreed on the fact that the film industry is actively changing and improving in terms of giving more importance to women.

Emma Thomas also think that women directors should be more rewarded for their work in order for the industry to start producing more female directors.

Lisa Bruce added that the women cause isn’t the only problem, saying that “Holywood is plenty white”, and therefore that we are still dealing with a bigger problem of diversity in term of, not only gender, but also country diversity.

Finally, they all funily agreed on the fact that their job was mainly consisting of being the therapist. But more seriously about working with great people on quality projects.

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