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Added by SleepyHollowFan5 on 4 Dec 2014 06:17
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6 Filmmaking Tips From William Friedkin

WILLIAM FRIEDKIN Began His Directing Career On Television,Where He Helmed Numerous Documentaries And Even An Episode Of THE ALFRED
HITCHCOCK HOUR.FRIEDKIN Is The Blue-Collar Outsider Of "New Hollywood",The Genuine Article In An Era During Which Everyone Fashioned Himself As An Outsider.

FRIEDKIN Worked His Way From The Mailroom Of A Local TV Station To Eventually Directing Some Of The Most Beloved Films Of The 1970's Like 1971's Oscar-Winner "THE FRENCH CONNECTION",Box-Office Horror Hit "THE EXORCIST" & The B.O. Dud Turned Cult Favorite "SORCERER".

So Here's Some Free Film School By The Guy From The "Film School Generation" Who Never Went To Film School!.

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Casting Matters.

"And It Was Only A Week Later That I Realized A
Close Up Of STEVE McQUEEN Was Worth The Greatest
Landscape You Could Find."

The Above Is A Quote From FRIEDKIN About Casting
"SORCERER",His 1977 $25 Million Remake Of HENRI-GEORGES
Audience In A Summer Fully Enamored By STAR WARS.
The Film Is Credited (Alongside APOCALYPSE NOW And
HEAVEN'S GATE) As One Of The Out-Of-Control Productions
To The End Of "New Hollywood",But Recently The Film Has
Been A Second Chance With A Much-Touted Blu-Ray.
"SORCERER" Is An Incredible Piece Work Of Suspense,And
It's Quartet Of Stars Is Led Commandingly By ROY

But FRIEDKIN Wanted STEVE McQUEEN In The Lead Role,
McQUEEN.The "BULLITT" Star Was Interested But Made
Demands That FRIEDKIN Wouldn't Accept And As A Result
All 3 Stars Aborted The Project.Though FRIEDKIN Sells
SCHEIDER (Not To Mention The Film's Magnificent
Cinematography) A Bit Short,His Open Regret About
Not Meeting McQUEEN's Demands Speaks To The Power Of
Casting - Not Only In Commerical Terms But Also In
Terms Of Meaning And Weight That Certain Stars Bring
To A Movie.
Direct Well Into Your Old Age,Studio Funding Is No Badge Of Honor.

Start @5:46

This Is The Right Way To Put Down A Generalization About
Age And Directing When You're A Continually Working
79-Year-old Filmmaker.
There Are No Heroes.

"One Of My Themes Is That There Are Good And Evil In
Everyone.I Was Not Out To Make These Guys Heroes.I
Really Don't Believe In Heroes.The Best Of People Have
A Dark Side And It's A Constant Struggle For The Better
Side To Survive And To Thrive."

POPEYE DOYLE Is A Belligerent Racist And Alcoholic Who
Thinks Procedure Doesn't Apply To Him.FATHER DAMIEN
KARRAS Is A Priest Who Has Lost His Faith.The Men Of
"SORCERER" Are A Motley Crew Of Assassins And Thieves.
FRIEDKIN Isn't Interested In The "Antihero",But
Exploring That Blurry Area In Which Distinctions Of
Good And Bad No Longer Reside On Convenient dyad.He's
Interested In Empathizing With,Or At Least Exploring
The Lives Of,Pariahs.

Perhaps This Has Something To Do With An Early Life
That Gave Him Nothing For Free.Or Perhaps Has To Do
With The Advice That He Learned From Another
Filmmaker,Which He Included In The Insert Of The

"The Great French Director JEAN RENOIR Was Asked
Why There Were No Villians In His Films.His Answer:
'Everyone Has His Reasons'"
Let Your Worldview Change Your Filmmaking.

"My Films Became More Obsessive,Less Audience-Friendly,
And Would Turn Darker In The Future.They Would Continue
To Portray The American Character As Psychotic,Fearful
And Dangerous"

FRIEDKIN Wrote The Above In His Biography "THE FRIEDKIN
CONNECTION" In Reflecting On SORCERER's Financial
Failure And The Glossy Optimism That Hollywood Began
To Adopt By The Late 1970's.Few Great Directors Of The
1970's Flourished In The 1980's.The Same Is Largely
True From FRIEDKIN,But As Evidenced By His One
Boda-Fide Hit During The Era-TO LIVE AND DIE IN LA-
FRIEDKIN Didn't Let The Era Of Excess Make His
Worldview More Hollywood-Friendly.

TO LIVE AND DIE IN LA Is A Powerfully Pessimistic
Movie During A Time That Demanded The False Comfort
Of Happy Endings.And FRIEDKIN Has Only Delved Into
Darker Territory Since.Have You Seen KILLER JOE?.


Watch COSTA-GAVRAS' "Z" To Learn How To Make Fiction Look Like A Documentary.

Start @2:56
Find Humanity In The Worst In Us.

Start @2:52

In This Excerpt From FRIEDKIN's Fascinating Hour-Long
Interview With FRITZ LANG Conducted In 1975,FRIEDKIN
And LANG Get Into An Almost Contentious Discussion
About How LANG's M Structures An Audience's
Relationship To (And Potential Empathy Towards) A
Child Rapist And Murderer Played By PETER LORRE.This
Moment,We Assume,Reveals More About FRIEDKIN's
Approach To Characterization Than It Does LANG's.

Where LANG Wanted The Audience To Cope With The
Abject Horror Of Such A Crime Against A Face As
Seemingly Innocent As LORRE's (The Irony Being That
This Role Jump-Started A Lifetime Of Creepy Roles
For LORRE),FRIEDKIN Is Persistent That His Casting
And LANG's Stylistic Choices Allow Us To Empathize
With LORRE Despite His Crimes,And To Potentially See
His Despicable Acts As The Result Of A Terrible
Condition And Not An Innate,Malevolent Evil.Where
LANG Wants The Audience's Imagination To Permit
"Collaboration" In Heinous Violence,FRIEDKIN Is
Interested In Disreputable People As Humans,As Well
As The Burdens They Carry And Their Social Treatment.
FRIEDKIN Longs To Empathize Most With Those Who
Supposedly Deserve No Empathy.

DISSOLVE Refers To The Director As A "MAN OF
","Which Is Probably Why He's Made
So Many Movies About People At War With Society And
With Themselves".This Observation Perfectly Encapsulates
FRIEDKIN's Work,From Canonized Achievements Like THE
FRENCH CONNECTION To Forgettable Hollywood Entries Like

FRIEDKIN Has Worked Across So Many Genres,But He Has
Consistently Shown Interest In Outsiders,Weirdos And
Other Persona Non Grata.You Won't Find A Hero In Any
Of FRIEDKIN's Work,But You Will Find A Character That
Allows An Intriguing Angle On The World That Our
Typical Movie Heroes Often Restrict Us From Seeing.

And That Character Was Supposed To Be Played By STEVE

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