“500 DAYS OF SUMMER” director, Marc Webb
[PREMIERE SCREENING: Saturday, Jan. 17, 6:15 pm — Eccles Theatre, Park City]
I think “story” is the same as it has always been. Maybe the delivery devices change, maybe the venues evolve, maybe the audiences can absorb information faster and maybe they’re more sophisticated in their demands. But the basic craft and fundamentals of story remain unchanged.
We certainly didn’t adjust the concept of the film for YouTube, or any small screen for that matter. Maybe on some subconscious level, the short episodic nature of “the days” grew from watching too many YouTube video bursts. But I can’t say for sure. If anything, after making videos for several years all of which ARE designed for small formats — I was excited to make something for the cinema. Widescreen. Shot on film. Very few close-ups.
In the case of 500 Days of Summer, the forces affecting cinema were more about production logistics. Communication is faster. Software is cheaper. Reference materials are easier to find and distribute. Basically you can do more with less.
Example: My editor, Alan Bell, doubled (we bamboozled him) as our effects supervisor. After his day in front of his Final Cut system, he went home and worked on countless morphs, split screens, face replacements and speed changes (bless his soul), NONE of which you will notice. All of these FX were at the service of making the story flow faster and smoother, refining or combining takes. It’s a whole layer of postproduction that would have been impossible for smaller films just a few years ago. And in a very real way it’s now an extension of the editing process.