When we step through the cinema, we step into another world– maybe one filled with explosions, maybe a jaunt back through the enchanted halls of history. When a particular movie strikes our fancy, we generally wonder what it takes for them to cross the finish line and achieve cinema glory. We’re also itching for tidbits of the personal lives of the men behind the curtains, and what makes them tick. After all, half the fun of movie magic is learning about all the crazy components that go into making your favorite films sparkle.
These talented directors have been known for more than just their fantastic films, their behind-the-scenes methods have made for some of the most celebrated– or gawked at– films in recent history.
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The sadistic horror genius was said to become “fixated” on his leading ladies, attempting to control every aspect of their lives. He even refused to allow “The Birds” star Tippi Hedren to fly to New York and accept an award. He was also known to torture his actors on set, blasting Janet Leigh with freezing water for an authentic scream in “Psycho,” and repeatedly had live birds torment the perturbed Ms. Hedren. Interestingly, despite Hitchcock’s odd sexual obsessions with his blonde leading ladies, he lived almost his entire life celibate and impotent. However demented his mind might have been, his devotion to perfection and the macabre paved the way for how we view horror today.
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Michael Bay’s fanfare is a mixed bag of sorts. Some of us out there love him for his grandiose visions, some don’t understand his technical prowess and almost allegorical plot devices, but most of us have heard a thing or two about his dedication to achieving greatness behind the scenes. In the 90s, Bay’s style exploded on the scene like nothing moviegoers had seen before, and although he’s had some very public spats with some of his actors, he does make a good point in his response to Hugo Weaving griping about his voice-over part in Transformers:
“I have a wonderful idea for all those whiners: They can give their ‘unhappy job money’ to a wonderful Elephant Rescue. It’s the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Africa. I will match the funds they donate.”
Bay never set out to make the next “Good Will Hunting,” but he is the master at giving us the most technically advanced bang for our buck.
Mr. Tarantino has broken boundaries with a specific type of gore. His creativity and visions have captured our darkest dreams and harnessed our imaginations. Tarantino has a few of his own wild habits though, including his legendary foot fetish, as noted by many of his leading ladies and evident in his films. Tarantino is also known to be quite the perfectionist with each of his grand visions, as “Inglorious Bastards” actor Eli Roth quips:
“Quentin – he’s so careful about everything he does…. For ‘Kill Bill,’ he spent a year and a half writing one fight scene! And with ‘Inglorious Bastards,’ he had written it over the course of eight years. He thinks about every character, and he thinks about every detail in the universe – there are very few directors that do that.”
No matter what genre or style of film activates your emotions most powerfully, you have the foibles of the man behind the curtain to thank.
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