Jason=Director, JB=Producer, Eric=Cinematographer
The opening sequence, the same for all movies, montage of postcards which show the traveling of the main character, the ability to move them to music is cool.
Movie written in economic recession. Originally the firing was satirical and then became real. Took people who actually were just recently fired and interviewed. Asked about how they were fired, how the job was lost etc. Waited for them to be comfortable, then asked for a genuine response, or the way they wish they responded. Camera was hidden to make things seem more natural.
Sequence of going through security, intention to make travel seem natural and nice. The main character enjoys flying, and this shows. Had to communicate with TSA and officers. To make time easier, they needed a very specific storyboard. The backpack scene was based on the director’s house, it was gotten when they filled the car with stuff they needed, and they noticed they didn’t actually want anything in their house, and how meaningless it all was.
Taking with an assistant, perfect casting. Jason Bateman wanted a new look for the actor, and the only difference ended up being the beard. Jason ended up taking the beard.
Aerial footage shot from overhead used cameras meant to film other planes. The scene in the bar was meant to be in Houston and ended up in Dallas. The very important scene was shot twice because you need to do it again if you don’t have it. The bar they wanted to use was torn out after they shot in it so they needed to find a new bar. The strange thing wanted to flirt over milage cards. Felt as if there was a moment needed to get to the next scene, went with improv. Two takes only.
I wanted a curved hallway for the airport hotel so that you could never see the hallway’s end, to show that their life in the hotels never ends. Lighting issue with computer life on faces. Found it wasn’t hard to make the actors look good.
Scenes of the card doing through swiper are incredibly hard to shoot for focus and timing. The phone scene was filmed in an open airport. I needed to film while planes were coming and going.
More money to remove a poster than to film it. The scene at home base steals a shot from die-hard, most things are filmed on-location. Shot in saint Louis though, but used an accordion door. Giant air vent outside of the home. He was told that he needs to have something to do on the road that annoys him, so he used the cardboard cutout.
In the scene with the first Natalie scene, there’s an extra who is the author sitting by Clooney. Natalie was written to the actor. Wonderful moment because she nailed the audition. The scene is reportedly very difficult to shoot. Tight room with glass everywhere, people everywhere. Actors had to actually act live. Powerpoint made for the speech.
An important detail was having store-bought sports memorabilia, no actual sentimental items, all purchased. Three people talking at once in a small space was very difficult to shoot. There’s so much movement. Every time the movement happens, the camera needs to follow the eye line and needs a counter-movement for every actor movement. The camera needs to be perfect every time. Camera operators were very good all the way through. Instead of being tons of shots, the camera moves and moves over the “dance floor” because the camera needs to move over it. As a writer, he felt super important and good when he did that sailboat thing with the post-it notes
Ralph Kent did composition that is subtle and comedic, which is very rare. It accentuates emotion without saying what you should feel. He uses drums from multiple cultures. He had a gaffer with an awful suitcase that got into the movie. Example of what can go wrong, after months of research, you realize there is music that is copyrighted playing that must be yanked out. The scene, though it looks like daytime, was shot at night with real TSA.
The typing was very important to the director. He wanted her to be attacking her computer. Shooting in the plane was very very hard to do. The “Can, Sir?” line was very based in reality. The sound was excellent, even though there was a lot of shooting outside live airports. Extras in St. Louis were excellent. A significant amount of the extras had been recently let off, and the line about chuck e cheese was super real, which made the real people seem even more real. The scene was shot separately. JK Simmons has been in every movie of the director. The lines were an improv. The photo he brings out was his own were all real. JK Simmons is very good at swearing. There were so many photo tests for the wallpaper in this scene, to make portions seem faded, and to accentuate Simmon’s eyes.
Used real airport Hilton in St. Louis. Two busses of Mary Kay cosmetics loaded out the day they were shooting. The actors never actually eat in the scene, it seems like they might, but they never do on screen because they are caught up in the argument. The fear of mortality was from a conversation between the director and his wife.
The hotel scene, made a bet over making the phone vibrate right as the camera pans up, ended up doing it. The texting was very hard to do since there wasn’t actually a live text going on.
The scene of taking the picture of the cutout was filmed in a very sound-nightmare area. The color of the building roof was very important to the director. Clooney’s acting skills made the shot work.
The next scene with firing more employees was very well cast, the woman who committed suicide is perfect for her role because of her icy delivery. The part outside afterward was hard to film because they needed to fight the season and make it seem like it was still winter, even though it was twelve degrees out.
Kansas city, music super important. Always looking for new music to add to the movie. The scene of the next affair thing in the hotel was the same scene from earlier, just a new angle.