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Matt Damon

Matt Damon: “These types of movies are going away”

December 11, 2019

Mr. Damon, how do you define success?

It’s the work. It’s the process itself. I have done enough movies now — movies that have failed, movies that have been successful. All we have as the people making it is the love of the doing of it. I am aware of the results because I have to be; it has an impact on my career so I can’t be ignorant of the movies that I am doing. But it’s really about feeling that I did my best work, the best work I could do under the circumstances, feeling that we told the story we wanted to tell in the way we wanted to tell it. That’s really the definition of success.

So for you it’s about the journey?

The journey is everything! It’s a cliché, but I have really felt it in my own life, in the 25 or 30 years I’ve been in this… The goal is the process, really enjoying the process. You can’t really predict what is going to happen with movies… I have made movies that I thought were really going to be well received and successful, and they failed miserably. And I have made movies that were very successful that I didn’t see coming.

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Last week’s Interview
Wally Pfister

Wally Pfister: “I had to shift to storytelling”

December 4, 2019
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Mr. Pfister, in your opinion as an Oscar winning cinematographer, what makes for an iconic film scene?

It's marriage of all the elements: something that works photographically, that tells a story perfectly, that has lighting elements that contribute to the story, the color palette, the metaphorical imagery, the musical cues… If you look back at what we call the iconic images in the Batman movies that I made — one which is a silhouette of Batman standing on top of a building in Gotham city with our helicopter circling around in him at dawn, for instance, or another where he is standing on top of a pile of rubble in a burning building — what's interesting is there’s really very little performance in those scenes, but they are iconic images, and all the information, and mood is within the frame.

So it’s really a collaborative effort between every player in the film’s making, more than just a visual impact.

Right, it’s a great collaboration of all these forces: Chris Nolan, in his storytelling best, finding these moments of reflection. It's the performer, in this case Christian Bale, having that moment of reflection, and it's myself and unseen collaborators creating the mood with the images and the music. So those iconic shots that we did, I can't speak for anybody else, but they all fit together in a perfect way, and they come in a perfect place in the narrative, where you need that moment of reflection, amidst all the action.