HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 22: Director Clint Eastwood attends the 87th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 22, 2015 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Movies - TV
Actors Rarely Get Second Chances On Clint Eastwood's Sets
As a director, Clint Eastwood likes to run his sets like a well-oiled and efficient machine, and this includes working with the same crew on most of his films, having a 9-to-5 filming schedule, and using the first takes of his actors’ performances. Actors rarely get a chance for a do-over, and Jeff Daniels and Matt Damon have shared their experiences in filming this way.
Jeff Daniels explained, “You get one take, and you move on. You're just like, 'Really?' And he goes, 'Oh, we're good.' And by the time you ran that little two-line exchange, the camera's already being moved and lights are being taken down. Lunch is being served." Matt Damon shared how he once begged for a second take, and Eastwood asked him, "Why, so you can waste everybody's time?"
While it may seem like Eastwood wants to rush filming, he insists that is not the case and that there is an artistic reason behind his method. He explained in an interview with Esquire, “I like to see the person the first time the situation ever crosses their brain [...] and the first time the words come out of their mouths. I've seen great actors do amazing things on the first take."
Eastwood also feels that it’s a way to make everyone on the set feel like they’re progressing towards a goal. He stated, “I want to get the feeling that we're moving. You have to keep the crew and the production going at a business-like pace so they get the feeling they are part of something that's actually moving forward.”