Movies - TV
Why Clint Eastwood Always Tries To Use The First Take As A Director
WITNEY SEIBOLD
Stanley Kubrick had actors repeatedly do the same shots multiple times, but Clint Eastwood, the 92-year-old filmmaker and one of Hollywood’s most notable powerhouses, favors the opposite approach. Preferring conversations to sound spontaneous just as they would in real life, Eastwood strives for only one take per scene, if possible.
Eastwood explained his process by stating, “Everyone directs movies differently, but the way I get [my shot] is just by doing it. Certain scenes I’ll rehearse if there are technical difficulties of lighting and camera.” The filmmaker added, “Fortunately I have a camera crew that’s very well oiled, so they pretty much know where I’m headed, without much explanation.”
However, Eastwood has stressed the importance of actors getting on board quickly as each likely has a different style, with some preferring Eastwood’s spontaneity more than others. Eastwood shared, “The objective is to make everything sound like the first time it’s said, so the only thing I can do is try to pick it up the very first time it is said. So a lot of times I’ll do it that way.”
Eastwood isn’t above doing multiple takes if the scene requires a little more direction. The filmmaker explained, “Sometimes the rhythm or the timing isn’t right, so you say let’s do it again with a little more tempo, or let’s not make a moment out of something that shouldn’t be a moment, or let’s make a moment out of something that should be a moment.”