Monday, January 18, 2010

Fellini on improvisation

From I, Fellini, an as-told-to autobiography assembled by Charlotte Chandler:

I find "improvisation," a word used frequently in connection with my films, an offensive term. Some people say I improvise and mean it as a criticism. Others mean it as a compliment. It's true that I am not rigid. I am open to possibilities. I admit I change quite a lot, and I must be free to do this. But I prepare everything, even more than is necessary, because that gives me the freedom to be flexible. I have removed the pressure because I am prepared, in case the adrenaline doesn't flow. In case there is no sudden inspiration, then there is preparation. But the juices always flow -- thus far.

My films are not made like Swiss watches. I could not work with that kind of precision. They are not like Hitchcock's scripts.

Hitchcock could work with so precise a script; not only every word, but every gesture was preplanned. He saw the film in his head before he made it. I see the film in my head after I have completed it. I know he worked from drawings, as I do, but he used his drawings in a totally different way than I do. He used them like architecture drawings. Mine are for creating and exploring character, so the story can come from character. I see many movies in my head, but the final one is different from all of them.

[photo credit: They-Speak A Different-Language]


d0nnatr0y said...

"In case there is no sudden inspiration, then there is preparation."

This needs to become my new mantra.

Andrew Durkin... said...

It's really a matter of being prepared for every contingency, isn't it!