The scene: Ryan Gosling's press secretary stands backstage, lost in thought following a confrontation with his boss. Cinematographer: Phedon Papamichael Birth of the shot: "The morning of rehearsal, George [Clooney] was working with Ryan and Phillip [Seymour Hoffman], and we just parked the camera wide in the corner. We saw it and realized we had a great opportunity to do a reverse-'Patton' shot. I called George over, and he didn't need much convincing." Making it work: "Me doing something to it would have just ruined it. On the other side [of the flag], the stage side, we're lighting the speaker. The flag is all backlit. That's why Ryan's silhouetted against it. I didn't really light him at all. I just wanted to maintain that mood we found in rehearsal. Sometimes you just know it's right and you'll screw it up if you manipulate it too much." Shot significance: "You have two sides of the coin — the spectacle with George up front, the façade, what he's publicly presenting and then back on the other side, the negative side, you have him crumbling."
Saeed Adyani / Columbia Pictures
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