What's a filmmaker to do when his climactic final scene just isn't working? For
At the Envelope Directors Round Table, Greengrass and fellow filmmakers
"The last scene of my movie came because we were shooting a different scene on the ship that didn't work," Greengrass recalled. "We actually spent most of the day shooting it, which was some hours after [
Greengrass continued: "We spent most of the day shooting that and it was fine, but you know when you know it's just not it. And the clock ticks on, and we had a hard out -- we had to be off that ship at 7, I think. So it was about half past 5, we were talking to the captain [of the rescue ship, who consulted on the film], and we said, 'Well, where else?' And he said, 'Well, when [the captain] first came on, he would have gone to the infirmary,' which is down the other side of the ship. And I said, 'Well, can we go down there and just try something there?' It's kind of like a last throw of the dice, really. And he said, 'Yeah, sure. There'll be a medic on duty, you can use her.'"
At that moment, the director said, "Blind panic sets in, which actually is a very good place from which to make films, in my experience, because nobody knows what they're doing, least of all me -- but what happens is you stop thinking about it and you start being entirely instinctive.'"
Although the first take was "just a disaster," Greengrass said, "you could tell just in that moment there was something in that room that was real -- and we'd been looking for it upstairs in a different room, six hours later in screen time, and it wasn't real. But it was real here."
He added, "It was just a lucky, lucky moment. But so much of filmmaking -- you can try and stack the odds for you, but a lot of it is luck. The luck of the moment."
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