Q&A With Josh Radnor '96
Josh Radnor spoke with the Collegian about working with Lizzie Olsen, how Allison Janney is like a S
Published: Thursday, September 1, 2011
Updated: Thursday, November 15, 2012 01:11
How would you describe your style as a director?
From a larger perspective, for me it's important that everyone has a very positive, special experience in the making of my movie because, why make movies if you're not going to have a great, transformative time? I don't think that you have to suffer through a horrible experience to get something great on screen. In fact, it works for me in the reverse — I feel like if everyone is encouraged to do their best work and feel safe then that's going to show up on the screen. I'm the opposite of a dictator on set.
I think for the actors it's a different experience to be directed by your scene partner. Allison started laughing during our first day, she was so thrown by the fact that the guy she was in the scene with would stop and start directing her. It's very efficient because we shoot these movies so fast.
But I think on certain days it can be a little frustrating for people who maybe aren't used to working [with someone so technical]. Sometimes before we move on I just need some technical beat to be hit. I feel like I've been able to develop this thing where I can be both in the scene and be watching the scene at the same time when the other person is [acting]. In some ways I'm fully in it, but I'm also thinking about the editing room so I've got a lot of different balls in the air when I'm doing this. Sometimes I'm more successful at it than others.
If I've done one thing right in both these movies it's that I've just surrounded myself with the right people in terms of cast and crew. I've worked with the same cinematographer, the same production designer and the same editor on both my movies and it's really great to be able to speak shorthand and they know now what to tell me or not to tell me so it all works out nicely.
Do you have any good Kenyon stories?
I don't know. None come to mind and some are so insidery and weird and depend on you knowing like eight nicknames and four inside jokes and it would be impossible to explain and it certainly wouldn't translate in print. But, my 15-year reunion was while we were prepping the film, which was strange because we had a whole work week and then at the end of the week all my old classmates started coming back on campus. It was amazing to see everyone, but I was just happy that I was there. I was so happy that I got to spend a few months in Gambier.
I have to say that all these people who had never heard of Kenyon College who were on my crew left wearing Kenyon sweatshirts and intending to send their kids their one day. The College continues to work its magic on people.