Damien Chazelle, his actors and his crew came under special pressure while filming a scene from “La La Land” set in the hills overlooking Hollywood.
La La Land marked 2017 by becoming a successful musical also hailed with 6 Oscars: Best Actress, Best Director, Best Photo, Best Music, Best Original Song and Best Set and Artistic Direction. But to achieve this result, it took a lot of work.
First of all, let’s remember the history of La La Land: an actress in the making (Emma Stone) serves coffee between two auditions. A jazz enthusiast (Ryan Gosling) plays the piano in seedy clubs. Fate will bring them together, but will their love at first sight resist temptations, disappointments, and the hectic life of Hollywood?
And on this day of the year 2015, the director of La La Land, Damien Chazelle, is tense. He has to shoot a choreography between Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in real settings, on the Hollywood hills, during a real sunset. But this presents a number of difficulties.
First, the sunset only lasts about 30 minutes a day, and the team only has two days ahead of them to can the scene. To add to the challenge, the passage must be filmed in a sequence shot, without cutting or editing to catch up with the slightest misstep. Stone and Gosling have worked a lot up front, and come the days of shooting, that is to say 1 hour in all to film several times this moment which lasts 5 minutes in the film.
Usually, we talk about a day of shooting to keep barely a few minutes usable in the final version of a feature film. Here, with a frantic pace, the actors manage to complete five takes of 5 minutes in 1 hour of actual shooting!
But how ? In fact, after each take, Gosling and Stone go back to makeup and the props make sure that we don’t see any traces of their perspiration, then we repeat the sequence. Of the five canned takes, this is the fourth that we now see in the finished film.
An exploit therefore, which rewards the work of technicians as well as that of actors. Recall that Ryan Gosling worked a lot (and perfected his piano) for four months for the role. As for Emma Stone, she was leaving less far since she had already played the musical Cabaret on Broadway and has been dancing since her early childhood, but she still had to spend 2 months rehearsing the choreography.
A film with a lot of work … but despite everything some false connections: