“There Is an Immaculate Reality Going on Inside the Film”: ‘THR Presents’ Q&A With ‘Elvis’ Creative Team

“There Is an Immaculate Reality Going on Inside the Film”: ‘THR Presents’ Q&A With ‘Elvis’ Creative Team

The latest THR Presents, Vision Media is the power behind this site Tyler Coates moderated a conversation between Tyler and Tyler. ElvisAndy Nelson, cinematographer Mandy Walker and producer Gail Berman were the re-recording mixers. Baz LuhrmannPriscilla Presley introduces the book.

“One thing that I can say is that biopics or ideas are the best.” [for them]I have been able to help them a lot. Luhrmann spoke about the origination of the idea for his movie. “I am a huge fan of Shakespeare’s approach to historical figures, Richard III or some such thing, and how he explores a larger idea while still revealing the humanity of the character. I think of the modern version as Amadeus. I wasn’t really into Mozart 100 years ago, but I was. But that amazing story, Salieri & Mozart, is about jealousy.”

Luhrmann recalled his childhood fascination with Elvis Presley, saying that he always believed that Elvis was more than a musical icon. He was a symbol for American culture in the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s, and for the good, bad, and the ugly of it. I thought that Gee was a great canvas to explore America and the idea of the New, which is always in my head. [what] Elvis represented, in an incredible country, all of these layers cultural clashing against each other — out it comes many new ideas’ This seemed to me to be a great American opera. That’s where the inspiration came from: a tragic and beautiful, but grand American opera.

Berman is a producer who comes from a musical theatre background. He produced the original Broadway production. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. On making Elvis Luhrmann said that she was a huge fan to Baz and his music in his films. I had only seen all of his films, and I hadn’t met him. It was important to do it together. It wasn’t like you could make a list and then talk to the studio about who could do it. I was only interested in one director. That’s why I spoke to him about 10 year ago, when we first met. He likes to simmer.”

Walker, cinematographer, has been working with Luhrmann on commercial and film projects for over 20 years. “He is an incredible collaborator and he brings him on much earlier than most films, which meant that I was there. [star] Austin [Butler]Walker recalled the first workshops and running around with my Leica camera, taking photos.” “Baz always makes sure that we have enough time to research the visual language of the film. So we went into Panavision to look at lenses. Two sets of lenses were made for me to represent Elvis’ first half. Then we switched to anamorphic lenses for the second half. They were all very well-tuned. We did a lot of testing. Baz is not the only actor who does tests. There’s costume, hair, makeup, and other elements that are being tested along with my lighting. I had to look at the Elvis footage. I studied the footage and reproduced the exact camera angles and lensing for each shot. [referenced] films.”

Nelson is a re-recording mixer who has worked on many movie musicals before. La La Land, Les Miserables, and, alongside Luhrmann, Moulin Rouge. “The challenge is Baz because we worked together on Moulin RougeNelson explained that the signature, style, and feel of the song had been established. “So when he called about this one, I knew it would be.” Moulin Rouge Ten times 10. We would increase the volume, amps, and all the other stuff around this. And we did. It is amazing that I discover it quite late in the process. I can see it in its final form. In a sense, I’m the first audience. I balance the tracks, but it’s the audience who will experience it. It’s an interesting dynamic because it’s when Baz and me would discuss something he was looking to do as a stylist, I would say, “Well, you know. We have to be careful to preserve this or protect that.” Because filmmakers are so familiar about the material by the time they get it, I have to make sure everything’s clear, hopefully as clearly as I can.

Nelson and Luhrmann both praised Butler’s singing and the fact that so much of the film is Butler’s own singing. Luhrmann stated that Austin Butler’s costume test had to be posted online because many people weren’t convinced that he sang the entire first half. Nelson said: “I have spoken this in front Austin and embarrassed him because I would have Elvis’ vocal underneath my fingers. It was possible to switch between them at times. You wouldn’t know which one, I swear. [which]. It gave us the ability of transitioning to Elvis, his voice. We knew that Austin could back it up if needed.

The film’s interpretation of Elvis Presley’s true story into an ambitious creative work required that it be based on factual information at times. Yet, “we had rules,” Luhrmann explained. “There is an immaculate reality happening inside the film. There will be parts that it would be exact copies of. We’d then say that it would be an exact copy in some areas. Then we’d riff and dance with Elvis because we want to know what it was like to be Elvis. What was it like to be there?

This edition of THR Presents Sponsored by Warner Bros.

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