Saturday, July 29, 2006

Writing The Life Aquatic

I’m always interested in people’s awareness of their own writing processes, particularly their attention to the tools they use and collaborative writing processes. This exchange on the subject comes from The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou DVD commentary by writers Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach. Anderson and Baumbach are recording the commentary in a restaurant where they’d meet and write together for several hours a day over the course of a few months. They reach a scene in which underwater explorer Zissou (Bill Murray) is reading from journalist Jane’s (Cate Blanchett) notebooks…

NB: And Bill’s reading one of your actual notebooks, it looks like.

WA: Yes, Jane’s notebooks are modeled on the notebooks these movies are written in. So The Life Aquatic is originally – while we would sit here talking, I would write everything down in longhand in notebooks like this and I’d take it home and type it up and then I’d bring in the pages the next day and we’d write more in the notebook and more on the pages – anyways, that’s what the notebook…

NB: Yeah, and it’s worth probably noting that the way we write these things are not – we don’t both do separate scenes and then bring them in together and try and edit them or anything. We actually come up with everything together in the room. I mean, stuff is done later, in rewriting or when you’re directing and stuff, but it is a…

WA: Yeah, we’d make the story sitting here together.

NB: Yeah in those- in Jane’s notebooks.

WA: Yeah, in Jane’s notebooks.

I love Anderson’s films and adore that the actual notebooks made their way into the film itself.

2 comments:

RW said...

Love the Wes Anderson films! Life Aquatic is so unlike regular movies...I loved it. Wish I understood Portuguese so I could follow the singing.

Shaun said...

That Portuguese is actually Seu Jorge's adaptations of David Bowie songs. (more)