Wes Anderson Explains How to Write & Direct Movies | The Director’s Chair


I certainly don’t feel like a
part of any establishment because I do feel kind of like I’ve
got my own style and voice. There’s a rhythm that’s
not quite reality. Old-fashioned movie techniques. It’s hard wiring that I’m not really
able to reconfigure. I don’t mind terribly building
up a collection of films that are linked together, but I would love not
to have someone say, “Well, that’s just like
what you did before.” [Intro Music] [Crowd noise] – Wes is one of those people who’s managed to maintain a
childlike perspective on the world. – Action,Action,Action. – This infinite capacity
for story and play. – Bang, Bang, Bang,
Bang, Bang, Bang. – Wes`s films I think
have this quality of unusual sense of humor, which actually is holding
very serious themes and quite serious
emotions, in fact. Wes`s films have
an unusual blend that no one else can repeat. “- And so it begins.” – The first thing I wanted to do when
I was a kid was to be an architect. And then when I
was in high school, I really wanted to be a writer. [Music] But I did always do little
short plays as a kid and I made Super 8 movies.
– Yeah. – So what I do now combine
some of these things. People always refer
to my movies as quirky and they think the
characters are weird. Almost every character in
any movie I’ve ever made is based on somebody in real life are
based on a combination of real people. [Music] – How much is “Rushmore”
mirror your high school years? – I think it’s a combination of my
high school years and Owen Wilson`s, so, you know,
we wrote it together. [Music] And we filmed in my school. You know,
literally in the same classrooms. These characters put`s
on plays in the movie and those plays are based
on plays I did as a kid. Action! These are pretty
personal movies, like this movie “Rushmore”
is very personal. – What does that mean personal? – Like in high school, one of the central
things is to be cool. And this is a kid
who’s not cool at all, but he has his own ideas
of the way he wants to be, things he wants to
kind of accomplish. And he has this great
enthusiasm for those things and this kind of drive
about it and a resilience. “Just gotta find something you love to do
and then do it for the rest of your life.” You know, all the movies that
I’ve made have been movies that aren’t entirely comedies. Halfway through the
movie, there’s a shift, it turns into something
darker, I guess. [Music] There’s some degree to which whatever is coming
from my imagination is inspired by my background
and my own psychology. Without me controlling
it or choosing to, I’m in the movies. To make a good movie, you need a lot of ideas and you need a lot of material. That’s I think where it can start to
be a bit of a painting, a bit of a theater production. [Music] The sets and the costumes
and all those things, there’s a certain exaggeration
in all that stuff. And they’re almost jokes in
the clothes and the mustaches. I do like clothes
there’s no way tonight. I like costumes for
characters and stories, you know, the costume means
a lot about the character. With “Grand Budapest
Hotel” it has ski chases, it’s got trains and it’s got a huge grant hotel. It’s a big movie. If we did take this script and just hand it over to
somebody who makes movie budgets, they would come
back with something much, much, much,
higher than, you know, an ushootable movie. But I prefer to get
to a point and say, “Okay,
I’ve done something impossible. How are we going to do it?” That’s more fun to me, anyway. [Music] I’ve got a lot of people who have worked with
not just the actors but lots of the people who work in other
capacities on these movies and we’ve figured out lots
of different approaches that work well for
my kind of movie. As this visual stuff that you can
link from one movie to another. [Music] A lot of things that I do
the same way every time but it’s just the way I like it. [Music] – What struck me the most
is just the symmetry. – This comes from Wes and
I’ve been working with him, so I’ve done seven
movies with them, so I kind of know
what to expect. What we do is I have
the camera assistants, take a piece of tape, so we put one on one side of one matte
box, and the other on the other side and we always just run to
the corners of the room to make sure the camera is
right in the dead center. Because I know that
when Wes walks in the first thing he’s
going to say to me, “Are we square to the wall there?”
and I`ll say, “Yes,we are.” So we kind of do that by habit. You know, what’s great for me is that he so concerned
about the frame and so if people are
hitting their marks, he will be the one to say, “Excuse me. Could you be two
inches that way, you know.” – Do that for a moment but
not leaning back so much. Yeah, that’s it. We’re doing swish pans where we you know start
center on the door we go over to the — everything’s
got to be very symmetrical. [Music] “- That’s all for now.” – I feel always feel like any
character from any one of my movies could walk into another
one of the movies and be at home there. – Do you ever want
to do something that is dramatically different
from anything you’ve ever done? – Yeah, I do. [Music] We started the movie by saying, we have this Roald Dahl
book we’re going to do. [Music] I read the book when
I was very young. I loved the digging. I love that, they were spending all
this time underground. “- But I guess we have– – I`m sorry. Maybe my
invitation got lost in the mail. Does anybody know what this
badgers talking about?” [Music] “Moonrise Kingdom” is
really based on a fantasy, a sort of dream I had
as a child of a romance that didn’t actually happen. “- Dear Sam. My answer is yes. Dear Susie – When? Dear Sam – Where?” – That’s really the
inspiration for the movie. “I love you, too.” To make a movie,
it’s got a hold a lot of feeling and you’ve got to
build up something and you’ve got to kind of
research and gather ideas. [Music] Our first inspiration, really, was Japanese cinema. Kurosawa and Miyazaki. Those are the ones who
were really inspiring us. But the other two are the woodblock prints
makers: Hiroshige and Hokusai. We were steeping
ourselves in their work and putting the
pictures of the walls. We wanted for the movie to be
as Japanese in our foreign way, as we could make it I guess. If I feel like I have an idea what
the best thing is for the story, I just want to follow that. And most of my life is
spent making these movies, I mean,
this is a main thing I do. I mean,
it’s really the only thing I do. – You have no life
outside of movies, – Not a lot. The thing that got me my first
chance to make a feature film was Owen Wilson and I, we went to school together. We had a few thousand dollars
that we borrowed from our fathers and we made a short film. “Just be practical, Anthony. When we do a job,we do to the
best of our abilities, right? We’re trying to do it
like professionals. `Cause that’s what we are–” – Wes and I were movie fanatics and just wanted to begin
working on something together. To coffee shop and come over
as a nice place to work. – There was a real
sense of melancholy to wear as we got
towards the end. And I thought, “Well, you know, this will be
the only movie ever get to make and I really love movies and, you know, least got to make
one with my brothers and Wes.” – We’ve managed to get
that in the right hands. And that was how I got the
chance to make a feature film. [Music] “- Good intensity. – High.” We’ve been able to do
this the way we wanted to. You know, with the cast that
we wanted of our friends and the story that
we wanted to tell. We’ve been able to do it
on a big enough scale, but without having
to really compromise. – How are you feeling
after these years or so that there is a theme or a sense of what a
Wes Anderson movie is? There`s that an
outside perception. – It’s probably better for me if
it stays in outside perception because the more I think about
it the more confused I get. I, you know,
I have the choice of saying, here are things
that people can say, “That’s like what
you’ve done before.” And I can actively,
aggressively avoid them and steer away from
them or I can say, “What do I want to do?” How what would I like it to be?” And accept that there’s might be some
very clear threads and things that are going to connect
my movies together. I have tended to say, I think I
would rather just do what I love.

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100 thoughts on “Wes Anderson Explains How to Write & Direct Movies | The Director’s Chair

  1. You can easily spot a Wes Anderson movie. Saturated colors, symmetrical shots, extravagant set design, and so much more. What's your single favorite thing about Wes Anderson films?

  2. Wes Anderson, The Coen Brothers, Todd Solondz, Wilt Stillman, and Noah Baumbach are my favorite living film makers. I privately refer to them as the sons of W.A. None of my friends and family like their films (excepting my daughter, whose tastes are largely mine.) Whenever I ask someone if they want to catch a movie that I'm interested in seeing, they inevitably reply with something to the effect of, "is this another movie full of those talking-ass-white-people?"

  3. We need to pass a law that makes it so you need to write a disclaimer before a picture of a child playing like he is dead. I almost started crying.

  4. So here are some links to the interviews used in this video, some of which are heavily edited by the way (shame on you studiobinder) :

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sc-Jn5G4s08

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6rH11uvGro

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OuK–xC4M0

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5E6i53flbdg

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7MXUKSlOoQ (at 20:42 you'll notice how the initial "I've got my own systems in place" here becomes "I've got my own style and voice" at 0:14…)

  5. Great take on his films. I didn't know of the other films. I really like when a director has this sense of self and similar style in movies as long as the movie works stand alone.

  6. Wes Andersons films feel so light and easy to digest from emotional side. I feel like having this kind of calm state in me created by the whole production eventho the story is changing or climaxing or maybe smth bad happened, idk to describe it properly into words. Those symmetrical shots and colors ease the audiences while the plot is either bright or dark.

  7. I love his movies but am always a little angry when the credits role ….. because I think he fucks up the endings almost everytime. I think his movies are great but could easily be masterpieces if the endings weren't made to please "everyone".

  8. The films are full of love.Love for humans, love for colors, shapes, speach. Love for even the smallest detail.Makes you wish to live in a world like that.

  9. I don't know if this would apply to everyone, haha…the title should be "Wes Anderson explains how he writes and directs movies"…

  10. wes Andersons color scheme made me the biggest fan of him. Darjeeling limited is my favorite. Where are we…? We haven't located as yet!!!! 😍

  11. Dear Mr Anderson, when you make your first medieval movie, PLEASE ask me to make the armour. I guarantee my OCD is greater than yours… I agree, It is ALL about the detail, or what would be the point? Best wishes to you.. from me a movie-armourer and a fan, all the mice in the workshop, and Casper the cat. 😎😸

  12. Wes is without a speck of doubt, one of the best directors working today. We are lucky to have him. His films never stop amusing me. Royal tenenbaums, grand budapest or rushmore. They are all so beautiful. Visually ensorcelling and the characters are so likeable as well.

  13. My request to all film nerds and lovers here. Let's join a whatsapp group where we can discuss and converse all about movies. There aren't any people in my near surroundings to whom I can talk a lot about the movies from an enthusiastic point of view. Would some of you be interested in having a bit of chat about movies?

  14. Every time I think about Fantastic Mr. Fox it gives me chills. For years now. Now I feel a bit sorry because this video said that it is the least Anderson-esque movie. He probably prefers when you have another movie as the favorite. All his movies are good but that one…

  15. this is one of my favorite film essays about my favorite director, i love it so much! his style is so pleasingly aesthetic and the storytelling of his movies are outstanding. i can't wait to see his next upcoming film "the french dispatch".

  16. Wow. I was about to list it in the watch later playlist but it was so good that I kept going till the end.Smooth as silk

  17. Wes Anderson is like really a genious of our time. Every time i see a movie he made it feels like art. Other movies sometimes have those beautifull moments makes them remembered, but Wes's movies are like this from start till the end. Every act is composed perfectly, everything have a meaning. If the scene is at a hotel, it's not just a regular hotel they found. He pours ideas and visuals into that place. I loved two or three Wes movies beofre i even knew they are all made by him. He have the style most modern movies are lack of sadly…

  18. Man, I wish this video came out a year ago… I wrote my Extended Essay for IB (basically a thesis research paper) about his use of color as symbolism and to set tone/characterization.

  19. As someone who is working on my first short film, videos with directors, are really inspiring and helpful. I watched the one with Martin Scorsese right before watching this one, and I really got a lot out of the both of them. What I like about Wes Anderson films is that besides being very original they are very playful in a sense. He creates a whole new world filled with rich and interesting characters you've probably never seen before. What more could you ask for from a film maker?

  20. This short made literally cry. So many good people, sharing their dreams and visions and have the power and strength to keep on doing it. I'm so thankful for all the great filmmakers, that keep me inspiring, even when i'm not a filmmaker. Thank you sooooo much!

  21. would be nice to see great movies made by poor people – getting tired of seeing stories and characters reflecting an upper middle class lens

  22. I love the idea of the video by the title, but it's just a collection of OTHER interviews. You're abusing YouTube for views on your unoriginal content.

  23. I hope he does not change his style, for me watching one of his movies feels like coming home after a really long time.

  24. Isle of Dogs is amazing. moonrise kingdom is fantaastic, The Grand Budapest Hotel is masterwork. Mr. Anderson, take a bow, I love your works 🙂

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