December 20, 2019
Through production design, sound, and picture editing, we learn how these filmmakers pulled off the visual feast behind 1917.
[Note: This article does contain mild spoilers.]
There was a moment while filming Sam Mendes’ 1917 where, in the middle of a three-hour horizontal rainstorm, production designer Dennis Gassner (Skyfall, Blade Runner 2049) looked over to the director and asked him what he was thinking.
His reply, “You know, I kind of like this.”
1917 is a World War I film that follows two British soldiers on their journey to save the lives of hundreds of fellow men. The experience for Gassner was very humbling. “The things we all went through and the way we had to do it; we all felt every moment,” he says. But even before they broke ground(literally), four months of prep and rehearsal were needed to detail the film’s visual language – a seamless, “one-shot” connection that follows the action without the appearance of cutting.