Brookyn Director Discusses Key Collaborations in Filming Tight-Budget
"There was always a lack of money, but never a lack of spirit."
Set in the '50s, Brooklyn proved a challenging job in recapturing the period style while filming on a tight budget. Speaking with Variety, Director John Crowley discussed his key collaborators.
Yves Belanger provided cinematography on the film. Belanger's previous work was for Dallas Buyers Club, which Crowley was drawn to. "... he seemed to have an intuitive feel for actors' faces. That's what we really needed in this film.
"Photographing a small town in Ireland is tricky; it can easily turn into picture-postcard pretty. I wanted to create an emotional connection between Eilis and the audience... [the look of the film is] the contained-focus naturalism that's European and contemporary, with something classical and American."
Production designer Francois Seguin told Crowley at first that re-creating Brookyn in Montreal was "impossible". "I thought, "you're the guy for us, this is great!"" Crowley said. "I kept coming back to emotions, rather than elegant frames. You want to feel like there wasn't a lot going on economically in that town, without it being depressing."
Composer Michael Brook had been inspired somewhat by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis' work for The Road. "Michael does not think in cliches. He listened to the temp score, understood what we wanted and threw it away. Which I loved."
His praise for his casting director is in no small way due to the fact that she is Crowley's wife. "Eilis had two key relationships [in the film] and if we'd gotten one of these guys wrong, you wouldn't have a film... Fiona was key to the process and did a great job."
Brooklyn has been met with strong critical reception since its US release in November.