You already know he won at last night’s Golden Globes. From the outside looking in, Ang’s process seems quite different than a lot of other working directors. For one thing, he seems to surround himself with entirely new production crews on each film depending on the project. While Hollywood is known for this great model of creating entirely new teams on every film, the reality is that much of the time, the core crews remain the same. Take Spielberg who’s collaborated with Composer John Williams for over 30 years now. And Martin Scorsese with his Editor Thelma Schoonmaker (she’s introducing a screening of Kundun at the Museum of the Moving Image on Jan 21). The list can go on and on Carter Burwell with The Coen Brothers and Spike Jonze. Actors and Directors often pair up for multiple films with the classic team of Scorsese and DeNiro, Akira Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune, and Woody Allen and whomever he has an infatuation with at the moment.
Lee does have a solid partner in writer/producer James Schamus whom he met back in 1985 while still at NYU Film School after he had just won a grant from the Taiwan government to produce Pushing Hands.
“I didn’t want to make a flop. Anyway, I took the money and I was looking for a line producer, and through a friend of mine I knew Ted. And then there was Ted and James at the new-found Good Machine. They shared two tables with another company, I think. So I did my pitch. And they did their pitch. They told me that they were the kings of no-budget film-making in New York. James looked like a used-car salesman and a professor. . . And they said, ‘Pay attention. We said ‘no-budget’ not ‘low-budget’. Your money, about $400,000. . .” Guardian UK Nov 2000)
Anyway since those days, he’s collaborated with a variety of people. From a Composer standpoint, he’s used Mychael Danna 3 or 4 times, Patrick Doyle for “Sense and Sensibility”, Danny Elfman for “the Hulk”, Tan Dun for “Crouching Tiger…” and now Gustavo Santaolalla for “Brokeback Mountain.”
I wonder if this introduction came from his DP on this Rodrigo Prieto who also worked with Santaolalla on the fabulous films “Amorres Perros” and “21 Grams” by Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu.
The process is use whomever’s right for the story you’re telling.
And you know what? I haven’t even seen it yet. The lines were around the block…