John Maclean

Edinburgh Art School started doing collages instead of oil and canvas listened to a lot of hip hop - sampling, taking bits of other peoples work to create something new (like collages) collages, sampilng, film editing all felt like the same thing

formed a band, got interested in making music videos always made music videos that had narratives, more like short films, never had the bamd performing lesons learned from having no money are helpful now you dont really need prodiction value, all you need is an idea

met michael fassbender's agent, managed to get one day with fassbender, spent four months writing a script shot the film on his phone, got three more days with fassbender, "pitch black heist" spent 2 years writing slow west, made music videos in the meantime

was always interested in surrealism distinction between trash art and waht is high art trash films (die hard, predator) and arthouse cinema

Saw throw-away comedy, commercial films equal to "higher art"


what you working on noew promoting slow west, finished in jan, writing a new film script, writing happens quite organically

when you film in many locations, do you precisely plan out every location or is there some improv slow west was meant to be set in colorado, logistics made that impossible. fassbender only available in winter, found out that new zealand could work, more daylight, lots of different landscape within short distance. location are often about practicallity rather than vision. compromises have to be made, do i want to have the exact location or more time to shoot. Its an excitign challende to make things work within given limitations. The problem with hollywood productions is they have everything, so there is no need for imagination

how do you choose aspect ratio aspect ratio can be used as a storytelling device. super eight kind of look works in 4 to 3, pitch black heist in noir black and white widescree, slow west about a european in america, used european aspect ratio (also allowed to cut out some of nz land scape so it didnt look like lotr)

when you use famous actors, how does that change the process of shooting nd writing, or is it a marketing thing when you work with people who can't act that changes your storytelling, forces you to tell stories through actions rather than emotional faces. make a sad film without having teh main actor cry. Went straight from friends to michael fassbender. when you work with good actors you need background for you characters, you learn to give your characters 3 dimensional birthplace lifestory and shit. so when your actor comes to you and asks why their character does something you want to have a good answeer. Wether professional actor or friend, you need to find out how they like to work what kind of needs they have as a person

folk music, murder ballets influenced slow west? music was a huge part of my growing up. i thought it was important for slwo west to have a mixture of ballade and storytelling allan lomacks 40s 50s recording. what music was like then, where does it come from. even if you dont have any music in the film it can be very musical. always think aobout rythm with film even if theres no music envolved.

humor in the film, bit similar to the relevant its about being influenced by things like naked gun, police academy juvenile humor slapstick humor. early silent films were a big influence as well. slapstick is very underrated

you'd think with so many influences your films would be jumpy music tht has a wide range of influences it ends up being more than its parts. Why choose when you've got the big his

writing? comes from a visual background, a lot of it comes from walking around, suddenly the pictures start showing up. to people are wet, make a clothes line between the horses, what could possibly happen when the hosrses are tied together.