On Jan. 5, byteclay.com was on the red carpet for the The National Board of Review Awards Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street. “Mad Max: Fury Road” was named the 2015 best film of the year by the group. “Sicario” received a Spotlight Award for Outstanding Collaborative Vision and was named one of the top films of the year. A24 Films’ “Room” received three awards. Best Actress was awarded to Brie Larson, Breakthrough Performance was given to Jacob Tremblay and it was named one of the top films of the year. “The Hateful Eight” was also named one of the top films of the year. Its star Jennifer Jason Leigh received Best Supporting Actress and Quentin Tarantino won for Best Original Screenplay. Roger Deakins is a legendary cinematographer who worked on this year’s critically acclaimed film “Sicario.” He is also known for his work on “The Shawshank Redemption,” “No Country for Old Men” and “Skyfall.” He has been nominated for twelve Academy Awards, and will likely be nominated again this year. Read our exclusive red carpet interviews below:
Shaina Moskowitz: Congratulations! Speak about what it means to you to be honored here today and for the film to be recognized?
Roger Deakins: It’s great the film is getting some recognition. I hope more people will see it. You want people to see your work.
SM: Can you speak about your vision for the cinematography and collaborating with Denis Villeneuve?
RD: We have a great collaboration obviously. We’ve worked together on “Prisoners” and we got on very well. It was great to be doing it again, and I’m not great about talking about all this vision stuff. Just doing my job.
SM: How did you get your start in this industry?
RD: Obviously, it takes a lot of hard work. It takes a lot of luck. I started in stills, and then I worked in documentaries, and gradually moved into feature films. I was just very lucky.
SM: You have also collaborated many times with the Coen Brothers and you have “Hail, Caesar!” coming up. How excited are you for that project?
RD: Well I’m gonna be intrigued at what people think of it cause I really like it. I think it’s great. It’s like all their films, they’re all different and this one is different again. And you know their work tends to polarize people doesn’t it? Some people love it and some people think it leaves them dead. So it’ll be interesting their take on “Hail, Caesar!”
SM: “Room” has been so beloved this season, can you reflect on that.
Lenny Abrahamson: Well it’s been a dream really, since we showed it first to the public at Telluride and it became something that people were talking about. It’s been kind of unreal and very exciting and very lovely.
SM: And speak about watching Brie Larson transform for this role?
Ed Guiney: Well I mean Brie is a fantastic actress, as we saw and we knew from “Short Term 12” and she’s obviously amazing in this film as well. I guess it’s brought her to a bigger audience and given her more attention and you said it before Lenny, actresses/actors are born not made and Brie is certainly an actress. She has it in her DNA.
SM: And what about Jacob Tremblay and collaborating with this young actor?
LA: Yeah it’s the most challenging and the toughest but also the most rewarding thing I’ve done probably as a director, because he has this raw talent, which he’s beginning to sort of get a handle on himself. But he’s also this little kid, so for me I’m a parent I think that helped a lot and I think we’ve developed a very trusting relationship between us. But to watch just to see those instincts in somebody that young and to watch him actually grow as an actor during the filming become more confident, start to discover the kind of musculature himself. It was just a privilege to watch and be a part of it.
SM: What was a challenging scene for you to shoot in the film?
LA: There were many challenging scenes. I mean from a technical point of view shooting inside that very small space was a tough job for the designer, for the DP, for myself and for the actors. But I think probably actually it was outside room, because tracking the changes, you know how it feels, how it would feel for a character to come out of a situation like that and into the world. That was the hardest active imagination that I think I had to make as a director.
SM: Is there anything else you want to add about the project?
LA: Just that I’m really delighted that people are responding to it, and I hope that that continues.
SM: Talk about the terrific inspiration for the story and making women the focus of this.
George Miller: Well the initial idea was to be a continuous chase and you were to pick up as much story and the back-story of the characters on the run. Also the thing that people were in conflict of was to be human. Initially it was seven wives but it came down to five wives and they needed a road warrior, and the road warrior couldn’t be a man because that’s a different story. It couldn’t be a man stealing the five wives from the tyrant, so it had to be female, so hence Furiosa. That triggered the story and all the rest arose from that and the idea was that Max reluctantly was to be swept up into their struggle. That was the basic idea.
SM: Is there going to be a sequel? Now that it was such a huge success?
GM: There could be, there is conversations about it but it won’t be next. I want to do something small and quick next.
SM: Congratulations on the Producer’s Guild nominations.
GM: Yeah it’s surprising! I never expected that to be the case but it’s nice. This kind of trigger it in a way, National Board of Review.
SM: Can you speak about collaborating with Quentin and what you admire about him as a filmmaker?
Jennifer Jason Leigh: Oh everything. I mean his language, his facility with a camera, visually he’s always surprising and it’s always such a fun ride. I love his movies, I love love love his movies, so I’m very excited to be in one.
SM: What surprised you about working with Mr. Tarantino?
JJL: His humor, his joy. That he really takes a pleasure in every moment of filmmaking. He loves the actors, he also loves all the craftsmen. He appreciates what everyone has to give and he will stop in his tracks to take his hat off to someone in the crew that is doing an incredible job.