Saturday, October 01, 2005

Cameron Crowe's On-Set DJing


(image via

The Corsair found this particularly interesting as it illustrates how music informs the films of Cameron Crowe. This, from Entertainment Weekly's Christine Spines, in the October 7 issue:

"(Dunst) was cast early, after a typical Crowe audition, in which he played the music he'd picked out for the film to see how she responded to it and, more important, how the music sounded played against her image close-up. 'You have this video camera in your face and I would react to different songs he would play,' recalls Dunst, who rarely auditions but agreed because of Crowe's indelible female characters. 'Cameron wrote a beautiful role. She's messy, wise and sad. And the words come easily to me.'

"While shooting, Crowe played music to help the actors access the characters' emotions. It's a technique the director hit upon courtesy of Tom Cruise. 'We were doing the scene where Jerry McGuire's writing the mission statement and I started playing the song by His Name Is Alive and Tom was like, Keep it playing! And he acted the song and it was great.' recalls Crowe, who appointed his assistant to be the on-set DJ, playing mostly Jeff Buckley and Simon and Garfunkel for (Orlando) Bloom, and Rilo Kiley and Rufus Wainwright for Dunst. Still, there are risks involved: play the wrong song and the mood is dead. 'Kirsten came hard with her own opinion on what should be playing,' Crowe says. 'I put on The Monkeys and Kirsten just stopped and said, 'I can't do this."

We'll have to side with Kirsten Dunst on that, Cameron.

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