Cory Laffin [weekendarcade]
What is your specialty? Production, direction, something else?
Is there a link to a site where we can see references to your work?
How did you begin in this field? Who introduced you to it?
I began by working in art departments, assisting art directors. I was always interested in art for film and television. I guess Kermit the Frog introduced me to it.
Which have been the most symbolic works of your career?
Working as a puppet builder for Radical Sheep in Toronto.
Do you work for a client, for the audience, or for your own creative adventure?
For a client. I have bills to pay.
What should a good script have in order to interest you?
Characters that I can believe and a setting that I can connect with.
Name three contemporary directors or producers that you admire.
John Milius, Robert Evans, and Michael Mann.
What movies or television shows inspired you to work in this field?
1970s sitcoms. In the late 70s early 80s I watched sitcoms with my dad a lot, usually late at night when he got home from work. I was mesmerized by the magic of the sets. Where did people go when the walked out of a door or went upsairs? Where was the audience I kept hearing crack up at the jokes. I had to know how it was all done.
If an actor delivers the lines but is not believable, how do you direct him/her?
I try to stay as far away from actors as I can. I usually just instruct then not to dick around with the props or they will break and not to make too much noise with the props or the sound guy will want to re-record everything. Actors have a way of breaking almost every prop I put in their hands. I never would have thought that a person could break a newspaper but Dan Redican proved it possible on "Puppets Who Kill".
What actor would you love to work with and what type of character would you propose to him/her as a challenge?
James Remar. A lobster fisherman.
Are you the type who instantly knows when a take is good, or one who does another three takes to be safe?
I'm too inexperienced to know the difference until I'm editing so I get plenty of coverage when I shoot a film.
What type of direction are you used to giving the director of photography?
None. Good DOPs don't speak english.
How interested are you in image technologies such as robotized cameras, special effects, etc.?
I could care less.
Which has been your experience with conflicts between direction and production?
Production signs the cheques. Production wins.
Do you enjoy post-production, or do you prefer to leave that in the hands of other professionals?
I enjoy it. Its where the story comes to life (or dies) right before your eyes. It can be an incredible experience. I really hate computers though so waiting for computers to work is annoying. I learned to edit on an old table top Steenbeck where you actualy viewed and cut phisical film. Those were the days.
Do you approach an editing session with a clear idea of what you want to do or with an attitude of experimentation?
Clear idea. I shoot tight boards.
What magazines or websites of the sector do you follow regularly?
Funny, as much as I love magazines I don't read any about film. Just video game magazines.
What is the best movie than you have seen in the last year, and why did it seem especially good?
There Will Be Blood. The characters, the story, the direction were all brilliant.
Do you eat popcorn at the movies?
What do you think of public subsidies for cinema?
If you have acess to them great. Its a shame that not all artists do. Its also a shame that its mostly overly artsy fartsy dancey crap that gets picked to get any of that $.
What respect does the reality phenomenon deserve? What experiences have you had with this genre?
It makes a tonn of $ so it deserves a tonn of respect. It pays my bills.
What works best for you when selecting an actor: an audition, seeing some of his/her previous work or having a long conversation with him/her?
Both but I don't do much casting.
Do you like to have a second unit or do you prefer to control every still of a production?
You need second unit. It tends to shoot at the same time as the main production unit so unless you have a clone who shares your brain or a surpluss of time and money you don't have a choice. Most second unit directors in Canada are brilliant.
Do you change the dialogue after selecting the actors in order to adapt the characters to them?
Yes. Rehearsal will always find problems with the flow of dialogue. Rehearsals and re-writing go hand in hand.
Which do you like more, large budget or small independent productions?
The ones with the best coffee.
Do you like to experiment with new technology immediately or do you prefer to wait for it to develop?
Whatever works for the project-budget.
Is the future of cinema the Internet? Mobile phones?
The future of cinema is the same as it always has been. Good stories.
Does the concept of interactive video stir up creative thoughts for you, or does it leave you cold?
I think thats called a DVD menu.
What recommendations do you have for someone who wants to break into in the industry?
Take a job as an extra on a TV show. It will give you an opportunity to see just how a film set is run and what everyone in different depts do. Introduce yourself to some of the department heads when you get an opportunity and let them know that you would like to intern in their department. Let them know that the next time they put a crew together they should definitly give you a call. I've seen this happen for kids time and time again.