Making Clint Eastwood movies can be daunting. He’s a Hollywood legend, and famously runs his sets very efficiently. One method he uses on his drama movies he actually copied from seeing the secret service at the White House.
He told the DGA Quarterly that after visiting the home of the US president, he noticed how quietly secret service agents communicate. Their channels are always open and in use, but they’re using small, subtle radios rather than the clunkier versions that are Hollywood standard. Eastwood decided to look into the technology for his thriller movies.
“A guy who was working for me researched it, got the same headsets and then all of those conversations could take place without disturbing the whole set,” he says. “You can be rehearsing the actors and the crew can be talking, but nobody’s hearing it.”
Not only did this trick make his sets easier to work on in general, he comments that it allowed him get better material too. “Sometimes you’re working with kids or people you don’t want to be conscious of the camera,” Eastwood explains. “This way you can roll the camera without them even knowing it, and you can get natural moments you wouldn’t get when someone’s screaming, ‘Silence! Rolling! Action!'”
And that’s probably one of the reasons he’s been attached to so many of the best movies Hollywood has ever produced. He understands the craft and notices ways to improve and make it better. Eastwood is still directing and acting, releasing the Western Cry Macho in 2021. We’d hazard a guess he’s still using those fancy little radios, and his sets are probably still quieter than most.
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