How many takes on the church stage?
MAC: I mean 28 or 29 times.
KM: All that, inside and out, the car entering. It was a sequence.
Michael, you enter this scene with the car entering the frame just in focus. Was it luck? It’s such a specific blocking detail, but the movie is filled with it.
MAC: There were a lot of times I didn’t hit the mark. It’s muscle memory! You just brought it down to a science. You say to yourself, “OK, I have to hit the sign with the car at this speed to land at the exact mark.” But there were times when I passed her and the camera was missing, and I would call “cut”, because I knew I had filmed her too much. Or we would have just exhausted the rest of the scene and then we’d compose it.
But that was the challenge of this movie, there were times when I missed that mark and it was like, “Do I use this take where I’m a little far from here, or am I using one where the blocking in this section is better? “
When you dreamed about this movie, did you intentionally think about how to use danger? Or by using a question of “Will they succeed?” As part of the comedy?
KM: Not in terms of camera technique. But definitely a… “Oh, okay, what are the hardest things to do?” A baby. A dog. A great sign. Sub. “And it’s like,” Great, let’s put a baby at the end of this scene that relies on a baby in a car and I hope baby laughs at the right time. “Or,” Oh, let’s say a seven-minute boost in a scene. “
MAC: Or the Thanksgiving scene was my dog, and it had to hit a goal. And at some point, he didn’t want to. “Come on, grandpa, you can do this.” And she said, “No, I’m fine.”
KM: The point is, the dog was so well trained that when she screamed “No, no, no”, the dog would say, “OK, I’m not going to do this.”
MAC: So she wouldn’t eat the turkey!
KM: We were like, “That would make things exciting.” And maybe naively at first from a writing point of view, it would be like, “Oh, that would be so much fun to go under a frozen lake and really do it”, and we really fought for that for all of pre-production, and when we got there, it was like, ‘Oh, that’s a really crazy choice, but here we are. Let’s do it. “