First Day Of Filming On Joker by Lawrence Sher, ASC

Film Courage: In the filmmaking process for JOKER was there one scene (maybe the beginning of principal photography) where you said “This is going to be great!” And it energized you and kept up momentum?

Lawrence Sher, ASC: Yes. Honestly it was like the first shot that we did. The first shot we did shooting the movie was him [Joaquin Phoenix as Joker] at the social worker’s scene which is like the second scene in the movie. So when he is laughing, that big laughing spell and then she starts asking him about the job and that whole scene which is about seven or eight pages or so…actually both social worker scenes and then when he comes back the second time and he says You never listen. And all of that, we shot both those scenes, it was like 10 pages of work in one day, not even a long day. But that first take of him performing I went This is going to be pretty great. I was like This movie could be divisive because it’s darker than people expected or maybe not as funny as they would expect from Todd [Phillips]. I knew there would be some things in which you go We might not get all of the Batman and the DC [Comics] fans on board. But what we’re going to make is going to be something that we’re really proud of simply because I could see it from that performance and honestly I would go home and excitedly show the dailies to my wife and just because I was so excited to show her what we were doing. So I was feeling pretty strong and pretty high about the movie from the beginning.

Then it was really motivating because I recognized Oh, wait…so we can’t let off of the gas…ever. As opposed to if you start slowly and you start to get up to speed and by two weeks in you’re like Oh now I understand the movie and you start ramping and every day you’re trying to make it…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).

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