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MILLION DOLLAR ARM

Behind The Scenes
In order to underscore the incredible dichotomy between India and the States, the boys' old life and their new world, Craig Gillespie and cinematographer Gyula Pados opted to shoot on film in India and relied on the Hi-Def Alexa camera in the U.S. Moreover, while in India, they relied on a kinetic, handheld camera and a looser frame to emphasize the chaos and vitality that is India. In contrast, the visuals were quieter, more contained and more classically framed in the States.

"Gyula and I literally have done 80 commercials together over the last couple years before this movie, so we have a real shorthand and a similar aesthetic, in terms of how we wanted to shoot," Gillespie explains. "Very quickly we decided we wanted to do film in India and then digital in America. Part of that, from a character point of view, was that we wanted to reflect all the life and energy in India, and that combination of using a lot of handheld and messy lenses, always a lot of foreground action and just embracing that chaos and fun that we encountered represented JB being accosted by it - as we were, too! And then when we got back to the States, we decided to use the Alexa because it's cleaner than fi lm, in terms of the look and also the camera settles down, it's not handheld as much, it's more like it's floating or still, to reinforce the loneliness the boys feel when they enter the States, the emptiness and the coldness and how out of place they feel."

Complicating matters was the fact that Gillespie and Pados had to condense the boys' grueling training and tryouts, their first failure and ultimate success into about six shooting days. On many occasions, they completed over 100 setups a day. They moved quickly and adroitly, anchored by a meticulous shot list.

"In a way, we were spontaneous although we knew all the shots we needed," Gillespie says. "We might change the shots as we were filming; we were apt to grab stuff on top of what we knew we wanted. It was spontaneous in that we might be shooting a piece in handheld but Gyula's so great at that because he's so great at feeling what the actor is doing and where to put the camera, what to look at and that's where it's spontaneous, it's truly character-driven. And that's when you put yourself in the hands of a gifted cameraman because you need someone who's so instinctive and great with that."

Gillespie also worked closely with designer Kirston Leigh Mann, a frequent collaborator who also performed the same duties on Gillespie's "Lars and the Real Girl" and "United States of Tara." Mann sees a few similarities between Don Draper and JB Bernstein.

Academy and GRAMMY Award-winning composer A. R. hman agreed to score the movie early on. Gillespie was thrilled to welcome the Indian composer, songwriter, musician and philanthropist to the team, particularly for the ease with which he combines both traditional and modern Indian arrangements with Western music. The real significance of the movie is that home is where the heart is, that family is the most important thing but that there are a lot of ways to define what family is. Like JB, one creates the family they eventually deserve and desire. JB finally figures it out and does it the right way.

"Second chances is certainly my favorite movie theme," producer Roth concludes. "Or going from selfish to selfless, and the kindness of strangers. Again, I think we all would like to have second chances, and when the audience is left in a dark room they can review what those second chances might be. I think that's a universal theme."

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