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THE GOOD SHEPHERD

Shooting And Design Of The Film
Principal photography on The Good Shepherd, which spans three continents and the years 1925 to 1961, began in the late summer of 2005. Filming would prove to be challenging, underscored by De Niro's unwavering commitment to realism in telling the fictional story based on actual events.

The filmmakers were able to gather Academy Award® winners to head almost every department. "Whether it is the story, director, cast—or whether it is the people who are instrumental in making a movie come true—we've got the best in the world,” commends producer James G. Robinson.

"Bob's attention to detail is so incredible that it ripples through every department,” shares Damon. "Everything about the sets and the actors is right.” Lensing and Locations

For years, De Niro knew that when production on The Good Shepherd came to fruition, he would hire Robert Richardson as director of photography. Recently having won the Academy Award® for Martin Scorsese's The Aviator, Richardson was awarded his first Oscar® for Oliver Stone's JFK and has served as the cinematographer on films from Platoon to Wall Street and on both episodes of Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill series.

"In terms of DPs, there is Bob Richardson, and there's everybody else,” says Rosenthal. "Bob [De Niro] has worked with Richardson a number of times. We talked to him when we were doing Wag the Dog and always knew when we made this movie that he was going to do it.”

The producer marvels at Richardson's talent for invention and the beauty of his photography. "There's an energy in what he does that is difficult to create.”

The director would work with Richardson to employ the unusual technique of cutting as little as possible, giving the actors notes while the camera kept rolling. "He doesn't break your rhythm, concentration or creative thought,” explains Rosenthal. "He's tried to do what he knows and likes best—and works for his actors in this picture.”

"It's important to give everybody as much freedom as you can so that they don't feel there are any limitations,” reflects De Niro. "With any mistake they could make, everything is fine. And then…they're not afraid to try things or trust you when you say, ‘Look, let's try and go in this direction.' That's very important with actors and all other creative elements of the movie.”

Academy Award® nominated editor Tariq Anwar had previously worked with De Niro and Rosenthal on Stage Beauty. "I've also been a fan of what Tariq did on American Beauty,” Rosenthal shares. "Bob and I knew we would work with him again.”

To design the production, the filmmakers hired acclaimed designer Jeannine Oppewall. Oppewall, who has received Academy Award® nominations for her work on Seabiscuit, Pleasantville and L.A. Confidential, was intimately familiar with the places depicted in Roth's script, as she grew up on the East Coast and traveled to/lived in European cities from Berlin to London.

For Oppewall, the film illustrates how one person's choices have wider ramifications. "I think the personal is political and the political is personal,” she says. "It resonates deeply with every feeling, thinking person.”

The Good Shepherd was shot in New York City, the Adirondack Mountains, Washington, D.C., London and the Dominican Republic. For Oppewall, preparing for the film required a massive amount of research. "When I started, I had 10-12 notebooks full,” she laughs. "Gigantic, six-inch-thick, three-ring binders of research.”

To accurately depict the Washington, D.C., neighborhood where Edward and Clover live, Oppewall visited Alexandria and Arlington, Virginia. "My friend whose dad was in the CIA took me on a Sunday afternoon tour so I could get a feeling for what it would be like,” she explains. Oppewall describes the area where CIA officers lived as a "cute, whi

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