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THE BRAVE ONE

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Neil Jordan also collaborated with cinematographer Philippe Rousselot to show that change of perspective through the camera lens. "The entire story is essentially experienced through the central character, so I wanted the audience to see it through her eyes and her emotions,” the director says. "It was wonderful to work with Philippe to explore those concepts visually. Because we've worked together before, I knew we could work out the most elaborate and complex setups and he could deliver them.”

Utilizing both camera and lighting techniques, Jordan and Rousselot were able to convey that Erica is seeing her once-secure world through a prism of fear that puts everything off-kilter. Jordan explains, "I wanted to express a sense of dementia, so Philippe and his camera operator, Neil Norton, came up with a device that moves on a Steadicam, which we called a ‘wobbly-cam.' It was great for certain shots in which we were constantly shifting the paradigms.”

"It basically rolls the camera, allowing us to constantly change the horizon, which gives the impression of Erica feeling off-balance,” says Rousselot, who adds that they also used lighting to shift from reality to an almost dreamlike atmosphere for certain scenes.

The transformation in Erica can also be seen externally, and Jodie Foster worked with costume designer Catherine Thomas to create a gradual alteration to her appearance. "She changes and her look reflects that,” Foster asserts. "She starts out in layers and light colors, but as time goes on, her clothes become darker and more spare. There's a toughness to the way she looks and I think it's an important contrast.”

"They are very simple touches, but they are very graphic,” Jordan observes. "Jodie is brilliant. She imagined her character so completely; she was willing to take Erica to the places—sometimes really dark places—in ways that you instinctively and immediately understand who she is and who she is becoming.”

Susan Downey offers, "Jodie takes us on Erica's journey—from the beginning of the movie where you see her as someone who is very comfortable in her life. Then everything shatters and she is forced to figure out how to pull it back together. She has to reinvent herself to find a way to go about her life and feel safe.”

"Everything changes,” Joel Silver reflects, "because once this tragedy occurs in her life, she can't look at anything the same way—not her home, not her job, not even the city she loves. She changes who she is…and she takes us along for the ride.”

Foster reflects, "Erica recognizes that she was one person and then one day she woke up and became somebody else, a stranger, somebody who is different from anything she ever thought she could be. Perhaps you could assume that you would react differently…but until you've walked in her shoes, you just can't know.”

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