Ridley Scott’s brilliant filmmaking is unmatched. See the acclaimed director’s work on the big screen in Napoleon, starring Academy Award® winner Joaquin Phoenix and Vanessa Kirby (The Crown, Mission Impossible movies), in cinemas November 29.
Watch Ridley Scott talk about his work in Napoleon in the “Real Filmmaking” vignette:
To prepare to shoot the movie, Scott assembled his team in a war room – which in this case was as literal a war room as can be when the subject is making a movie. With large-scale models of the sets for battles at Waterloo, Austerlitz, and Toulan, art department drawings, models, Scott – who is an excellent artist and has always storyboarded his own films – brought the entire team together to share his vision and direct his crafts team in the images he is looking to achieve.
On Napoleon, Scott would employ up to 11 cameras at once. Phoenix, who plays iconic French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, was gratified by the opportunity to work again on a Ridley Scott set. “If we happen to get lucky and discover something, and there is a special moment where something was unplanned, then it’s almost guaranteed that Ridley has captured it,” he says. “To have that opportunity as an actor is really rare. Trying to chase something and recreate it is virtually impossible.”
“It allowed us to bring an improvisational nature to the way we worked,” says Kirby, who plays Napoleon’s one true love, Josephine. “You don’t need to remember the exact movements you did in the previous shot. It’s an opportunity for collaboration, as we would go and watch the monitor with Ridley and throw ideas out about what could be done differently.”
Shares production designer Arthur Max, a frequent collaborator of Scott’s: “There is no background with Ridley, no cheating; it’s all about scale and the density of detail. It’s like living in a painting – it is challenging, but also immense fun.”
Against a stunning backdrop of large-scale filmmaking orchestrated by Scott, Napoleon captures the iconic French emperor’s relentless journey to power through the prism of his addictive, volatile relationship with his one true love, Josephine, showcasing his visionary military and political tactics against some of the most dynamic practical battle sequences ever filmed. The film opens in cinemas November 29.
Napoleon is distributed in the Philippines by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. Connect with the hashtag #Napoleon