On Wednesday, March 19, The Los Angeles Film School and Jeff Goldsmith presented a screening of The Gunman, an action film starring Sean Penn and Idris Elba. Following the film, Jeff Goldsmith was joined by the film’s director, Pierre Morel, for an interview and Q&A with our audience. Pierre discussed the evolution of his artistic vision, as well as his challenges and triumphs while working on the film.
To start things off, Pierre spoke of his work on Chinese productions earlier in his career, including the Jet-Li film, Unleashed.
“I learned a great deal while working on Chinese productions. There is a specific method of filmmaking there that has stuck with me ever since, especially when framing shots.”
Pierre made his directorial debut in 2004’s District B13, which heavily featured urban explorers ala parkour. He discussed some of the stunt-work in the film.
“We never used wires for studnets in District B13. It would have reduced the realism of the film, and the actors didn’t need them.”
Shifting gears to one of Pierre’s more recent films, Taken, he talked about working with actor Liam Neeson.
“Liam’s first take of the famous monologue was what we used in the final film.”
Shifting to The Gunman, Jeff asked Pierre how he has evolved his artistic vision in fight-scenes over time.
“I try to find a style of fighting for every movie I make.”
When asked what it was like working with actor Sean Penn, Pierre responded,
“When you have great actors, it makes life way easier.”
Finally, Pierre shed light on how he came to love filmmaking.
“I believe filmmaking is the natural evolution of storytelling.”
Special thanks to everyone for coming to the screening! Remember to tag us in your social media posts during the Q&A! Listen to Jeff Goldsmith’s podcast, The Q&A with Jeff Goldsmith.