Wes Anderson’s films are as instantly recognizable for their surreal aesthetic as they are for their recurring characters, including mainstays Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Tilda Swinton and Anjelica Huston. They, along with new additions Timothée Chalamet and Saoirse Ronan, appear in Anderson’s latest work, The French dispatch, which follows the team of a fictitious American publication in France. When it comes to Anderson’s behind-the-scenes crew, the director maintains an equally tight-knit team. “Wes brings together the most wonderful, lovable bunch of people you could ever hope to meet, to make these movies,” says production designer Adam Stockhausen, who has worked with Anderson since 2007 Darjeeling Limited. Wilson’s mother Laura, a photographer, is another regular on the set, filming the action between takes. Here she shares her photographs of the French expedition takes place in Angoulême, a town in southwestern France, and, along with Anderson and Stockhausen, gives us firsthand details about the making of the film.
Decorator Rena DeAngelo found books, notepads, and other ephemeral items for writers’ desks (like the one where Frances McDormand sits here) in flea markets in Paris and Le Mans, as well as in “basements.” , wardrobes and attics in Angoulême. , says Adam Stockhausen.
Wes Anderson, Stockhausen and their teams spent months figuring out what the fictional town of Ennui-sur-Blasé should look like, referring to old photographs of Paris and “Google in search of small towns,” said remembers Stockhausen. “Piece by piece, Ennui-sur-Blasé takes shape. Here, Owen Wilson rides his bike down a carefully researched street.
Anderson shot in February and the set, built in an abandoned felt factory, was freezing cold. So Anderson, here with Bill Murray and Owen Wilson, donned a scarf to keep warm. Fortunately, it went hand in hand with her look. “Wes made these beautiful tweed suits for him, but after months of work they get a little stressed out,” Wilson explains.
“This little team it’s me, cinematographer Robert Yeoman, set designer Adam Stockhausen and producer Jeremy Dawson, ”Anderson said. “We seem to be in a good mood. “
“The pictures on the wall are not just any old scrapbooking pictures, they are all meaningful pictures, which reinforce the story,” Wilson explains of the frames behind (left to right) Jeffrey Wright, Owen Wilson and Tilda Swinton. Among the photos were portraits of writers, including Truman Capote and Gore Vidal, whose workspaces influenced the look of the ensemble.
Wilson captured Wright while he was “lost in thought” as she describes him. “That’s the thing with Wes’ sets: they’re welcoming, but they’re very determined. Everything is planned and executed with care and thought. ” Meanwhile, for Anderson, what’s going on in the picture is pretty straightforward: “The great Jeffrey, surrounded by hands,” he says.
Owen Wilson, outfitted for the February cold of the felt factory, examines a front panel in one of the production offices on the set.
When Stockhausen looks at this image of Wright’s character in his colorful office, all he can see is the scenery. “I turned around and hung this wallpaper with 12 hours to go,” he says. “It was kind of a panicking decision – we had a really boring sort of William Morris thing, and at the last second I said, ‘Wes, I have to change him. “Nothing against William Morris, but it was a lot more fun.
Although Wilson was officially introduced to Swinton for the first time on the set of The French dispatch, she admired the actor for decades. “I worked for Richard Avedon and knew how much she meant to him when he got to photograph her for the first time,” Wilson says. “She was not at all bossy or contemptuous; she was curious and thoughtful. She was a role model in what it is to be a cooperative person photographed.
Another source of inspiration for the office décor was author and cartoonist James Thurber’s habit of drawing on his own walls. “If you look behind Owen’s head, you can see a little mouse,” Stockhausen explains. Above, from left to right: Elisabeth Moss, Owen Wilson, Swinton, Fisher Stevens and Griffin Dunne.
“Owen has a very competitive nature,” Wilson says. “He’s one of three brothers, so his competitive instinct is honed to a very fine point. And Bill, of course, rose to the challenge. The two actors have built this makeshift green behind the soundstage.
“We liked the idea of having an older building that was reused in its current function,” Stockhausen said of the French dispatch offices. It lists the Associated press and Cinema Notebooks sits as a source of inspiration. “You could feel the life of the place,” he says of the photographs he studied. Cinema Notebooks.
According to Anderson, this photo represents “me and Bill, looking for something.” But Wilson can explain, “Wes and Bill are redefining the purpose of a character in a scene here,” she says.
“Owen is in a familiar pose, about to deliver a punchline,” Anderson says of this photograph of the actor, with Pablo Pauly.
McDormand’s character has a relatively free desk, punctuated with piles of books, toast, and, as Stockhausen describes it, “a perfectly rectangular window.” He adds, “The Shaker austerity is really fun for the character.”
Anderson and Owen Wilson first met in a creative writing class at the University of Texas, after which they worked together on Anderson’s first film, Rocket in bottle. “They were so inexperienced I remember someone on set saying, ‘Wes, say, action. ‘ And Wes said, ‘Oh. action! ‘ Laura Wilson recalls.