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Both the technical name and the more meaningful one of the young lovers refuge in the film ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ represent the creative attention to detail that moviegoers have come to expect from a Wes Anderson picture. Anderson collaborated with his fellow filmmaker Roman Coppola in writing the script for âMoonrise Kingdomâ, marking the second time that the two have scripted Andersonâs ideas into the road map of a movie, following âThe Darjeeling Limitedâ (2007). Actor Bob Balaban notes that he was struck by how âWes makes movies according to his own particular sensibilities. His is not just a talented mind; it is an organized and kind one. He makes movies like nobody else, and heâs not trying to do it to be different; heâs doing it because thatâs who he is.â
What is evident to any and all working with Anderson is how precise his directing style is; he knows exactly what he wants, and how he will proceed to get it, before arriving on set each day. This, however, only makes him relish the process even more; he exhibits a sense of pure joy through his direction. Actors and crew alike are invited to share in, and contribute to, his vision. âHe has a firm hand, yet things are very relaxed on the set,â reports Balaban. âActors love him. Heâll let you alone if things are going well; if he has something to talk to you about, heâll be very articulate.â
âAs a writer, a producer, and the director, Wes is involved in every element of the film, from clothing design to casting,â adds producer Jeremy Dawson. âAll of it contributes to the world that he wants to create.â
Andersonâs enthusiasm spreads to cast and artisans, many of whom will collaborate with him on more than one project. As one such returnee, Dawson notes, âHe wants the movie to be an adventure for all the people involved in making it, whether itâs getting on a train in India or traveling on a boat in the Mediterranean. Making this movie definitely lived up to that tradition. âHe is always trying to evolve as a director, trying new things and learning from his experiences on previous movies.â
âWes cares about the process,â says set decorator Kris Moran. âBut he also cares about everybody around him, about the on-set environment; it brings out the best in you. When youâre making a movie, thatâs a creative place you want to be in.â Even when calling for multiple takes to get a scene exactly the way heâs envisioned it, Anderson remains calm and wonât press to âmake the day.â This would serve him particularly well on âMoonrise Kingdomâ since key members of the cast, and most of the extras, were children. âWes deals with children so well â in much the same way that Steven Spielberg does. Heâs encouraging to them,â observes Balaban. Anderson was able to relate to the youngsters in part because his films combine a grown-up seriousness with pure make-believe; âMoonrise Kingdomâ directly accesses childrenâs worlds of secrets and the convergence of magical moments one associates with youthful summers.
âWes had this concept for some time,â reveals Coppola. âHe had the world and the characters and this feeling, and we spent some time together discussing it. We discovered a banter, and a manner of inquiry, between the two of us that seemed to gel and unlock all these ideas. After we had engaged in that dialogue, the writing process happened very quickly. Itâs always mysterious how that all happens. âMy role in writing was to draw out some of the ideas and to help define them. When you have a sounding board, it helps unlock things. That was sort of my main function; sounding board, shaper, editor.â