As a storm dumped rain over Santa Barbara County, roads were forced to shut down due to mudslides. The flooding has prevented some of the stars, producers, and writers from attending their panels as scheduled.
Even Glenn Close, who was set to receive the highest honor of the festival, the Maltin Modern Master Award on Saturday night, was rescheduled to 3pm on Super Bowl Sunday.
The Producer’s Panel was whittled down from 8 panelists to 3 with Bill Gerber (A Star Is Born), Raymond Mansfield (BlacKkKlansman), and Jim Burke (Green Book).
Burke whose work with the Farrelly brothers goes as far back as Kingpin. “I’ve always been super supportive of Peter as a filmmaker. I knew he could bring something tonally complex to the story,” said Burke of his reaction when Farrelly pitched the idea of the film to him.
Ray Mansfield, a founding partner at QC Entertainment and was behind last year’s Get Out said, “We want to tell stories that provoke and challenge.” QC Entertainment produced Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman. Mansfield said he had first heard about the story in 2015 and thought it had a high concept hook to it and they wanted to develop it with Jordan Peele attached. “But Get Out took off and so Jordan pitched it to Spike Lee.”
Manfield talked about the film’s original ending being the famous double-dolly shot down the hallway and the camera showing the cross burning in the distance, but then the Charlottesville protest happened and footage was added in.
Bill Gerber praised Bradley Cooper noting that Cooper would spend hours in the editing room when he worked alongside David O’Russell and Clint Eastwood. Gerber who produced A Star Is Born said that Cooper watched the director, the associate director, and the cinematographer. “He learned about the coverage a filmmaker needed so by the time we got him, the only thing he hadn’t done was yell action.”
Both Gerber and Mansfield talked about the collaborative process when working with writers who are also directors. “You want to manifest their vision and Cooper was so adaptable,” Gerber said when LA Time’s Glenn Whipp asked whether the word “no” exists. “No is the last thing you want to say.”
Mansfield agreed. “It’s a conversation. Trust is built in the writing and it all becomes a collaboration.” He added, “You want to bring out the best in the filmmaker.”
Whipp asked the panelists about the importance of awards season and all three agreed about the importance of the festival circuit and awards season. “Festival season is important. Green Book was a word of mouth film.” Burke said. He explained that the film was seen because people would talk about it at the festivals and when the film opened, it, if one person saw it, they’d recommend it to another.
Mansfield agreed saying “BlacKkKlansman did well internationally and Cannes made that happen.” The film won the Grand Prize and “People needed to see it.”