We conclude our two part interview with We Bought A Zoo Script Supervisor Ana Maria Quintana. In case you missed it, check out Part 1 here.
I bet continuity must have been a nightmare on Almost Famous, right?
It was a bit hard but I was prepared for it. As long as I had my breakdown down in my head and my notes ready, I was okay. I had to make sure I was ready to go everyday with the right information. I made sure to read the scenes the night before, went over all the notes from before and after and in between so that I was prepared. The rest of the crew was in the same wavelength so we were all out there being part of this wonderful movie with Cameron.
What was your biggest challenge working on Vanilla Sky?
Ah, now that is another story. That one was hard. Only because I was always wondering on the set, at home, working on the notes in my sleep: “Which one is it??? Is this the dream or is this reality?” “No, this is real.” “No, this is not.” It really was a film that was always working on you from inside, very deep, at least I thought so. But again, what a joy to work with Cameron and his love of words and music. And to work with Tom Cruise again. Those two are wonderful together – their friendship and wanting to make something good was intoxicating.
The challenge for me was to make sure that I was getting Cameron’s notes correctly, and that I could help in any way. Otherwise, it was a different experience marked with hard work, intensity, joy, and lots of music.
Was working on We Bought A Zoo as much fun as it looked?
You know, people always think that working on a film is fun, so I have to correct them by saying we are working. It is our job. It is hard work. We have to get up very early and sometimes have to work very late, even through the night. What makes a film fun for me is the project and usually when I think about it after the shooting, but not during. During the shooting I am so consumed with making sure things are right that I don’t really think about fun.
Having said that, what makes working on Cameron’s films great is that he makes you feel that you are a part of the whole project and not just doing a job. He respects and acknowledges everyone’s job on a film set. Cameron’s sets are very different,. You are all part of the process and he is incredibly accessible to everyone at all times. His care for the final product is so personal that you can’t help but be seduced. Everyday that I have worked on one of his films I have enjoyed. Hard or not, I have never once been unhappy about getting up to go to work on his set.
After four films together, tell us about your working relationship with Cameron.
I feel so proud to be able to say I have done four films with him. I am incredibly grateful for having had the opportunity to sit by his side. Warren Beatty and John Schlesinger always made me feel very proud of my job and always went out of their way to include me during the filming of their projects. Cameron has been the same for me – so giving, so open, so respectful of my craft. I admire him tremendously. He makes my job just that much more enjoyable.
Tell us something that a Script Supervisor does that people might not be aware of
We observe, we take notes, we report, we are always on, we seldom leave a set,. We sometimes play psychiatrist, mom, sister, confidante, or girlfriend. And we are the only one in our department.
Do you think that directing a feature film is still in your future?
Who knows? They say it’s never too late to start something new…who knows…it is a New Year after all, but I better hurry since the world is coming to an end…!
Special thanks to Ana Maria Quintana for her generosity and time with this interview!