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Oscars: 8 Contending Directors Break Down Their Toughest Scenes to Shoot

Oscars: 8 Contending Directors Break Down Their Toughest Scenes to Shoot

Mary Cybulski/Amazon Studios


The scene where the boys, Ben [Oakes Fegley] and Jamie [Jaden Michael], first start to get to know each other in front of the wolf diorama at the American Museum of Natural History in New York was the biggest challenge. The challenge of the film is the museum let us shoot inside, but we could never leave equipment there overnight, so we had to load in and out every day. We could only shoot on the weekends, and we shot in there over four weekends, two days each — and we'd shoot other things throughout the week. We had a significant amount of work to do in there — it's about a five-page scene that's seminal to the film, but it's incredibly close quarters. And in the scene, one boy, Ben, has become deaf but can speak, and Jamie is a product of the New York City public school system in the 1970s, so he actually knows sign language, but Ben doesn't. They're figuring out how to communicate while meeting each other — every time Ben talks, Jamie has to remember to write down his response, and it's a lot of business for these kids, and a lot of dialogue we were doing for the first time.