Marling co-wrote “Another Earth” with Mike Cahill, who also served as the film's director. When asked about the collaborative process on this microbudget film, she explained that Cahill’s contributions were integral to keeping its vision true and its execution coordinated. “I think that Mike has an incredible gift, and I think it’s because he controls so much of the process so intimately,” she said. “He’s not just the director, he’s also the d.p., but not only is he also the d.p., but he camera operates, and then he’s also the editor, and the assistant editor. His experience as a director is so connected to the technology that there’s no remove.”
Marling has now enjoyed two enormously fruitful collaborations, one with Cahill and one with Batmanglij. With “Another Earth” being the first of the two to connect with audiences, and now to come to DVD and BluRay, she observed how that intimacy gave her easier access to filmmaking, much less film acting, as she orients herself in the entertainment world. “It’s amazing to work with Mike in that way, writing together, because what we write is so completely realized, because he’s so in control of it. And it’s also amazing to work with him as an actor, being directed by him, because the set is very small; the experience of making 'Another Earth' was so intimate. Oftentimes it would just be Mike and William and I in a room, like that’s it! It’s really different - it’s like the camera becomes your best friend, or your partner.”
She observed she already owed him a debt of gratitude prior to the collaboration, since it was his film festival where both of her first works were discovered. “The experience of Sundance was so tremendous for me and Mike and Zal, it allowed us to even begin sharing work with people besides our mothers,” she said, laughing. “It has been such a harbor for first-time filmmakers and for artists and actors who get to make their first work. So it was tremendous to get to be a part of a story of his after that, and especially one that he believes in so much, and that has so many great political ideas behind it.”
Meanwhile, Marling said she did also pick up a few tips from him about how to tell stories. “The thing that really blew my mind was that the simplest thing is the best thing – like, you don’t actually have to say that many words,” she revealed. “Especially when you’re young and you’re just starting, if you don’t fully believe in your ideas, so you oversell it or you overshare. And what’s amazing about his work is that he really understands both from the writing and the acting perspective that sometimes the simplest combination of words or fewest words or even no words is saying a lot more than trying to get it all. And I learned that again and again on that shoot, that it was taking lines away, or the spaces in between lines, or that were holding the weight of the scene.”
“It was incredible to work with him,” she continued. “He’s a tremendous inspiration to me, as an artist but also just how he lives his life, you know, and what’s the things that are important to him. So it was really cool.”
"Another Earth" is on DVD and BluRay today.