As the ornate narratives of Wes Anderson’s films threaten more and more to burst from the frame entirely, Fox Searchlight have since satisfied the need for deserved bonus content. “Hotel Chevalier” and the animated shorts from “Moonrise Kingdom” found different purposes when it came to referencing their feature counterparts, but a new short released with “The Grand Budapest Hotel” is delightful and informative in equal measure.
More in line with the previously mentioned “Moonrise Kingdom” short, a new film entitled "How To Make a Courtesan au Chocolat" has dropped, taking a mere detail from “Grand Budapest Hotel” and showcasing it with a bit of love. The titular pastry, a favorite of Ralph Fiennes’ character Gustave H. in the film, is shown here as a visual recipe—it may actually be the first of Anderson’s work (or an offshoot of it) to offer valuable explicit advice.
Precision is the process by which Anderson and his team works though, and in a new interview with the American Society of Cinematographers, longtime Anderson DP Robert Yeoman talked the difficulties in shooting their latest effort—especially in three different aspect ratios.
“We looked at [early Ernst Lubitsch comedies] more to familiarize ourselves with the 1.37:1 aspect ratio, which Wes wanted to use for the 1930s sequences,” he said. “This aspect ratio opens up some interesting composition possibilities; we often gave people a lot more headroom than is customary. A two-shot tends to be a little wider than the same shot in anamorphic. It was a format I’d never used before on a movie, and it was a fun departure.”
Being a trade discussion, the chat with Yeoman goes much further into the technical details behind the “Grand Budapest” shoot. Check that entire interview out here, but for a breezier affair, watch a 36-minute Q&A conducted recently with Anderson, Fiennes, and newcomer Tony Revolori below.