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'Not Fade Away' Creator David Chase Wants to Stick with Film, But Return to Genre

by Anne Thompson
December 27, 2012 6:22 PM
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'Not Fade Away'
'Not Fade Away'

With TV you live with it for years and you're working at it all year long, the ctiicism or the reaction, what you feel yourself about it changes over a period of time. You watch it on air, it's a much longer connection with the audience.

AT: It's thanks to 'The Sopranos' that you got to make this movie.

DC: Brad Grey had a lot to do with it. Could this movie have been made at another studio? Probably. I can not go back in time four years and think and try to deduce how much heat I had off that show. Someone else might have gone a long way into it, maybe not as readily.

AT: He also made it possible for you to buy all that great music. Do you still play vinyl records?

DC: Yes, with independent financing we wouldn't have had the Stones and the Beatles. My music, I have CDs, my vinyl collection is in bad shape. I don't use LPs in my house.

AT: Were there songs you couldn't get?

DC: We were able to get almost everything we wrote, the only exception, I was brokenhearted that we couldn't get The Who.

AT: Did the studio give you notes and set parameters about what you could and couldn't do?

DC: I can't remember the ins and outs with Paramount, they were not concerned about a great deal. I was given pretty much a clean slate to do as I wish. Once we shot, they had things to say about the edit.

AT: You had disagreements?

DC: It was tough, it took a long time, we exceeded the time limit allotted for the edit. Nobody told me anything. I kept editing for over for a month, they wanted me to edit, I kept selling them on the idea that it would be shorter, which they liked. The first version was 2 1/2 hours, now it's 1 hour and 54 minutes. There was more of the mother in it, more about Douglas's family life than there is now. It got repetitious. Now we're holding to the central story of the band's progress.

AT: Any of the performances surprise you?

DC: Jack Huston. He's very young; I'm sure he'll be a marquee name. He's a good guy. He deserves it, he's a serious actor, like Jim [Gandolfini] in that respect. He's tough on his own performance, wants to make sure to get every little thing, always feels he hasn't.

AT: Would you like to make another movie?

DC: I like the idea that it is finished. I have a sense of completion and closure. This is one of the reasons I'd like to do it again. When a TV series is successful, it goes on and on, you find yourself solving the same kind of problems every week, that's the good and the bad of it. Movies present new challenges you never thought existed, the whole idea is how to solve the problem, to put it in the visual sense.

AT: You had a learning curve.

DC: Yes, true. In fact people who know me said 'you learned a lot.' I did, I remember watching Kurosawa get his Lifetime Achievement Oscar at age 85, he said, 'the great thing about filmmaking is you never stop learning, there's always brand new stuff to learn.' That's a good way to go through life.

AT: What would you do next?

D.C. I don't know, I'm trying to figure it out. This was personal, autobiographical. At the moment I tell myself to do something more genre--I don't consider coming-of-age a genre--more of a psychological thriller cowboy coming-of-age. It's a category. A couple of things I am looking at. I want to make up my own stories, 'Sopranos' was genre. I enjoy that kind of thing. I was thinking about Bella Heathcote, her friend Andrew Dominic did "Killing Them Softly." I envy him his mob man. That's the way it is in the grass-is-greener out-of-genre world. I want to get back into that and amp up. When we first talked, Gandolfini told me, 'you know this is very difficult, you are biting off a lot here.' I stupidly didn't hear him.



  • Bill | January 10, 2013 6:10 AMReply

    I'll be skipping this movie in theaters thanks to the final episode of the Sopranos, a monumental failure of televised entertainment: it didn't entertain; in fact, it angered most who watched it. When it's free on cable, I'll check it out.

  • jingmei | December 30, 2012 3:20 AMReply

    I was completely captivated by John Magaro.

  • chasefan | December 28, 2012 2:26 PMReply

    I am a huge Chase/Sopranos fan, from Jersey, etc...but this was not a good movie. The lead actor (Magnaro or something) was awful. He has a really nasal voice and was not compelling to watch on screen. Best aspects were of course, the music, Gandolfini, the writing and production design. Bella is definitely one to watch. I was completely captivated by her.

  • Roy Munson | December 27, 2012 8:35 PMReply

    I've heard Hendrix in tons of movies -- How can you say "no one can get" him?

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