Frank Langella & Jake Schreier on the set of Robot & Frank
Earlier we reviewed the wonderful new indie film Robot & Frank, which debuted last month and is now in theaters. We were able to get in touch with director Jake Schreier and asked him a few questions about his views, his film, and (of course) robots.
Plastic Pals: Please introduce yourself to my readers.
Jake Schreier: Hi, my name is Jake Schreier. I grew up in Berkeley, CA and went to NYU film school, where I met Christopher Ford, who wrote the script.
You mentioned in the Q & A that you did for io9 that prior to this you directed commercials for eight years, similar to directors like Ridley Scott and David Fincher. Can you elaborate on your experience during this time, and maybe point us to some ads we might recognize?
Ha, well I don’t know if my commercial career quite resembled Fincher’s and Scott’s, but it’s definitely been a great way to hone skills over the years and get up to speed on all kinds of different technologies. Also, in a more direct way, my commercial production company produced Robot & Frank, so there was a lot of serendipity there.
I’ve read that film shoots are usually about three weeks and the days are very long. This is your first feature length film – how would you describe the shoot?
The shoot was a total of 20 days, spread over 4 weeks. It’s definitely a lot to get done in a very short amount of time. There isn’t room for being wrong very often, or covering yourself for mistakes. On our set, the biggest issue was that we had a girl in a robot suit in 100 degrees, very humid conditions in upstate New York.
Yikes! How did she feel about the suit? I’m sure there’s a great blooper reel somewhere that you can put on the home release.
Rachael was a real trooper, but it’s a hard experience being in that thing, especially in the heat. We’d have to take 2 minute breaks between almost every take to give her enough air.