Chris Haarhoff, SOC – “Birdman”

In mid February 2013 Emmanuel Lubezky (Chivo) invited me to join the rehearsals for “Birdman” in Los Angeles.  It became very clear, as the days progressed, that I was really taking part in an audition, and before I could actually enjoy my good fortune, I was swept up into a world that had all the elements of a runaway train.  The concept of shooting a film in an apparently single shot, has precedence all the way back to Hitchcock’s “Rope,”  but the intimacy and energy, along with the pure scope of “Birdman,” promised to set it apart.  Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu had brought this unusual story into production driven purely by a contagious passion, and as we moved our rehearsals to New York, the scope of what we were trying to achieve took on a life and mass that seemed ominous.  In very uncharted territory, we attacked each day with a fair dose of uncertainty, shedding many of the cinematic staples that filmmakers have embraced over the years.  It was both exhilarating and terrifying, with the crew and the actors investing heavily in each other as the shots developed along with their many moving parts. While I’m thrilled to be recognized by the SOC, it truly was a collaborative effort with Chivo doing the substantial hand-held portion of the film. What confidence we both may have had, was directly fueled by Gregor Tavenner’s sublime focus and support.