‘Spencer’ | Anatomy of a Scene

“Hello, my name is Pablo Larraín and I am the director of Spencer. This scene is very important in the movie and it’s in the first third of the film. And we see Diana walking into a dinner where all the royal family is there. Diana, of course, is played by Kristen Stewart. And it’s the very first scene where we start to see what she sees and feel what she’s feeling. And how do we do that? That was the question. How do we invite the audience to her point of view of the situation? And some of the things aren’t really happening and they are just happening in her imagination, in her perception, in her own fantasy of the reality. And that reality somehow interfere with a conflict that have already happened to her with the family. So we are really seeing the consequences of that conflict. The main consequence is her mental distress and how she could eventually start seeing things that aren’t really there. We did a lot of shots. It’s one of the scenes of this film that has more coverage, like pretty much everyone there got a single shot and then we cover it from different angles. Because I thought that we needed that material for later in the editing room, we could find the right rhythm in order to cut it properly. So it’s really a scene that have a very precise ascension where we started with a slow kind of like minimalistic rhythm. And then as it goes by, it creates more and more intensity up to the point that it’s almost unbearable. And I wanted to hit that limit, I wanted to go as far as we could in terms of intensity, volume. And obviously, Jonny Greenwood’s music is very relevant for the operation of the scene. I also felt that it was important for Kristen to feel the pressure of the family. So what I did, is that I asked Kristen to stay away from the set up until everything was very ready, and she never walked in and never saw them up until we shot that arrival. And she has this necklace that we know that Charles gave that necklace to Camilla Parker Bowles. And the audience knows that that necklace is not just a necklace, it’s the representation of a broken marriage, a representation of a very painful gift. So we discussed this with Jonny Greenwood, our composer, in terms of how this should be played. And I remember asking him to create something that could have a progression from something, from music that could be played in that context, that is music that is sort of designed to disappear, just to be in the background, and then eventually becomes very relevant and very intense and helps you define what she’s going through.” [CLATTERING] “So it’s a very beautiful and strange work, because the composition evolves into a state of panic. That was very important for the process of making the scene and for the result of the scene.” [MUSIC INTENSIFIES] “And we feel for her, we feel with her, and I think Kristen does an incredible work to sort of handle the physicality, the emotions. It’s a scene with no dialogue, it’s just music and sort of the cinematic progression and the dramatic progression and the interaction between her, the Queen, Anne Boleyn, and of course, Charles.”

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