Director Derek Cianfrance Talks THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES, Deleted Scenes, His HBO Project MUSCLE, and Will We Ever See BROTHER TIED

     September 16, 2012


One of the many films to premiere at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival was The Place Beyond the Pines.  Written and directed by Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine), the pic centers on a professional motorcycle rider turned bank robber (Ryan Gosling) and a rookie police officer (Bradley Cooper).   Pines premiered to a rapturous response (read Matt’s glowing review here and here’s two clips), and Focus quickly snapped it up for a planned 2013 release.   The pic also stars Eva Mendes, Bruce Greenwood, Dane DeHaan, Ray Liotta, Ben Mendelsohn and Rose Byrne.

The day after the premiere, I landed an extended video interview with Cianfrance.  We talked about his first feature–Brother Tiedand if it’ll ever be released, the genesis of The Place Beyond the Pines, premiering at TIFF, editing (he shot 400 hours of footage), deleted scenes, and more.  In addition, Cianfrance talked about his HBO project Muscle, which is based on Samuel Fussell’s memoir Muscle: Confessions of an Unlikely Bodybuilder.  Hit the jump to watch.

Derek-CianfranceDerek Cianfrance Time Index:

  • Discusses his 1998 film Brother Tied and how he hopes one day to have the money to pay for the music licensing so that more people can see it.  Calls it “naïve and ambitious”.
  • 4:25 – Cianfrance begins talking about The Place Beyond the Pines.  Confirms that he was working on the film before Blue Valentine and “wrote 37 drafts in 5 years with 2 different co-writers”.
  • 7:05 – Talks about which scene in the movie required the most takes.  Gives an example of a scene in which the script and dialogue were completely scrapped in exchange for an improvised take by Ryan Gosling and Ben Mendelsohn.
  • 11:10 – Cianfrance discusses the experience of screening the movie at a festival when people know very little about the film going in and how he likes to sell the movie to people without giving away too much.  Says he prefers to go into movies fresh but that he doesn’t believe The Place Beyond the Pines will suffer on repeat viewings from those who already know the twists and turns.
  • Derek-Cianfrance13:20 – On the film’s editing process, says they processed all of the film they shot and watched all 400 hours of footage.  Refers to editing the film as a “full 9 month pregnancy” as a result.  Says he hates editing and feels that writing a script is the “process of dreaming”, shooting a film is the “process of living” and editing is the “process of murder”.
  • 15:25 – Can fans look forward to a lot of extra footage when the film is released on DVD/Blu-ray?  Says he is a fan of sharing deleted scenes and uses an example from Blue Valentine as a scene that works great by itself but sticks out too much when juxtaposed with the rest of the film.
  • 17:10 – Confirms that he is currently developing a project with HBO called Muscle.  Says it’s based on Samuel Fussell’s memoir Muscle: Confessions of an Unlikely Bodybuilder, deals with themes of masculine identity and transformation, and will help give “new meaning to the term character development”.


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