‘La La Land’ Director Damien Chazelle is Making a Musical Series for Netflix

Damien Chazelle

The Academy Award-winning director behind La La Land and WhiplashDamien Chazelle, is joining forces with Netflix and screenwriter Jack Thorne (Star Wars: Episode IX) for a musical called The Eddy. Chazelle will direct two of the eight episodes, which are all set in Paris, France. After how lavish and dreamy Chazelle made Los Angeles look in La La Land, I can’t wait to see what he does with Paris.

Below, learn more about the Damien Chazelle Netflix musical series.

Back in April, we learned the project was being shopped around to cable networks and streaming services, but now we know a little bit more. The story is about a Paris jazz club and focuses on the owner, the band, and the city. It’s set in present day and deals heavily with the relationship between the American and French-Arab co-owners of the club, complete with roles for French, English, and Arabic speaking talent.

Netflix’s VP of international originals, Erik Barmack, told Variety the series will feature French actors, crew members, and maybe some directors. Barmack described The Eddy as “somewhere in between” Whiplash and La La Land, “From the intense, complex relationship between a jazz drummer and his instructor in Whiplash to his dazzling duo of lovelorn Los Angelenos in La La Land, Damien’s work is emotional and electrifying.”

As for Chazelle, he’s “always dreamed of shooting in Paris.” He’s working with some real heavy-hitters on The Eddy, including six-time Grammy winner, Glen Ballard. The composer and producer worked with Michael Jackson on “Bad” and “Thriller,” in addition to co-writing and producing Alanis Morissette’s finest album, “Jagged Little Pill,” which Diablo Cody is adapting into a stage musical. Ballard is writing the original score for the Netflix series, which Six Feet Under and The Newsroom‘s Alan Poul is executive producing.

Chazelle has now joined the list of some of today’s top filmmakers working with Netflix, which already includes Martin Scorsese (The Irishman), David Fincher (House of Cards), the Coen Brothers (The Ballad of Buster Scruggs), Ava DuVernay (The 13th), David Michód (War Machine) and others. More and more great directors keep turning to these streaming services. Though Amazon’s list is just as impressive: Woody Allen (Crisis in Six Scenes), Barry Jenkins (Underground Railroad), David O. Russell (an untilted gangster project), Yorgos Lanthimos (an untitled Oliver North project), and Nicolas Winding Refn (Too Old to Die Young).

I imagine a few networks were interested in a Damien Chazzelle musical series after the success of La La Land, but Netflix seems like a great home for the filmmaker, to hopefully help tell the story how he sees fit. La La Land is such a joyful musical with both heartbreak and wonder. If he can capture even a small portion of that magic with his Netflix show, we’re in for a treat. When the filmmaker will fit The Eddy into his busy schedule is unknown at the moment. He’s currently working on the Neil Armstrong biopic, First Man, which Jon Bernthal joined the cast of only yesterday. He’s shooting that ambitious drama starting in November, with a fourth-quarter 2018 release date already locked down.

The post ‘La La Land’ Director Damien Chazelle is Making a Musical Series for Netflix appeared first on /Film.


“Damien Chazelle’s Guide to Beginnings and Endings”

“You’ve got to have a good beginning, a good ending, and no shitty scenes in between.”

In a recent Vulture feature, Oscar-winning writer-director (Whiplash, La La Land) provides 5 tips on a script’s beginning and ending. Their importance?

“The beginning is when the audience is most susceptible, the most vulnerable, the most fertile,” Chazelle said. “How much do you maximize that moment? And then the other most important moment is when the lights come back on and people exit the theater, because that last scene is going to roll through their heads right afterwards.”

Here are the 5 tips:

1. Get to the good stuff.

2. Treat the first scene like an overture.

3. Find the most impactful footage to lead with.

4. Push your climax to a place beyond words.

5. End early.

A few excerpts. Re overtures:

Since all three of his movies contain major musical elements, it’s fitting that Chazelle tends to think of his first scene as an overture, letting it introduce the themes, emotions, and aesthetic motifs that will follow.

— —

Whiplash provides what could be the most instructive example of the first scene as overture. Much of the film’s first act is about anticipation: Can jazz student Andrew (Miles Teller) somehow work his way into the elite studio band led by Terrence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons), the school’s infamously punishing conductor? In a more conventional version of this movie, Fletcher’s reputation would precede him over the length of several scenes and his introduction wouldn’t come until Andrew and his goal had been firmly established.

Chazelle doesn’t do it like that. Instead, he introduces both Andrew and Fletcher in the film’s very first minute, when Fletcher happens upon Andrew drumming his heart out in a small rehearsal studio and then exits with withering indifference. It’s a conflict that will play out again and again over the next two hours. “I was like, ‘How do I distill this movie down to a nutshell?’” recalled Chazelle. “It’s a relationship between a student and a teacher where the teacher has this terrifying, could-be-borderline-abusive edge but also this charisma to him, and the student wants to do anything he can to please the teacher. So how do we establish that as the basic premise right away, without wasting any time? After that, we can deviate from it, flesh out backstory for each of them, and bring them back together, because the opening will have bought us some runway.”

Re ending early:

It’s a feat that though La La Land’s two lovers don’t end up together in the end, the finale still sends the audience out on such a high note. Chazelle attributes that mainly to one creative choice: After the dream ballet concludes, Stone and Gosling share one significant look, and then it’s “The End.”

“One thing I found I really loved in certain movie endings is when it ends a little bit before you think it’s going to end,” he said. “In other words, it doesn’t close in the traditional ‘let’s tie up all the loose ends’ kind of denouement, but instead tries to end with a major sequence that gets your emotions up, and then gets out.”

— —

“Normally, you’re supposed to settle back into your seats, but I’ve found that easing your way into the credits is the wrong approach,” he said. “It’s better to leave people in an almost unsettled state, though hopefully not an unsatisfied state. Leave them on the edge of their seats so that they have to hash out their feelings as the credits roll.”

Reminds me of Billy Wilder’s 10 tips for screenwriters, particularly these 2:

2. Grab ’em by the throat and never let ’em go.

10.The third act must build, build, build in tempo and action until the last event, and then — that’s it. Don’t hang around.

A script’s beginning and end, hugely important, that’s for sure. For the rest of the Vulture article, go here.

“Damien Chazelle’s Guide to Beginnings and Endings” was originally published in Go Into The Story on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Go Into The Story – Medium

‘Killing Ground’: Damien Power’s 11-Year Journey to Make Sundance’s Most Radical Horror Film

Here’s why making your genre-heavy indie in Australia might not be such a bad idea.

Killing Ground is an unorthodox movie in every sense of the word. Audiences will think they’ve found themselves in very familiar territory as the opening credits roll off the screen over a happy couple on their way to a romantic getaway in the Australian bush. If it wasn’t for the fact that the film was premiering in the Midnight Section at Sundance this year, they might even mistake it for a romantic comedy of sorts. Then again, even with the expectation that something very bad is about to happen to this seemingly idyllic couple, there’s no way you can really prepare yourself for what happens next.

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Damien Chazelle & Garth Davis Win the 2017 Directors Guild Awards

Directors Guild Awards

Two big wins for two young directors. Over the weekend, the 69th Annual DGA Awards were announced. As expected, La La Land director Damien Chazelle won the main prize for Best Director, meaning he’ll likely go on to win the Oscar. Lion director Garth Davis won the award for Best First Feature. The Directors Guild Awards are one of the top awards in Hollywood, and it’s exciting to see Damien Chazelle win. This is is his first nomination, and his first win, despite getting lots of attention for Whiplash he didn’t make the cut that year. I’m surprised to see Davis win for Lion, but Lion seems to be the sleeper favorite in Hollywood that many people are voting for. Congrats to both Damien and Garth, both first time nominees and winners. ›››

Continue reading Damien Chazelle & Garth Davis Win the 2017 Directors Guild Awards


Interview (Audio): Damien Chazelle with Jon Favreau

From a recent appearance at the Directors Guild of America.

Damien Chazelle, Jon Favreau at The Directors Guild

Jon Favreau (Swingers, Elf, Iron Man, The Jungle Book) in conversation with Damien Chazelle, writer-director of Whiplash and La La Land.

For more DGA podcasts, go here.

HT to The Playlist for the link.

Interview (Audio): Damien Chazelle with Jon Favreau was originally published in Go Into The Story on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Go Into The Story – Medium