Anatomy of a scene: 'Under the Skin'

Anatomy of a Scene: 'Under the Skin'
In the New York Times series 'Anatomy of a Scene,' people who had a hand in creating different films discuss what it really took to get the perfect shot. In the latest installation, Jonathan Glazer narrates a sequence from his film 'Under the Skin,' and explains that -- contrary to what an audience likely thinks -- this crucial scene was not shot with tons of actors on a sound stage. Instead, Glazer wanted to film a very 'real' reaction to a woman falling.

"Hello, I'm Jonathan Glazer and I'm the director of 'Under the Skin.'

Okay, so Scarlett's playing a character who's actually and alien in human form. Here she is walking down a street. It's a live street, there was no lock off, there are no extras. These are shops and people going about their normal business.
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Anatomy of a scene: 'Under the Skin'

She's being filmed here out of an open window of a moving vehicle. Nobody is aware there's a camera crew anywhere. We're all hidden. All the cameras are hidden.

So the idea of the scene is that she falls, she trips and while she's down on the ground she's being asked if she needs help by passers by. So she's sort of slowly coming to and it's a key scene in the film because it's about a kind of demonstration of human kindness and how we help each other up when we fall, really.

So these people were here, this was shot through the window of a shop. And people aren't aware that we're filming at all, this is just life on a Glasgow street. And this camera angle is shot through the window of an apartment. And in that scene it's the beginning of her drift towards human impulse."
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