Quotes from Debbie Allen
"A director just pushes them a little this way or that way."
"As far as pacing the shoot is concerned, I know when I've got it. I don't think there's any reason to take ten takes unless you need them."
"As one who loves literature, art, music and history, I've been deeply rooted in the Harlem Renaissance for many years."
"But it was not possible to do this movie, in this matter of time, without a solid rehearsal period."
"But out of limitations comes creativity."
"Even when you have a big budget, you can't just shoot everything."
"Everything has to be well thought out - what do you really need, when can you do with less coverage."
"I actually did a film called Stompin' at the Savoy,about four women who worked as domestics and were trying to get out of that life and into a better one."
"I basically shoot the movie the way I think it should be cut, so my directives to the editor are in the camera."
"I design my shots. I walk the rehearsal as the camera and say 'this is where I want to be... I want this look."
"I didn't need the insurance. I do it again if my DP tells me it didn't look good in the camera or if the actors didn't hit their marks. But if everything was working why do it again?"
"I got my dailies every day, although I couldn't always look at them because I was usually preparing for the next day's shoot, both as an actress and as the director."
"I loved that they were real people living in the time of the Harlem Renaissance. The story was rich with culture and character."
"I use something that is a real staple in the directing world. It's called a dance floor. You lay it down so that it's so smooth you can roll around, and you can put furniture on top of it. It's seamless and you don't see it."
"I'm always moving forward."
"I'm respectful of other artists and I think there is a way to talk to actors to let them know they are making this. It all has to come through them."
"In scoring we have a lot that was not evident in the shooting. The radio is on all the time."
"In the film world you don't often get much rehearsal time. Only on big-budget films do you have the opportunity to rehearse for a week or two."
"It goes back to a style of moviemaking I remember seeing as a child, in movies like The Man With The Golden Arm, which I think was shot all on a sound stage."
"It's kind of dangerous to cut in the camera, but that's the only way I know how to direct."
"It's rare to find parts where you see two women who relate to each other in that very natural way, with a lot of humor and pathos at the same time."
"Making this movie was a great opportunity for me to explore high-definition. I'm glad I got to see what the challenges are, what makes it better. It works wonderfully."
"Michael Ralph brilliantly plays the street prophet, a West Indian who foreshadows the Harlem riot."
"That's the only way I can control my movie. If you shoot everything, then everything is liable to end up in the movie. If you have a vision, you don't have to cover every scene."
"The biggest challenge was that we had to shoot so quickly and with such a limited budget."
"The clothes back in those days were made so much better than clothes are today. They actually took time to make clothes to fit a woman's body. Today they make clothes that fit sizes, so it stretches to fit this and that."
"The look of the movie has a kind a muted tone to it at first, and then we introduce color to it as we go along."
"The production team's first meeting took place at my house. I had ideas and a color scheme in mind, how I wanted the movie to look, because that has to be a real collaboration."
"The radio for these women is like television is for us today, which is really like looking at the radio."
"The riot isn't seen in the movie, but it is alluded to. He has this one speech that gives a great sense of texture and paints a picture of what was happening in Harlem then."
"The screenwriter's role was very instrumental, because it's difficult to take a stage play and adapt it for the screen."
"Then you give your actors broad strokes based on what your idea is for what is going on in the room and the circumstances surrounding it."
"There are some scenes that work beautifully in a moving, sweeping master, which is how I like to work."
"There was no question about who should play Lou Bessie. Crystal Fox brought to the role something that was really needed."
"There's always a certain degree of physical attraction between people and the rest either happens or it doesn't."
"They had a clear idea about what I really wanted to see, based on our initial conversations, and they did a great job."
"Time management is a big part of the director's job."
"We remembered how they dressed. Phylicia and I grew up in the South, so we could also relate to that part of the story."
"You have to examine a scene on the page first. Then you get into the basics of acting: Who are you? Who are you talking to? How do you feel about that person?"
Total Quotes: 39
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