Plus, why they wanted to create a unique financial structure for the movie and why he scrapped the first two days of filming.

With Malcolm & Marie now streaming on Netflix, I recently got to speak with writer-director Sam Levinson about making his black-and-white romantic drama. If you haven’t seen the trailers, the film takes place on the night a filmmaker (John David Washington) and his girlfriend Marie (Zendaya) return from the world premiere of his movie and explores what happens as they wait for the reviews. Featuring extraordinary performances from both Zendaya and Washington, Malcolm & Marie allows both actors to shine in equal measure as we spend the night watching them argue and fight while delivering extended monologues. For more on the film and their performances, you can read Matt Goldberg’s review.

During the interview, Levinson talked about how they created a unique financial structure on the movie so the crew owned some of the movie, how some of the profits went to feeding America, how this movie happened, why he typically shoots with one camera and no coverage, why they scrapped the first two days of filming, how they only figured out how they wanted to film the movie on the 3rd day, and more.

Check out what he had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about.

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Image via Dominic Miller / Netflix © 2021

Sam Levinson:

  • If he could have filmed on location would he have added anything to the movie or was it always just going to be one location?
  • How this movie happened.
  • How they shot with one camera and no coverage.
  • While they allowed for a fourteen day shoot the first two days had to be reshot and explains why.
  • How they only figured out how they wanted to film the movie on the 3rd
  • Why they looked at the film like a play.
  • Did they ever consider asking a studio to play for the financing?
John David Washington and Zendaya in Malcolm & Marie
Image via Dominic Miller / Netflix © 2021

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