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‘Carol’ Producers Discuss Creating a Meticulous Period Piece

Carol producers Elizabeth Karlsen and Christine Vachon speak to Moveable Fest about their years-long quest to bring the adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s novel The Price of Salt to the big screen. With director Todd Haynes finally on-board, the period piece eventually got its due and with aplomb thanks to the meticulous director.

“Our expression with period is ‘you pay by the yard,’ so when a director’s putting his or her hands out [open wide] like this to tell you what they want to see, you want to push their hands together. But one of the great things about Todd is, he’s very specific about what you’ll see in the frame,” says Vachon. “If he’s going to shoot in this room and it has to be dressed a certain way, he’ll be able to tell you far in advance that we’ll just see this portion of it, so we don’t have to worry about the rest of it, which is a very economical way to make the most of the money. He’s been asked about this a lot recently, because when you really think about it, he’s only shot period films in the past. I’m Not There jumped around between multiple periods, and he said he just loves the idea that if you’re making a period film, he has to put every single thing in the frame. Nothing can be there by chance.”

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