Falcon and Winter Soldier director Kari Skogland on the show’ action and improv

Kari Skogland has actually directed a handful of films that the majority of people won’t have actually become aware of — Guy With Weapons, Chicks With Sticks, Fifty Dead Guy Strolling, and more — however her profession focus has actually hardly ever been on movie. She’s dealt with a few of the most striking and noteworthy TELEVISION programs of the last thirty years, consisting of The Handmaid’s Tale, Queer As Folk, The L Word, Boardwalk Empire, The Borgias, Longmire, Vikings, Home of Cards, and The Strolling Dead. She’s likewise a movie author, a manufacturer on programs like NOS4A2 and Sons of Liberty, and the CEO of her own production business, Mad Bunny.

So it’s not a surprise to see her taking directing responsibilities on Disney Plus’ brand-new Marvel Cinematic Universe series The Falcon and the Winter Season Solder, which promises to play out like a five-hour movie over 6 episodes. She’s the type of capable market veteran who gets employed to get the reins on all sorts of series, though she tends towards drama and action, both of which are front and center in Falcon and Winter Season Soldier. Polygon just recently got on a video chat with Skogland to speak about how she approached directing the series, and how she utilizes her video camera positioning to form the series’ feelings.

Much of the action films Skogland viewed as motivations for the program won’t come as a surprise to audiences: “I did a very deep dive into all kinds of films that seemed like they might be tonally offside, but they all teach me something,” she states. “We went to the obvious places, like Lethal Weapon, 48 Hours, Midnight Run, the list goes on.”

However Skogland likewise desired the series to have a much deeper psychological element than a few of those slick ’80s films, so she viewed a great deal of lower-key psychological dramas too, from Midnight Cowboy and Easy Rider to David Lean’s stretching legendaries: “all these films that had uniqueness,” she states. “You have to train your synapses. You put it in a pot and stir it, and hopefully what comes out as you’re making decisions is something unique.”

Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan stand on a boat’s deck in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

Image: Disney Plus

She states among the single most significant motivations for The Falcon and the Winter Season Soldier was the French film The Intouchables, about an abundant quadriplegic who employs a boy from the jobs as his caretaker. “I was very inspired by the vulnerability the characters showed,” Skogland states. “It’s a spectacular movie. I think that helped me feel secure in exploring some of the vulnerabilities with Bucky and Sam, that we could go down that road and really get inside them, and feel for them. Because their vulnerabilities actually made them stronger.”

Part of checking out those vulnerabilities needed to do with video camera positioning: in scenes with Sam Wilson, a.k.a. the superhero Falcon, played by Anthony Mackie, the video camera is normally even more back, revealing large areas and taking in Sam’s environments. “He has an expansive world,” she states.

However in scenes with the more distressed anti-hero Bucky Barnes, played by Sebastian Stan, the video camera relocates annoyingly close. “Bucky, I felt, is in a prison of his own making, and I wanted to convey that through framing. We did extreme close-ups of Bucky, where we’re kind of reading the inside of his brain. It’s a very extreme use of focus, of the focal plane. You can be at someone’s side, maybe behind them, and put the focal plane on just a part of his face, and that made us feel like we knew what he was thinking, we were in his thoughts.”

Skogland states Falcon and Winter Season Soldier is more of a character-based story than previous Marvel films, which it concentrates on guys who are “two sides of the same coin, but still feel very different.” She states having 6 episodes to inform their story was a fundamental part of structure stress in between them. “You start to root for the characters in a different way,” she states. “We get to see them without their suits on, and we get inside their lives, and it becomes very real-world. We get to ask and sometimes answer the questions that we don’t get to when we only have two hours to tell a story.”

A closeup of Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) in his psychiatrist’s office in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

Image: Disney Plus

The issue with a motion picture, she states, is that the characters are constantly in “world-saving mode,” so they don’t have time to resolve their individual lives, since that would seem like they “dropped the ball on the important things they’re supposed to be doing.”

Skogland states another satisfying element of dealing with the program was including improvisation. She states Mackie and Stan are real-life buddies who didn’t need much instructions to play bantering competitors: “Believe me, they take care of it pretty much themselves. They are terrific together. We looked a lot at their interviews, the various press conferences they’ve been to, and I was very encouraged by what I saw. And part of what I had to do was just get out of their way and let them do what they do. A lot of it was improv and ad libs, because they’re just able to do that. I look at the script as a roadmap. It’s always malleable, it’s always something where you can find new ideas. And they’re very good at that.”

She likewise wished to attempt brand-new methods of dealing with action series than she had in the past, and address Falcon’s combating design in brand-new methods. “I did a very deep dive into extreme-sport videos,” she states. “Technology has changed, so I was able to embrace smaller cameras that we can slap on people, the GoPro of it all. I was able to jump into that world, which meant we could get coverage that we hadn’t really seen before. And we were able to hire a team that could do some extraordinary things in squirrel suits.”

“I wanted to see Falcon fly in a way we’ve never seen him fly before. The most important thing for me — with both of them, actually, but Anthony in particular — was that we were flying with them. That we really felt we were not looking at him, but flying with him. Same with the fight sequences, and the choreography, as much as possible.”

Placing feeling into the action series is “quite complicated, ultimately,” she states, however was a needed part of the story. “I wanted to feel the emotional charge in the fights, particularly for Bucky, who doesn’t want to fight. He’s coming from a place where that fight for him is over. So it was very important that we embrace that emotional space he’s in.”

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.