Urban Cinefile
"They even . have to kick-box a kangaroo in order to walk freely down the street."  -Hunter Cordaiy on Floating Life
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Tuesday September 15, 2020 

Printable page PRINTABLE PAGE


How did they manage to get so many cars for the opening scene of La La Land?

How did they manage to get so many cars for the opening scene of La La Land?
Regarded as one the most romantic and transformative films of 2016, La La Land is filled with whimsy and magic and the opening scene gives you first warning of what with film has to offer. Even without seeing the film, the gorgeous musical soundtrack and fanciful trailers are enough to give you an idea of the magic this film is submerged in. The most thrilling aspect of La La Land in regards to captivating its audience into its rose-tinted musical wonderland would be the opening scene. The scene shows a gruelling freeway traffic jam, a chorus of drivers emerges for an epic song-and-dance number right on the rooftops of their grid-locked cars.

The scenes contained a significant number of cars and the sheer magnitude of this scene was extraordinary, Chazelle, the director spoke with Entertainment weekly of why he came up with the scene "A lot of things were smashing together at the outset. First, I always wanted to do a shot where you go from car to car with each radio playing a radically different kind of music. I wanted it to feel like a city bustling with music . . . but this is Los Angeles. The cacophony of sounds is coming out of car” from what Chazelle was saying shows the sheer audacity of attempting a scene like this, yet he truly delivered and it’s probably one of the most absorbing opening scenes of 2016, possibly over the last decade. With all that jumping on their cars though, you best hope they have some good car insurance, if they don’t, then maybe they should check out GAP insurance, because after they’re done dancing around on their cars, they’ll soon realise that GAP insurance is worth it.

How he came up with idea
Because it seemed a very complicated and challenging scene, it’s hard to imagine how he came up with the idea- "The scene came from me living in LA and being in traffic all the time, thinking about either wanting to shoot myself or dance” sounds pretty much like every city commuters life, but with that said, how did they manage to get so many cars in the opening scene? Well Chazelle added "We shut down an E-Z pass over-ramp. We shut it down for a Saturday and a Sunday in August of 2015 for the actual filming, but a week before that we got permission to shut it down for part of one Saturday so that we could do a dress rehearsal. Ironically, we got the dance and the camera moves to such a precise layout in prep during the parking lot rehearsals, that I and my key collaborators almost got a little overconfident. In retrospect, that [rehearsal] day saved us” well it certainly paid off because La La Land has been touted a favourite with a number of awards at the Oscars and the film is truly a work of art, arguably one of my favourite musical thus far.

Published January 14

Email this article

© Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2020