M. Nate Shyamalan on Impersonator Syndrome and His Cinema Techniques

The rise in streaming ushered us into a period of films that were too long and series that were supposed to be movies. But m. Nate Shyamalan – whose reputation is known for films like blockbusters “The Sixth Sense” and “Signs” – is currently writing the shortest screenplay of his career. Elementary, I’m a minimalist, “said the director.” When you set limits on what you work on, then you find your voice and your beauty. ”

The third season of this unicorn, the thriller “Servant,” in which Shyamalan serves as a showrunner, actual producer and sometimes director, is set to air on January 21 on Apple TV. At the base of the series – a grieving couple employing a nanny to care for a doll who replaced their dead child – could easily have held episodes of an hour. But as he delivers the story in 30-minute chunks, Shyamalan said, he can focus on the few issues that underlie each of the episodes. Similarly, in writing a tight-knit script for his next film, “Knock at the Cabin,” he learned that every line in the script and every moment from it should earn their place in the film.

“I always tell the staff or directors: think about what we do as a sushi maker,” he said. “The smallest quantity of components at the highest quality level.” Here are more insights on his passions and beliefs.

One of my all time favorite movies is: “Dead to Live” (1988). Bruce Willis can surprise with wit. He has a kind of James Bond sense of humor in the suit. “Come to the beach, meet, make laughs” … this is the human being.

The last movie I shared with my kids and their friends: “Parasites” (2019). We laughed out loud when we saw this movie. There is an unusual command of the language from beginning to end.

I have a room in the house that is full of: DVDs and Blu-ray. When I enter the room where they are displayed on the shelves, I absorb these films in osmosis. It’s tangible. It’s there. I do not know how many times I just went there to stare at them.

In order to sort the DVDs and Blu-ray I: Uses an app called CLZ Movies so I can see the titles in my library from wherever I am. If it fits into my collection, it means I think the film is a masterpiece. Sometimes I criticize movies in front of my friends like this: “I liked him, but he did not go on the shelf.”

Shooting stills reminds me: How much power the individual image has. I have a 500C / M Hassleblad camera that I like. Unfortunately, my daughter, Ishana, who is a director in “Servant”, stole it from me. This is a difficult topic to talk about.

I make a registration: Of every frame in the film I work on, handmade. For my movie “Time”, I drew them on an iPad. For the new films I literally write each frame on a piece of paper. I know I have the scene as soon as I record it. It goes like this: it’s not this, not this – oh, here it is.

I am very related: To my car. She became part of my personality. I like things that are made very well. For a long time, I had a mazarti. Now, I have been driving a Tesla Model X since 2019. I love it, it is the best in its field.

On my phone I have a list of: The 50 books I read a year. I put a star next to the ones I think are masterpieces. One of the books I starred in in 2021 was Isabel Wilkerson’s Caste. I think he’s amazing in terms of understanding what’s going on at a sociological level.

On my phone, I have at least three: Dictionary applications, including Oxford Dictionary of English as well as Advanced English Dictionary & Thesaurus. If I read and come up with a word I know but am not really sure about using it, I like to look it up and then incorporate it into my daily conversations.

One of my favorite wastes of time: Is a vocabulary app called “Knowji Vocab 7-10”. I used it one day when I was in my dentist’s waiting room. If I’m learning five new words in the waiting room, it’s a better use of my time than reading “People” magazine.

When I write a script I tend to read: Elmore Leonard books, because he’s so good at dialogues. Last year I re-read “Touch”.

When I write, I like to listen: For soundtracks of movies and TV series. I recently listened to Hildur Guondotir’s playlist on Spotify, which includes music from her soundtracks to movies like “Joker” and the mini-series “Chernobyl”. She’s just an amazing voice.

I like to listen to music: In B&W speakers, which I have everywhere. My office has a pair of floors from the DM604 S3. They fill the space in such a way that I feel like I’m in a concert hall.

I use Pinterest to: Put together the feelings and ideas of the cabins for my new film.

My advice to beginner players: Were present. Do not chase after the result. Even if what you loved happened in the third take – it happened in the third take. Please have the courage to allow the fourth take to be something new.

My advice to bosses is: You set the tone in your value system, so be clear about it. In my sets, I hope you can not feel the difference between the way I treat production assistants and the way I treat the lead actor.

I have movie posters in the office of: “Exorcism” and “Jaws”. “Exorcism,” to me, is the mother of all the scary movies.

The place to worry is: When you can do surgeries and perform operations. When you spend time with your children, this is not the best place to resolve what is happening at work. Choose a place where you sit and say to yourself, “Now I’m going to worry, and that’s what I’m going to do about it.

I read Stephen King because of: His ability to put characters in unnatural situations and still make it grounded in reality. I do not know if I read it because it’s scary.

Just recently I felt: Like a director. We all suffer from impersonator syndrome. It’s a version of going through the journey of your life and believing that your personal limitations and your characteristics are amazing and are what is needed in the world. It is difficult for us to accept ourselves and also to be satisfied with our mix.

By Editor