I was doing a bit of reading up on Michael Mann’s Heat (1995) before revisiting the movie on Netflix and I came across these set photos over at Cinephilia and Beyond. Cinephilia’s post also offers a downloadable PDF of the script.
I also recommend this “making of” story from Empire magazine and this 2012 interview with Mann from DGA Quarterly.
Here’s a nugget from the Empire piece about the film’s origins…
…(Mann) first got the idea in the mid-’70s, when a friend of his, ex-Chicago cop Chuck Adamson (a technical consultant on Thief) told him of the time he took a criminal he had under surveillance for a cup of coffee. That criminal’s name was Neil McCauley.
And here’s Mann on Heat’s famed Al Pacino/Robert De Niro coffee scene, from the DGA interview.
“We shot that scene with three cameras, two over-the-shoulders and one profile shot, but I found when editing that every time we cut to the profile, the scene lost its one-on-one intensity. I’ll often work with multiple cameras, if they’re needed. In this case, I knew ahead of time that Pacino and De Niro were so highly attuned to each other that each take would have its own organic unity. Whatever one said, and the specific way he’d say it, would spark a specific reaction in the other. I needed to shoot in such a way that I could use the same take from both angles. What’s in the finished film is almost all of take 11—because that has an entirely different integrity and tonality from takes 10, or 9, or 8. All of this begins and ends with scene analysis. It doesn’t matter if it’s two people in a room or two opposing forces taking over a street. Action comes from drama, and drama is conflict: What’s the conflict?”
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