Cianfrance was adamant not to let production designers dig the hole for Ryan in the scene where Dean is burying his dog. Ryan dug it himself and an hour and a half later, “when he was done digging the hole, he broke down. And that was an unscripted scene, him crying at the table. He was actually so emotional and what he told me afterwards was that, that process tricked his body because his body was so exhausted and his body didn’t know that that wasn’t his dog. His body just buried his dog, and his body reacted in that way.”
”I don’t know, I just got a feeling about her. You know when a song comes on and you just gotta dance?”
When we were shooting the scenes in the past, we shot on film because it had a romantic quality to it. And it would all be in one take. No do-overs. Everything happened for the first time, and then it was over. And we would share the frame together. When you’re working that way, it’s easy to maintain a mystery, because you never have to go back and revisit a moment, and you can hide behind these personas that you’ve created — which is a lot like when you’re first falling in love.
When we were doing the latter part of the film, it was all shot on digital, which has a clinical, surveillance-camera feeling. And we were locked off into singles — we were never sharing the frame. And we would do takes 50 times. We shot one scene for two days in the shower, just all day. So when you’re doing 50 takes with somebody, there’s nowhere to hide. It’s very exposing. // Ryan Gosling