DGA Quarterly Spring 2008 Shot to Remember

The Emperor's New Clothes

The Last Emperor

Bernardo Bertolucci revisits China's Forbidden City to explain how he filmed the coronation of the child ruler in the nine-time Academy Award winner, The Last Emperor.

Shot to Remember

Directors share the backstory and describe how they shot iconic scenes from some of their most memorable movies.

DGA Quarterly Magazine Summer 2020 Unforgiven
Summer 2020

For the cathartic shootout in Unforgiven, Clint Eastwood the director stuck to his guns, aiming for the gut rather than the intellect.

DGA Quarterly Magazine Spring 2020 Shot to Remember Lords of Dogtown Catherine Hardwicke
Spring 2020
Lords of Dogtown

In Lords of Dogtown, director Catherine Hardwicke captures the '70s skateboard culture of L.A.'s Venice with kinetic energy, gritty authenticity and a local's knowledge of the scene.

Thin Blue Line Directed by Errol Morris
Winter 2020
The Thin Blue Line

In the opening sequence of The Thin Blue Line, Errol Morris enhances his quest for the truth with innovative, and controversial, style.

DGA Quarterly Magazine Fall 2019 Shot to Remember Lisa Cholodenko The Kids Are All Right
Fall 2019
The Kids Are All Right

In Lisa Cholodenko's The Kids Are All Right, evidence of an affair sparks an epiphany the audience can feel from the inside out.

DGA Quarterly Summer 2019 Shot to Remember Breaking Bad
Summer 2019
Breaking Bad

In Breaking Bad's series finale, director Vince Gilligan orchestrates an intimate emotional farewell between a self-indulgent kingpin and his embattled wife.

DGA Quarterly Spring 2019 Shot to Remember Director Barry Sonnenfeld Men In Black
Spring 2019
Men in Black

During an alien birth on Men in Black, director Barry Sonnenfeld keeps the frame mostly fixed, allowing the audience to find the comedy.

DGA Quarterly Winter 2019 Shot to Remember Chicago
Winter 2019
Fantasy and Reality Intersect in Chicago

In Rob Marshall's feature debut, his musical mastery reaches its apex in a pivotal production number.

DGA Quarterly Magazine Fall 2018 Shot to Remember Little Miss Sunshine
Fall 2018
Road Trip Gone Awry

The directors of Little Miss Sunshine deconstruct a crucial meltdown in the indie sensation of 2006.

DGA Quarterly Summer 2018 Big Little Lies
Summer 2018
The Big Reveal

Using multiple lenses, focal points, flashbacks and innumerable cuts, Jean-Marc Vallée completes the puzzle in the Big Little Lies season finale.

 DGA Quarterly Spring 2018 Shot To Remember The Killing Fields
Spring 2018
The Killing Fields

As the Khmer Rouge rumbles into Phnom Penh in The Killing Fields, director Roland Joffé captures the fear and dread with constant movement.

DGA Quarterly Magazine Winter 2018 Casino Royale Shot to Remember
Winter 2018
Casino Royale

Martin Campbell's second Bond outing is action-packed, but a pivotal poker game between 007 and his arch nemesis gave the director pause.

DGAQ Magazine Summer 2017 Shot to Remember The West Wing
Summer 2017
The West Wing

Thomas Schlamme guides us through the culminating moments of the finale of The West Wing's second season, often described as one of the greatest moments in television history.

DGA Quarterly Spring 2017 David O. Russell Silver Linings Playbook
Spring 2017
Silver Linings Playbook

Director David O. Russell deconstructs the riveting third act of his acclaimed 2012 serio-comedy Silver Linings Playbook — a dance competition sequence with high stakes for all involved.

Saturday Night Fever John Badham John Travolta
Fall/Winter 2016-17
Game of Thrones

Miguel Sapochnik's "Battle of the Bastards" episode of Game of Thrones rivals epic big-screen confrontations, as the director gives us the blow-by-blow on the choices and inspirations behind his battle royal.

Saturday Night Fever John Badham John Travolta
Spring 2016
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End

For the introduction of Johnny Depp’s iconic character, director Gore Verbinski created a surrealistic playground. Here’s how he did it.

Saturday Night Fever John Badham John Travolta
Winter 2016
80th Anniversary Edition

Directors have been describing iconic scenes from their films for years in these pages. In excerpts from those stories, they explain how they created some of cinema’s most famous moments.

Saturday Night Fever John Badham John Travolta
Fall 2015
Six Feet Under

For the daring finale of Six Feet Under, director Alan Ball killed off the beloved characters he’d spent five years creating. He explains why it was the perfect ending—and how he pulled it off.

Saturday Night Fever John Badham John Travolta
Summer 2015

For the opening of Austin Powers in Goldmember, the third film in the franchise, director Jay Roach had fun playing with audience expectations and created an actual action scene—starring Tom Cruise—until the real Austin silliness takes over.

Saturday Night Fever John Badham John Travolta
Spring 2015
The Sopranos

Eight years after it aired, the finale of The Sopranos continues to be hotly debated. David Chase explains how he created the excruciating tension of the last scene. What he won’t say is what happened at the end.

Saturday Night Fever John Badham John Travolta
Winter 2015
The Bourne Ultimatum

With this rooftop chase in The Bourne Ultimatum—all jolting camerawork and spiky editing—Greengrass redefined the punch and power of action filmmaking.

Saturday Night Fever John Badham John Travolta
Fall 2014
Independence Day

Roland Emmerich pushed the bounds of special effects by combining exploding models with digital images and live action in the still-rousing alien attack in Independence Day.

Saturday Night Fever John Badham John Travolta
Winter 2014

The kiss on the ship's bow in Titanic gave the film its emotional core. James Cameron explains how he used natural and man-made elements to create the complex scene.

Saturday Night Fever John Badham John Travolta
Fall 2013
The Shawshank Redemption

Frank Darabont had audiences cheering as Tim Robbins escaped from prison in The Shawshank Redemption (1994). The director explains how he set him free.

Saturday Night Fever John Badham John Travolta
Summer 2013
Saturday Night Fever

John Badham’s Saturday Night Fever helped create the disco craze of the late ’70s. But nostalgia aside, the climactic dance contest was a precisely directed piece of filmmaking.

Spring 2013

The success of Richard Donner’s Superman depended on making the flying scenes seem real. Here’s how he pulled it off before digital effects made it look easy.

Winter 2013
Hard Boiled

In his groundbreaking and influential Hong Kong feature Hard Boiled, John Woo created a style and template for modern action movies.

Born on the Fourth of July
Fall 2012
Born on the Fourth of July

Oliver Stone explains how he staged a demonstration at the 1972 Republican National Convention in Born on the Fourth of July.

DGA Quarterly 2012 Shot to Remember Midnight Express
Summer 2012
Midnight Express

Alan Parker recalls directing one of the most famous and violent scenes in the Turkish prison drama Midnight Express.

Philip Kaufman The Right Stuff
Spring 2012
The Right Stuff

Director Philip Kaufman explored American heroism in the early days of the space program in his 1983 feature The Right Stuff. In this DGA Quarterly: Shot to Remember sequence, Kaufman reveals how astronaut John Glenn earned his stripes.

DGA Quarterly Fall 2011
Fall 2011
Saving Private Ryan

Steven Spielberg explains how he staged the massive D-Day invasion in Saving Private Ryan—and without storyboards.

DGA Quarterly Winter 2012 Shot to Remember Rocky
Winter 2012

In Rocky, John Avildsen's guerilla filmmaking on the streets of Philadelphia for perhaps the most famous training sequence ever might not have been possible without a great new invention-- the Steadicam.

DGA Quarterly Summer 2011 Shot to Remember
Summer 2011

Somehow Warren Beatty persuaded a major studio to let him make Reds, his passion project about John Reed and the Russian Revolution. The director describes how he shot a climactic confrontation between art and politics.

DGA Quarterly 2011 Shot to Remember In the Heat of the Night
Spring 2011
In the Heat of the Night

Norman Jewison explains how he captured the tension of the civil rights era in one explosive scene in In the Heat of the Night.

DGA Quarterly Winter 2010-11 Shot to Remember
Winter 2011

Using a skeleton crew and real actors, John Boorman captured the physical challenge of navigating rapids in Deliverance.

Fall 2010

John Glen explains how he shot a plane flying through a hangar in the heart-pounding opening of Octopussy.

Summer 2010
The Graduate

In The Graduate, Mike Nichols captured not only the delicate mental state of his anti-hero, but the despair of the nation’s youth. The director looks back at how he shot one of the film’s most iconic, dreamlike sequences.

Spring 2010
Fatal Attraction

The mayhem at the end of Fatal Attraction was one of the most startling and talked-about climaxes of its day. Adrian Lyne explains how he built the scene’s suspense, step by fateful step.

DGAQ Shot to Remember - The Deer Hunter
Winter 2010
The Deer Hunter

Michael Cimino's nail-biting Russian roulette sequence captured the horror of war perhaps like none other before. The director explains how he created the excruciating tension.

Fall 2009
Singin' in the Rain

Fifty-seven years after it was made, Singin' in the Rain remains the high-water mark of American musicals. Stanley Donen remembers shooting the iconic sequence where Gene Kelly blissfully ignores the weather.

DGA Quarterly Summer 2009 Shot to Remember
Summer 2009
Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Amy Heckerling recalls how she got the most out of her young cast, including Sean Penn as the legendary stoner Jeff Spicoli, in Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

Spring 2009
The Perfect Storm

Wolfgang Petersen explains how he created the giant waves and rolling emotions for the dramatic climax of The Perfect Storm.

Winter 2009
Bonnie and Clyde

With the climactic scene in Bonnie and Clyde, Arthur Penn forever changed how violence was portrayed on screen. He explains how he created his brutal ballet.

Fall 2008
The Exorcist

William Friedkin recalls with amazing detail how he directed the horrifying climatic scene of The Exorcist.

DGA Quarterly Magazine Summer 2008 Shot to Remember
Summer 2008
Batman Begins

Christopher Nolan tried to shoot as much as he could the climatic chase in Batman Begins in camera. He explains how he did it.

DGA Quarterly Spring 2008 Shot to Remember
Spring 2008
The Last Emperor

Bernardo Bertolucci revisits China's Forbidden City to explain how he filmed the coronation of the child ruler in the nine-time Academy Award winner, The Last Emperor.

DGA Quarterly Winter 2007-08 Shot to Remember
Winter 2007/2008
Apollo 13

Ron Howard revisits the launch sequence from Apollo 13 and explains how he made it look so real.

DGA Quarterly Fall 2007 Shot to Remember
Fall 2007

Ever wonder how Werner Herzog dragged a steamboat over a mountain in Fitzcarraldo? The director tells all.

DGA Quarterly Summer 2007
Summer 2007
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

In this DGA Quarterly “Shot to Remember” article, Ang Lee explains how he shot his famous treetop battle in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

DGA Quarterly Spring 2007 Shot to Remember Dream Girls
Spring 2007

Bill Condon explains how he kept the plot moving and the music jumping in one of the big production numbers from Dreamgirls.

DGA Quarterly Winter 2006 Shot to Remember Amadeus
Winter 2006

Milos Forman made a spectacle of Amadeus over 20 years ago. He talks about achieving a mix of Old World craft and Hollywood style.

DGA Quarterly Magazine Fall 2006 Shot to Remember Brazil
Fall 2006

Terry Gilliam had the time of his life directing his dream project. He explains how he applied his hand-hewn methods to create his hero's great escape.

DGA Quarterly Magazine Summer 2006 Shot to Remember
Summer 2006

Years ahead of its time, Blade Runner set the standard for futuristic angst. Ridley Scott leads us through the film's glorious finale.

DGA Quarterly Spring 2006 Shot to Remember
Spring 2006
King Kong

Peter Jackson tells how he got King Kong up the Empire State Building.

DGA Quarterly Magazine Fall 2005 Shot to Remember
Fall 2005
Master and Commander

In Master and Commander, the director captures the intensity and beauty of fighting ships with a combination of modern technology and old-fashioned storytelling.