HEAT – Script to Screen
The 4K restoration of Michael Mann’s seminal Los Angeles crime film HEAT (1995) is on the verge of being released. I wanted to revisit the titanic acting showdown between Al Pacino and Robert De Niro in their first ever on-screen scene. The two legends square off in a 6-minute and 17-second scene that alternates between only two over-the-shoulder close-ups. Michael Mann shot a wide profile shot with both actors in frame…but chose to stay within the intimate close proximity the close-ups provided.
Michael Mann’s attention to detail is clearly visible in his annotated script that stresses the importance of this pivotal scene. I have merged the written page with the film footage so you can analyze and learn what made the final cut, what was improvised and what was left out. I’ve also added some trivia nuggets into the video from the production of the scene. Enjoy HEAT – Script to Screen.
Here’s a great interview with Michael Mann, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and moderator Christopher Nolan discussing the making of the Coffee Shop scene:
BONUS: Here’s an interactive map with all the locations used in HEAT.
BONUS: These shots above Sunset Boulevard were filmed twice. Once with the actors against green screen and once at 3 frames per second to properly expose the city and night sky.
Until next time…