The Fabelmans producer Kristie Macosko Krieger was on a panel with her fellow Zanuck Awards nominees at the Producers Guild Awards nominee breakfast on Saturday. Krieger revealed that director Steven Spielberg was visibly emotional making his autobiographical film.
“On set, he broke down quite a bit,” Krieger said. “Sometimes it was joy. Sometimes it was sadness. Sometimes it was being able to have his parents back for a little bit of time.”
Spielberg cowrote the script with Tony Kushner. The Fabelman family moves to Arizona, where young Sammy Fabelman (Gabiel LaBelle) develops his interest in filmmaking.
As Sammy grows up, he becomes more observant about the conflict between his parents (Michelle Williams, Paul Dano) and their eventual divorce. Krieger said she was aware of the importance of creating a protective environment for Spielberg.
“You definitely wanted to surround him with very trusted collaborators, people he felt safe to break down in front of, people he wanted to spend all of his time with, because he was entrusting his life in all of us,” Krieger said. “We all felt an immense responsibility to him and for him to protect him.”
Krieger added that Spielberg had expected the screenwriting process to bring back all those memories. He was surprised he wasn’t finished by the time of production.
“He was having memories flooding back to him of his childhood,” Krieger said. “He thought he got through that writing. He told the cast, ‘I’m done, I’ve had my therapy in the writing of the script with Tony Kushner.’”
Everything Everywhere All At Once producer Jonathan Yang shared an emotional experience about his movie, too. Yang said after receiving 11 Oscar nominations, Yang came to understand the pressure his own father put on him to achieve.
“I understood where my dad was coming from,” Yang said. “Not you need to live up to a certain standard. It was that he wanted to provide safety.”
Yang admits he broke down, but in private.
“I was in the shower and I cried so hard,” Yang said. “It was beautiful because I realized what my Dad was doing all those years.”
Top Gun: Maverick producer Jerry Bruckheimer also shared the emotional side of the year’s biggest blockbuster. Bruckheimer acknowledge the sequel was missing two important people:
“My partner, Don Simpson, who was no longer with us,” Bruckheimer said. “Of course, the brilliant [director][ Tony Scott, whose vision stays alive today in Top Gun: Maverick, and we’re so proud of that.”
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