“Slow West” Director John MacLean on Storyboarding Advantages

Slow West - A24

Filmmaker John MacLean delivers a visually arresting Western with Slow West, a project that’s headlined by Michael Fassbender and Kodi Smit-McPhee. During our interview, he talked about the importance of storyboarding the entire feature.
Slow West

The narrative, which evokes the more meditative tones of such introspective Westerns as Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid and The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford, centers on a Scottish teenager named Jay (McPhee) who travels to America in search of Rose (Caren Pistorius), a woman he believes is his one true love. Michael Fassbender, who also executive produced the feature, is Silas, a hired protector who believes Jay is running a fool’s errand (especially since Rose and her father have a bounty on their heads).

Running a tight 84 minutes, Slow West is a beautiful film to watch, and MacLean’s passion for Westerns shines through every second of the way. I’ll post more video of John MacLean(he’s a former member of the acclaimed group The Beta Band) in a future post, but for now I wanted to share his thoughts on the advantages of Storyboarding.

“I wrote (Slow West) as playing in my head,” said MacLean, who previously directed Fassbender in the shorts Man on a Motorcycle and Pitch Black Heist. “I storyboarded the whole film.”

Check out the video below:

“Slow West” is now playing in select theaters and is available ON Demand and DirecTV.


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