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Behind the Camera – Duncan Jones

Posted February 6, 2012 by Max in Featured

This week’s highlighted director is Duncan Jones (Moon, Source Code). It’s all about knowing the people behind the camera making the movies we love.

Duncan Jones

Duncan Jones has only been the director of three films (one of them a short), but yet he is one of the hottest directors in Hollywood. He is the son of musical superstar David Bowie and model Mary Angela Barnet. He originally pursued a PhD at Vanderbilt University, but left to attend London Film School where he graduated as a director.

His first recorded short film, Whistle, featured Charlie Hicks as Ryan, a man who has moved his family, including his son and wife, Diana, to a remote location where he operates as an assassin who kills his targets by remote controlled missiles that end up looking like gunshots, effectively hiding his tracks. It was created in 2002. Duncan Jones had a meeting with Sam Rockwell in 2006 to discuss Jones’s first feature film, Mute. Based on their meeting, Rockwell and Duncan, decided to pursue a different outlet.

According to The Telegraph,

Jones had turned to a book he once read, Entering Space by Robert Zubrin, which is about colonising the solar system and includes a chapter about helium-3 mining. Jones used the idea of clones to pinpoint something more personal: ‘the idea of a confrontation between yourself and a different version of yourself,’ he says. ‘I just liked the notion of maybe the me from now being able to talk to me from a younger period; of how different I am now to how I was.’

Thus a partnership between Sam Rockwell and Duncan Jones lay the foundation for Moon. Moon was shot on a 33 day schedule and for 5 million dollars. The films success ultimately lied in the strength of the script and Sam Rockwell’s performance. Both of them were easily up to the task. Jones and Rockwell had created a new Sci-Fi masterpiece hailed by critics around the world.

For his second film, Duncan Jones worked with Jake Gyllenhaal and Michelle Monaghan to create Source Code. In a scenario very similar to that of Groundhog’s Day, Gyllenhaal must relive the events of a terrorist attack in order to find the culprit. Source Code was a significantly bigger film than Moon. Costing six times as much as Moon for a cool 32$ million dollars and featuring a much bigger cast. Source Code turned out to be a fine film, but must be considered a disappointment after the monumental success of Moon.

While IMDB does not have another film listed for Duncan Jones on the radar, hopefully he’ll be able to find another gem.

1. Moon

2. Source Code


[Haven’t seen Whistle yet, but it is featured on the Moon DVD/BD]


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About the Author


Chief Editor of Impassionedcinema. A film enthusiast who studies and creates his own films. Criticizing movies is his favorite pass-time.