Harder They Fall

Director Jeymes Samuel discusses The Harder They Fall

October 17, 2021 A DGA Membership Screening Q&A in Los Angeles

The Old West gets a new look in Director Jeymes Samuel’s western drama, The Harder They Fall.

Samuel’s film tells the story of an outlaw who reunites his old gang to track down an enemy who is being released from prison and exact their revenge.

On October 17, after the DGA membership screening in Los Angeles, Samuel discussed the making of The Harder They Fall during a Q&A moderated by Director Baz Luhrmann (The Great Gatsby).

During the conversation, Samuel spoke about creating a film that would also appeal to audiences not enamored with the genre. “I wanted to tell that story that was most truthful to me. When people say they don't like westerns, I always say, ‘It's not that you don't like westerns, you're not being fed the type of western you want to see.” He also revealed how he made directorial choices to make sure he was telling the story through the camera. “For me my whole ethos was make sure I get my shots because the camera tells us the story. If you watch The Harder They Fall again, you'll see I don't really do over the shoulder shots. Scenes sometimes frustrate me because I feel outside of the conversation like [gives example] ‘over the shoulder, over the shoulder, reverse two-shot...’ Because the camera is telling the story, for me if all I'm going to do is press record, I might as well not be there. I really wanted the camera to have its own voice.”

In addition to The Harder They Fall, Samuel’s directorial credits include the feature, They Die by Dawn and the short film, Jay-Z: Legacy.

Samuel became a DGA member in 2020.

You can listen to Samuel's Q&A by clicking the podcast episode embedded below. You can find more DGA podcast episodes here.


Q&A photos by Byron Gamarro – Print courtesy of Netflix.

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