Something's Gonna Live

Something's Gonna Live

Henry Bumstead, Albert Nozaki and Robert Boyle at the Paramount backlot as seen in SOMETHING'S GONNA LIVE, a film by Daniel Raim. Copyright © 2009 and courtesy Adama Films.

Something's Gonna Live (2010)

Opened: 08/27/2010 Limited

Cinema Village...08/27/2010 - 09/02/20107 days
Laemmle's Musi...09/10/2010 - 09/16/20107 days
Hollywood Thea...11/14/2010 - 11/14/20101 day

Trailer: Click for trailer

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Genre: Documentary

Rated: Unrated


Ten years in the making, SOMETHING'S GONNA LIVE is an intimate portrait of life, death, friendship and the movies, as recalled by some of Hollywood's greatest cinema artists.

Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker Daniel Raim captures the late life coming together of renowned art directors (and pals) Robert "Bob" Boyle (NORTH BY NORTHWEST, THE BIRDS), Henry "Bummy" Bumstead (TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA) and Albert Nozaki (THE WAR OF THE WORLDS, THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, storyboard artist Harold Michelson (STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE, THE GRADUATE), as well as master cinematographers Haskell Wexler (WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?, MEDIUM COOL) and Conrad Hall (IN COLD BLOOD, BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID).

From snapshots, sketches, and vintage footage interwoven with interviews and new scenes of these octogenarian artists at work, we get a behind-the-scenes look at moviemaking in the golden age of cinema. As we watch iconic scenes of our collective imaginations emerge from their drawings, models, matte paintings, and sets, we hear tales of Mae West, "Hitch," and DeMille, and experience their longing for the sense of community that made working on these films so great.

Not a nostalgia piece, but an exploration of the artist's moral obligation to truthfully portray the human condition, SOMETHING'S GONNA LIVE is a deeply moving and thought-provoking celebration of the human stories behind the glamorous edifice of Hollywood.

Director's Statement

During the ten years I worked on SOMETHING'S GONNA LIVE, starting with my training at the American Film Institute, I had the good fortune to film, interview and learn from six masters of classic Hollywood: production designers, cinematographers and storyboard illustrators who helped craft some of some the best known works in American cinema.

These men, most of whom had already reached their mid-eighties and early nineties, inspired me. They are the last of a great generation of cinema artists, and I felt compelled to pick up a camera and document their "pre-digital" filmmaking techniques, their wisdom, and their philosophies before they passed on.

In SOMETHING'S GONNA LIVE, the late cinematographer Conrad L. Hall opened up in ways that neither his close friend Haskell Wexler nor I had ever experienced, reflecting on his craft and also his concern for the demise of the storytelling art in contemporary movies. He tells us he hopes for a "renaissance" in cinema, although he doesn't expect to live long enough to see it happen.

SOMETHING'S GONNA LIVE gives voice to the hopes and dreams of these filmmakers, at the same time addressing fundamental issues artists face in today's film industry. While filming in Bodega Bay, the site of Hitchcock's THE BIRDS, the conversations between production designer Robert Boyle and storyboard artist Harold Michelson made clear what's at stake today is not the imagination of the artist, but the imagination of the audience. Robert Boyle tells us: "I think in our version of THE BIRDS you could imagine a lot of things. What wasn't seen was as important as what was."

Amazingly, most of these men never retired. Harold Michelson was storyboarding well into his mid-80's. Henry "Bummy" Bumstead had just finished production design on LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA when he passed away at the age of 91. Cinematographer Haskell Wexler is 88 years old and continues to make films. Production designer Robert Boyle is 100 years old and still teaches at the American Film Institute. I found myself drawn to the relationship between cinema and mortality. While editing the film, I worked to establish a rhythm and pacing so that our characters/featured artists come alive as people, and not just credits on a movie screen.

My challenge was to tell the story of their legacy while at the same time avoiding a purely nostalgic look at the "good old days." Haskell Wexler summed it up best when he reflected, "It never was great, really. What was great was us trying to make it great!"