It also really dictated our style in a way, because Alexis and I talked a lot about feeling as if we had our senses put back in a way that a child would have them. For example, when I look back at my youth, and this might just be psychological, I always feel as if the world was brighter, the colors were enhanced, I could hear more decibels so ambiance was louder, and I could hear more details. That’s something we tried to achieve with both the look and the sound mix. So there was that, too. It was a different approach altogether because of the fact that we were trying to see the world not through the eyes of a child, but through the perspective of a child.
The film is also filled with child wisdom, the kind of things kids say that are really profound but they have no idea, like the willow tree is tipped over but still growing.
SB: Yeah, it was just about simplifying. Actually, I found that tree when I was walking my dog behind route 192, and I said, “Oh my god, this is amazing.” I brought the location scouting team back there, and my producer, Shih-Ching Tsou, who I co-directed Take Out with, she said something in just the perfect way: “Wow, it’s uprooted, but it’s still growing.” And I go, “That’s the whole theme of the movie. I can’t believe you just wrapped it up in that sentence. I need to have it coming from Moonee’s mouth.”