NEW YORK—Filmmaker Martin Scorsese went to a free iMovie demonstration at the Apple Store Wednesday, attentively watching the tutorial for the video-editing software from a front-row seat, sources reported.
Scorsese, who won the 2006 Academy Award for best director, reportedly interrupted the presentation more than a dozen times to ask questions about importing footage, creating on-screen titles, and adding sound effects. According to Apple Store employees, the 67-year-old film legend regularly jotted down notes on a yellow legal pad while the moderator demonstrated the step-by-step process for creating movies on a Macintosh.
"Importing, editing, post-production—they got it all on the computer," said Scorsese, who arrived 20 minutes early for the in-store workshop. "I like it. You can make your pictures right on there, it's tremendous."
"And it's so intuitive, my gosh," Scorsese added. "You just take your shots and you drag and drop them—drag, drop, drag, drop, wherever you want them to go. It's going to make things so much easier for me and [longtime editor] Thelma [Schoonmaker]."
Scorsese, who is widely regarded as one of the most important artists in the history of American cinema, was reportedly fascinated that iMovie was capable of making footage slow down, speed up, or play backward. The living legend said he was also impressed that, by clicking a single button, a complex tracking shot could be instantly changed into black-and-white to fully emphasize the repugnance of masculine insecurities.
"I haven't been this enamored of a title screen since my mother took me to see Duel In The Sun when I was 6," said Scorsese, standing up to address the iMovie demonstrator and the audience. "So just to clarify, all I have to do is go to the title menu, type a word, and that will be superimposed over the screen? That's just an extraordinary feature. Look at that, you can make words scroll like credits at the end of a movie. Wait until I tell Brian De Palma about this."
Scorsese reportedly approached the Apple employee after the demonstration and obtained his e-mail address so he could send him any additional questions he might have.
"He was very enthusiastic about how quickly a Hollywood-style movie could be made," said Jared Brunner, 26, who gave the presentation. "He kept talking about how it was going to change the nature of filmmaking, because iMovie allows for effortless self- expression, and then he started listing all these obscure directors."
"Every time I do one of these things there's a guy like him," Brunner added.
While viewing the sample movie Day At The Beach, Scorsese inquired about adding a soundtrack to the clip to fully capture the emotional impact of Jenny falling in the sand as she dives for the volleyball.
"You can get Derek and the Dominos, the Rolling Stones, the Ronettes, anybody you want," Scorsese said. "You just take the song you want from your iTunes program and then you can line it up so the music starts playing right when everyone gathers around the bonfire. Boy, that's really something."
After learning that the Apple music application GarageBand could be used to compose original scores for iMovie, Scorsese reportedly contacted Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Robbie Robertson, guitarist for The Band, and urged him to attend a tutorial for the software. Eyewitnesses reported overhearing Scorsese repeatedly yell "You can record your own songs, Robbie!" into a pay phone outside the Apple Store.
Scorsese announced that he's currently developing a $70 million remake of the iMovie classic The Dog Wash.