The student-run news site of Le Moyne College.

The Dolphin

The student-run news site of Le Moyne College.

The Dolphin

The student-run news site of Le Moyne College.

The Dolphin

Navigating College Stress: Effective Strategies and Le Moyne Resources for Student Well-being
Mai Aljanabi, Staff Writer • September 27, 2023

College life presents unique challenges and stressors for students, impacting their mental well-being and overall success. This article delves...

via The Huntington
Persistence Into Brilliance: Le Moyne Graduate and Actor Makes Major Mark
Kamilla Shahzad, Staff Writer • September 26, 2023

In the world of theater, Le Moyne College graduate John Douglas Thompson is known to possess an exceptional ability to captivate audiences, effortlessly...

Le Moyne Alum and MLB Star Josiah Gray Nominated for Roberto Clemente Award
Michael Scalise, Staff Writer • September 25, 2023

Here at Le Moyne, the phrase “Greatness meets Goodness” is at the very foundation by which the school stands, and it is safe to say that...

Career Advising & Development at Le Moyne
Career Advising & Development at Le Moyne
Carly Nicolai, Editor in Chief • September 18, 2023

“What do you want to do with your degree?” It’s a question many college students have heard before, whether it comes from friends and...

Growing Sunshine-Colored Flowers: Remembering Father Bosch
Growing Sunshine-Colored Flowers: Remembering Father Bosch
Stephanie R. Duscher, Staff Writer • September 16, 2023

Many Le Moyne students have likely walked by the lovely gardens outside the Jesuit Residence–a beautiful touch of color amidst the many cloudy...

Robert Zemeckis returns to reality with “Flight”


Though some might assume based on his resume that director Robert Zemeckis is particularly interested in audience-friendly, digital effects-laden blockbusters, Zemeckis claims the screenplay is generally what draws him in to each new project.

“I don’t have any agenda,” Zemeckis said. “I love all types of film stories. I love films that are dramatic. I love them when they’re comedies or action-adventure or suspenseful. So I love everything, but I tend to gravitate toward the screenplay and start there. I don’t put any restrictions on myself either, in something that I’m looking for or something that I might be reacting to. So I try to have an open mind.”

“Flight,” directed by Zemeckis and written by John Gatins (“Real Steel,” “Coach Carter”), is a new drama starring Denzel Washington as a pilot forced to make an emergency landing. Despite miraculously saving everyone on board, certain discoveries threaten to place him in prison. The film is Zemeckis’s first live-action effort in over a decade, as well as only his second with an R rating. Neither fact seemed to affect Zemeckis in the least.

“Oh, it’s always good to get the family stink off of you,” he joked. “Again, there’s no agenda. It’s always based on the screenplay. The screenplay has got some very adult and rough stuff in it, and that’s what the story is, so that’s the story I had to make.”

Zemeckis is generally known for films featuring state-of-the-art special effects. In addition to technologically-groundbreaking works like “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” “Forrest Gump” and the “Back to the Future” series, he spent much of the past decade focusing on performance capture (filming the movement of actors and using said footage to create an animated feature) for adaptations of “The Polar Express,” “Beowulf” and “A Christmas Carol.” A number of factors (including the diminishing box-office results of performance capture films) led him to return to live-action; “Flight” notably emphasizes story and character over visuals.

“Effects are part of the spectacle of filming and there are effects in [‘Flight’],” Zemeckis noted. “But they’re not effects for effects’ sake. They lend texture and power to the story.”

In fact, despite his extensive use of digital effects, Zemeckis insists that writing is far and away the most important aspect of filmmaking.

“Being a screenwriter is pretty much crucial for being a director,” he said. “The only difference is when you’re writing, you’re using a word processor, and when you’re directing, you’re writing with images. As a matter of fact, I have always suggested that the differentiation between a writer and director is decided by the guilds in Hollywood. I think we’re all filmmakers. We’re all in there writing, for lack of a better word, the final screenplay all the time.

“The best calling card that anyone who’s interested in getting into the film industry can have is a really great screenplay in their possession,” Zemeckis continued. “There is a lack of good screenplays. We need to revitalize this art form by writing really interesting and clever stories.”

Since premiering at the New York Film Festival in October, “Flight” has earned good reviews and a bit of Oscar buzz, particularly for Washington. Although Zemeckis frequently collaborates with Tom Hanks, Washington was his first choice for the lead role in “Flight.”

“He is pretty much one of the best actors who is alive today,” Zemeckis explained. “And I just felt he was an actor who brought the ability to reach down into his most inner self to pull this performance off.”

A common theme among Zemeckis’s work is the focus on one flawed, but inspiring person, whether it be a mentally challenged man and his ability to influence, a FedEx employee trapped on an island, a rebellious, time-traveling teenager, or in the case of “Flight,” a pilot with dangerous addictions.

“A good movie has at its core a compelling character that the audience is identifying with and rooting for, whether it’s a cautionary tale or a heroic tale.” Zemeckis said. “Most people are imperfect. Even comic book heroes like Batman are very, very troubled humans. I’m drawn to those because those characters lend themselves to the most drama and we can all relate to them.”

“Flight” opens in theaters Friday, Nov. 2.

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