Val Kilmer’s Innate Comfort On Camera And His Trusted Friendship With the Filmmakers Fueled Intimate Feel of ‘Val’ – Contenders Documentary

The poignant intimacy of Val, the sometimes ethereal, often unblinking look at Val Kilmer’s life and career through personal images at home, was a reflection of the actor’s unconscious ease, both on camera and in life, according to the filmmakers behind the Amazon Studios movie.

Directors Ting Poo and Leo Scott told Deadline’s Contenders Film: Documentary that because of his profession and having continuously filmed himself since the dawn of home video cameras in the 1980s, being in front of the camera was something natural for Kilmer.

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“One of the lucky things about filming an actor is how comfortable they are in front of the camera, and Val certainly is,” Poo said. “He started filming himself behind the scenes of all these movies, but later on, he just hired people to film them. So he always had a camera following him and he was very used to it. “

Allowing Kilmer to be even more unprotected was his decade-long relationship with Scott, who helped the actor with preparations for his solo performance as Mark Twain, as well as tackling the herculean task of digitizing Kilmer’s gigantic library of personal videos, making it happen. that sparked the notion of documentary.

‘Val’ review: Val Kilmer’s extraordinary autobiographical documentary has been in the works for 60 years – Cannes

“We took Val this concept of doing a life story from a first-person perspective, a very subjective feeling,” Scott said. “We did a sizzling four minute teaser tape, a taste of how it could feel. … We showed you this thing so you could check the temperature. He really, really got it, and then he said, ‘Go ahead.’

With the actor’s constant creative input, the filmmakers reviewed his archive of videos and followed him throughout his current life, which encompasses his battle with cancer.

The actor had undergone chemotherapy and two tracheotomies for throat cancer that makes it difficult for him to speak, and has to use a feeding tube to eat. Kilmer said he has been cancer free for several years.

Val Kilmer’s life captured in ‘Val’ by family and friends: “He’s a filmmaker” – Cannes Studio

“Something special that you notice is the relationship between him and Leo,” said Poo, “because Leo was behind the camera for much of the filming we did, and their friendship and the intimacy of that friendship really manifests, I think, in many scenes, like the scene where he cries after his mother died, in bed. I think those feelings were real and those emotions were real, and it was something I wanted to share with Leo. “

She added: “I was immediately struck by how little vanity and the lack of a large wall or guard that you would expect from a celebrity of your stature. He just welcomes you with open arms right away and is himself around you. “

Check back Tuesday for the panel video.

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