In a discussion about the making of “Greyhound,” director Aaron Schneider, cinematographer Shelly Johnson and costume designer Julie Weiss reflected on the attention to detail required to bring the film to life.
Tom Hanks, who also wrote the screenplay, stars as a U.S. Navy commander in the 1942 Battle of the Atlantic. “Greyhound” was initially scheduled to release in theaters on June 12, but was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic and released on Apple TV Plus on July 10.
“The screenplay was meant to drop you in the pilot house of a World War II destroyer, with very little knowledge of what’s going on, and use that as a way of really engaging the audience, leaning them in, forcing them to kind of figure out the way things work for themselves and make that engagement and that sort of education a part of the experience,” Schneider said.
Because of this decision, Schneider and Johnson had to research the daily activities of troops out at sea to show, rather than tell, the audience what is going on in the plot.
Since the characters are all wearing uniforms, the challenge fell to Weiss to differentiate and add personality to costuming. She said she worked with colors, drawings and tattoos to emphasize characterization.
“Wherever there was room to give personality and life and uniqueness to an otherwise uniform crew, she was the one to do it,” Schneider said. “She would find the places inside the uniformity of all the clothing and help me make each character unique and come to life.”