Sofia Coppola took over a floor of a real hotel for her latest film Somewhere.
And the director and Oscar-winning screenwriter said keeping a low profile from the other guests made it feel like being back at film school rather than working on a major Hollywood movie.
Somewhere was shot at Chateau Marmont, a kind of showbiz mecca on the Sunset Strip, where Sofia's team filled the hotel's fifth floor and her star, Stephen Dorff, took up temporary residence. She had to keep the crew small since the hotel was still open for business, and because she wanted to impart a fly-on-the-wall feeling to viewers.
"It felt more like a film-school project or something," she said.
Like 2003 film Lost In Translation, which won her an Academy Award for best original screenplay, Somewhere evolves quietly, with long shots allowing the characters to slowly reveal themselves.
The film tells the story of Johnny Marco, a handsome actor who fills his time with beer, pills and a pair of twin strippers, until the arrival of his 11-year-old daughter, Cleo, changes his view on life.
Dorff, who plays Marco, said he appreciated the change of pace.
"I love that in this life, where everybody's busy, everybody's texting, that Sofia kind of just says, 'Slow it all down, baby. This is going to be a portrait of my guy, and if you open your eyes a little bit and go with us, you're going to have a nice reward at the end,'" he said.
"That's what she does with all her films, and I think this one even more."