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On the set: 'Whip It'

On the set: ”Whip It” — The roller derby movie was an education for Drew Barrymore

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With her directorial debut, the Roller Derby comedy-drama Whip It, skating into theaters on Oct. 2, Drew Barrymore lets EW in on the biggest lessons she picked up from her first time behind the lens.

1. Music makes a difference.
”Music was a big part of how I conducted the energy on set. I’d play Van Halen’s ‘Jump’ for [costar] Juliette Lewis, and she’d be jumping up and down and revving up to, like, skate and terrorize.”

2. Know your vision.
”I storyboarded with J. Todd Anderson, who does all the Coen brothers’ movies. We worked for three months and storyboarded for two hours a day.”

3. Keep things loose.
”I don’t like saying ‘Action’ and ‘Cut.’ I found that in the performances, it’s like a flare gun when you say ‘Action.’ All of a sudden people snap into a different mode. I like to ease people into a scene so it feels like a natural start.”

4. Be prepared before hitting the editing room.
”I would make notes on every single take that was a possible joke or a beautiful smile or a funny improv. That way when Dylan [Tichenor, her editor] and I sat down every day, I was able to constantly go back to my book.”

5. Get advice from Steven Spielberg.
”He gave me great notes on the movie. I had to show an early rough cut. I would have loved to show him something polished, but it was actually better because this way he could actually talk to me about it.”