While he might hang with some of the biggest stars in Hollywood, and knows no film festival that won’t roll out the red carpet for him, Terrence Malick has kept a far, far distance from anything resembling press. He hasn’t given a formal interview in decades, however in recent years, he has shown a fondness for Q&A style talks, hitting a small arthouse cinema in New Jersey last fall to talk Roberto Rossellini’s “Journey To Italy,” taking part in a conversation at the Rome Film Festival in 2007, and more recently, popping up at a screening in Los Angeles to chat with Werner Herzog. And this weekend, he continued to emerge from his shell of press privacy at the SXSW Film Festival, following the premiere of his new movie, “Song To Song” (read our review).

Today, Malick was joined by Michael Fassbender in a conversation moderated by Richard Linklater, about the Austin-set movie, but perhaps most remarkably, a good portion of it was officially streamed live on Facebook. The quality isn’t great, but it should disabuse anyone that Malick is some kind of insular, tortured artist, as he opened up quite freely about his process, and shared some interesting details about “Song To Song.”

READ MORE: Terrence Malick Plays A Familiar Soul Searching Tune In ‘Song To Song’ [SXSW Review]

The advent of digital filmmaking has created more opportunities for Malick, and he shared that the first cut of “Song To Song” was so long, it could’ve been a TV project. “These days with new cameras, you can quickly accumulate a lot of footage,” he revealed. “We had an eight-hour first cut. We thought, ‘Is this a mini-series?’ It really could have been. It took a long time to cut it down to a manageable length.”

As for this free-wheeling, storyboard-free style, Malick explained the thought behind his approach. “If you try to make things happen, they start to feel presented,” he said. “The action has been premeditated. It starts to feel like theater, which is wonderful in its own right. But you don’t want the movies to be like theater.”

The whole thing is worth watching, and who knows when he’ll allow this kind of access again. “Song To Song” opens on March 17th.

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  • THX11384EB

    The year 2017 and people still don’t know how to shoot video…

    (amazing to see the lesser-spotted Malick out of the wild though)

  • Andrew

    “We had an eight-hour first cut.”

    Of course it was …