Nashville (1975): Making of Altman’s Masterpiece

Nashville (1975): Making of Altman’s Masterpiece

The screenplay is credited to Joan Tewksbury, who had never written a conventional script.

She recalls: “What you have to do for a director like Bob is to provide an environment in which he can work.”

The narrative is structured mosaically.

It traces the activities of 24 characters, most eccentric, over a five-day period in Nashville, the heart of country music.

Tewksbury created the characters in sketch form, then mapped out what each major character would be doing at any given time.

The rest: specific dialogue, details, actions, songs were created by the actors.

Altman: “It’s like jazz. You’re not planning any of this that you film. You’re capturing.” (Giannetti, 403).