Movie stars Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway were all put through an intense audition and rehearsal process, to make sure they could sing take after take, live, with cameras positioned right in their face.
"I thought the great weapon in my arsenal was the close up, because the one thing on stage that you can't enjoy is the detail of what is going on in people's faces as they are singing," Hooper said. "I felt (that) having to do a meditation on the human face was by far the best way to bring out the emotion of the songs."
That tactic may or may not have paid off for a movie that is seen as one of the front runners for Oscar awards in February. Early screenings of the film that opens on Christmas Day have moved some audiences. Critics have praised the performances, but given the movie as a whole less than top marks.