Alejandro Iñárritu & Tom Shoval

Tom Shoval’s year of mentoring was a whirlwind that started when Alejandro González Iñárritu invited him to watch the post-production of his masterpiece, Birdman, followed by six weeks on the set of Iñárritu’s new feature film, The Revenant.

Tom Shoval’s year of mentoring was a whirlwind that started when Alejandro González Iñárritu invited him to watch the post-production of his masterpiece, Birdman, followed by six weeks on the set of Iñárritu’s new feature film, The Revenant.

Three-time Academy Award winner Alejandro González Iñárritu offered Tom Shoval the chance to see every aspect of film-making from production meetings to how scenes were conceived and “blocked”.

Three-time Academy Award winner Alejandro González Iñárritu offered Tom Shoval the chance to see every aspect of film-making from production meetings to how scenes were conceived and “blocked”.

Shoval spent weeks with Iñárritu in the Canadian Rockies while his mentor directed his new film, The Revenant.

Shoval spent weeks with Iñárritu in the Canadian Rockies while his mentor directed his new film, The Revenant.

Shoval witnessed Iñárritu’s intense involvement with the background action in his films, speaking to every “extra” in the frame.

Shoval witnessed Iñárritu’s intense involvement with the background action in his films, speaking to every “extra” in the frame.

Shoval was the only outsider permitted on location as his mentor, Alejandro González Iñárritu, directed his latest film, The Revenant, in the Canadian Rockies.

Shoval was the only outsider permitted on location as his mentor, Alejandro González Iñárritu, directed his latest film, The Revenant, in the Canadian Rockies.

After watching his mentor direct The Revenant, Shoval decided to adopt some of his methods. “He [Iñárritu] really understands the metaphysical aspects of time and space and movement in this medium and how to make all of this dance together,” Shoval said.

After watching his mentor direct The Revenant, Shoval decided to adopt some of his methods. “He [Iñárritu] really understands the metaphysical aspects of time and space and movement in this medium and how to make all of this dance together,” Shoval said.

Iñárritu and Shoval at the Alfred Hitchcock Theater, Universal Studios, Universal City, Los Angeles.

Iñárritu and Shoval at the Alfred Hitchcock Theater, Universal Studios, Universal City, Los Angeles.

Shoval has been making short films since his parents gave him a VHS camera for his bar mitzvah.

Shoval has been making short films since his parents gave him a VHS camera for his bar mitzvah.

Shoval’s feature (Youth) and a short film (Aya, which he co-wrote) are both out on DVD. Aya scored a 2015 Oscar nomination for Best Live Action Short.

Shoval’s feature (Youth) and a short film (Aya, which he co-wrote) are both out on DVD. Aya scored a 2015 Oscar nomination for Best Live Action Short.

Along with cinematographer Seffy Hirsch (right), Shoval scouts for locations near Tel Aviv for his next feature film.

Along with cinematographer Seffy Hirsch (right), Shoval scouts for locations near Tel Aviv for his next feature film.

Shoval examines photographs of potential locations for his next film, a dark satire about a young idealist in contemporary Israel.

Shoval examines photographs of potential locations for his next film, a dark satire about a young idealist in contemporary Israel.

Of his time with Shoval, Iñárritu said: “The experience was not only great, it was pleasurable to experience the film through the eyes of a younger film-maker whose hunger is so big, who has talent and sensitivity”.

Of his time with Shoval, Iñárritu said: “The experience was not only great, it was pleasurable to experience the film through the eyes of a younger film-maker whose hunger is so big, who has talent and sensitivity”.