In Empire’s comprehensive piece on the making of “The Dark Knight Trilogy,” one section about the production of “Batman Begins” pointed out an interesting detail regarding Nolan’s stance on a second unit. The director seemed incredulous at the thought of handing the reigns over to someone else for a film primarily centered around action: “Why would I want to direct an action film where I hire another director to direct the action?”
“Batman Begins” wasn’t the first nor last time Nolan would refuse to have a second unit director. Everything that needed to be filmed would be done under his watch — no matter what purpose it served in the context of the film, it was Nolan who would oversee every aspect of production. Even later on in the director’s career, in a 2012 interview with the Directors Guild of America, Nolan was asked why he doesn’t use a second unit:
“Let me put it this way: If I don’t need to be directing the shots that go in the movie, why do I need to be there at all? The screen is the same size for every shot. The little shot of, say, a watch on someone’s wrist will occupy the same screen size as the shot of a thousand people running down the street. Everything is equally weighted and needs to be considered with equal care; I really do believe that.”
“Batman Begins” is the perfect example of the “equal care” that Nolan puts into every scene of one of his films. Look no further than the big chase scene in the film involving the tumbler.