BUT WHAT I REALLY WANT TO DO IS ... WRITE - Complications Ensue
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Saturday, February 18, 2006

In his post about Robert Towne's talk the other day, DMc mentions why he's not interested in directing ... yet.

I am beginning to realize that I am not interested in directing ... ever.

When I went to film school (UCLA), the idea was to write a great script that sets you up as a writer, and another great script, budgeted around a million, that you can insist on directing. That's one of the shortest routes to directing. As opposed to, say, direct music videos (David Fincher, I think); work your way up to director of photography (Jan de Bont); direct extremely low budget movies you finance yourself (Robert Rodriguez).

I, too, had this vague desire to one day direct something or other. I even have the concept for the script -- which was a play, too -- a million dollar s.f. movie along the lines of Static or Pi.

On the Charlie Jade set I got to hang out with Erik Canuel, currently one of Québec's hottest directors. Erik's a cool guy around my age or a little younger, with a houseful of action figures, graphic novels and swords.

Erik has ten times more visual imagination than I have. He would take ordinary dialog scenes I wrote and make them visual. Oh, I have some issues with some of his choices which, I felt, made the scene look cooler but hurt the story. But he would find visual gold in places in the script that I was expecting nothing more than standard back'n'forth between closeups.

Since then, I don't want to direct. I just want to work with great directors.

I know I could direct, in the sense that I can make decisions quickly, I've worked with actors, I could get the story on the screen. But I don't think like a director. I think like a writer. I could team up with a great d.p. and just let him work, but what's the point of that?

Granted one point of directing is to make sure someone else doesn't screw up your show. But if you're in TV then you can hire and then direct the director anyway.

Denis, I can't think why you'd want to direct. You're too good a writer. Leave the directing to the directors. Just make sure they tell your story.

1 Comments:

I read an interview with a first-time Sundance writer/director who was, at heart, a writer. She said that on the first day of shooting, she was so overwhelmed that she just sat down on the sidewalk and cried. The producer had to come talk her into going back on set, while the crew and actors waited (and on a shoot with no money to spare for such antics).

That would be me. Except I'd have hidden from the producer better.

By Blogger Lisa Hunter, at 9:15 PM  

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