Archive for September, 2014

Lose the Battle, Win the War: What that Really Means When it Comes to Directing

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

 

ShawnTalksWithNicholleTomSome of you have heard me talk about an amazing experience I was blessed to be a part of early my career.  I was a field producer for a BBC documentary on success and failure in Hollywood.  As part of an interview team of four people I participated in over 70 interviews with some of the most successful people in Hollywood.  From Kathleen Kennedy to Doug Wick after he’d won the Oscar for Gladiator to Akiva Goldsman who’d just won an Oscar for A Beautiful Mind to Pierce Brosnan at his house.  It was like the best grad program in movie-making ever created.

We interviewed many, many producers and, as you’d guess, they all had lots to say about directors.  I heard more than one producer talk about directors who approach filmmaking like it’s an “act of war.”  As a young director who’d spent most of my career in the theatre at that point, I found this analogy really intriguing.  It’s not like the theatre was always touchy/feely, but I would never have called directing theatre an act of war. 

So, it was ironic to find myself using war metaphors when it came to directing Saturn Returns.  The emotional, physical and mentkeep-calm-and-win-the-waral challenges of directing a low budget feature in a small town 350 miles away from Los Angeles are immense.  The analogy of being a general in war in which there were many battles felt spot on.

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