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The Invisible Director

October 18, 2012

They say you never know a good thing until it’s gone. I definitely experienced this theory while working on a recent indie feature film. I realized the importance of a good director, and just how much a director does during the making of a film!

The director I was working with was not only filling the position of the director, but also of the writer and “star” of the project – as he referred to himself as at one point during the shoot. I truly believe this director was simply trying to take on too much. I understand the feeling of being passionate about your project, but I think there comes a time when you have to let other people do their jobs, and you do yours. The director made it clear that he did not want to be asked questions – he was constantly redirecting me to other people who didn’t seem to know the answers either. There was supposed to be an assistant director, but I think she was too afraid to actually direct the actors – since the director/writer/”star” had such strong opinions about his project. He disliked when anyone made a change to his “vision”, and since we were behind schedule most of the time – everyone wanted to get the shots as quickly as possible. This left me and the other actors very confused about what we were supposed to do! Most of the time, I just went with my “actor instincts”, and I assume the other actors did the same.

I wish the director would have showed me the camera angles more. Most of the time, we would start shooting – and I didn’t even know where the camera was coming from or which way to look. I wish the director would have told me whether he thought I was on the right track with my character. I would often ask him how he felt about the scene after shooting it, and considering he was also the writer of the screenplay – I just wish he would have told me whether he liked my take or wanted me to play it a different way. He was very vague. He also didn’t allow the costumer/makeup artist to do her job. He would often take it into his own hands to choose the wardrobe, and a few times during the shoot – we didn’t have enough pieces, and I had to supply some from my own wardrobe.

I never realized just how important a director is until there wasn’t one – or at least a present one. I now have a new appreciation for all the wonderful directors I have worked with in the past.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. October 18, 2012 3:34 pm

    I totally see what you mean, I have definitely dealt with some directors who have eyes bigger than their stomachs (pardon the pun)! I am doing costumes for a web-series and we are in production right now, and if our Director/Writer wasn’t so amazing, we would all be in serious trouble.

    • The Growing Artist permalink
      October 20, 2012 2:10 am

      I definitely agree! That’s great that you are working with a talented director. Best of luck with the web-series!

  2. October 18, 2012 7:56 pm

    I tooootally know what you mean. Good directors make our jobs so much easier. And a bad one? Well, let’s just say that everyone suffers, and so does the project :/

    Helps us to appreciate the amazing ones, though!

    • The Growing Artist permalink
      October 20, 2012 2:12 am

      Very true. I definitely have a new-found appreciation for the amazing directors I have worked with in the past!

  3. October 19, 2012 9:07 am

    As a director/writer myself, here’s my general rules relating to wearing more then one hat in a production. Once in a while directing your own work in fine, but you shouldn’t do it until you are a well-rounded experienced director (or once if you want the experience of it). I feel to be a good writer I can let other people direct my work and it going just as well if not better. However, my one directing rule is that if you are directing/acting, DON’T. I’ve never seen it turn out well, and you can’t properly direct other people if you are in the picture with them. Good directors should help make actors confident in their choices, how can they do that if they are focused on their own acting as well?

    • The Growing Artist permalink
      October 20, 2012 2:17 am

      It’s so great to hear your opinion as a director/writer! I definitely agree- and I’m sure you are a pleasure to work with as a director.


  1. Sunday Summary — October 21, 2012 « The Green Room

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