Saturday, March 24, 2007

Alejandra Question #3

3) How was it like to tell people what to do?

I'm glad I'm not the only one who was under the mistaken impression that this is what a director does. And just in case you 're wondering, but too polite to ask: No one kisses your butt either.

To be perfectly honest, everything I learned about directing I learned from Errol Flynn. Before he became a movie star, Errol led a very exciting life in exotic places. I don't remember all the details, but somewhere in South America he managed to talk his way into running a cocoa plantation, even though he had never stepped foot on a cocoa plantation before in his life (Like my ill-fated and doomed affair with our script supervisor, Errol had one with the plantation owner's wife). So, what do you do when you're in charge of an operation you know nothing about? You do what Errol Flynn did: You bluff. You tell everyone, "Carry on."

My first ever experience on a movie set was as the director of BL. I had and still have no idea what I'm doing. So, whether it's actors, crew, the DP, the editor, or the composer; I simply answer questions and then get the hell out of their way with a very directorial sounding. "Carry on." And it works.

In the end, everyone usually comes up with something better than I would've, so that's what we put into the movie. This has kept cast and crew happy because they enjoy having creative input, and it's kept me from having to completely expose my raging ignorance and insecurities. It's what's known as a two-fer.


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