It’s been a week of preparation, followed by one glorious day of panicked irrationality, wherein I achieved more ancillary goals than I’d been able to the entire rest of the week combined, simply due to the impetus provided by the stress of knowing that in less than 24 hours I’d be behind the camera again.
Directing a film is a little like death. Not dying itself, but the things that happen when someone dies. You have to arrange for the flowers, find a casket, pick the funeral home, schedule the wake, pick up the tuna balls and diet coke for the reception [Weddings have receptions, funerals have parlour talk --Ed. Is there a difference?].
And since you’re the captain, you’ve got to deliver the eulogy, which means saying the right words, not screwing up the dead person’s last moments above ground by accidentally saying the words to “Louie, Louie” in a serious, monotone voice and then realizing a moment later the horrible thing you’ve done and how little time it takes to become the world’s most monumental idiot.
Directing keeps you on your toes, and on top of the creative stuff that directors do, I’ve been producing as well. I’ve had some things taken off my hands by helpful people in places of expertise and convenience. But a lot of the administrative stuff has been on me–most of the contacting of people, the setting up of meetings, scheduling, craft services, etc. The problem is, I love it all too much to act like it’s a huge pain in the rear. I mean, it is a huge pain in the rear, but it’s really more fun than being chased by South American Indians through the jungle. And really, there’s a fine line between the two, so I’ll choose the producing stuff any day.
But in the back of your mind, you’re always the director first, and you’re setting up your shots, you’re planning those edit points. You’re figuring out just how not to look stupid in front of your cast and crew. But it’s more than that even. It’s not just looking professional. It’s being professional. Taking care of your people. Making sure the actors have everything they need in a timely manner. Giving any crewmembers as much notice as possible about the shoot and what’s to be expected.
Minimizing the hassle that invariably occurs on set by reducing incompetence and implementing effective planning. I’ve done what I can.
Tomorrow, we find out if I’ve done my job right.
Have a great weekend. Updates on the shoot to follow.