Directing Tomorrow

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Stepping onto the set, a strange house, not enough time, not enough lights that are the correct color, no colored gels, and the cameraman will be a few hours late…

What would Kubrick do?

He’d get the shot.

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Simple scenes, just like the rehearsals, the girls are great, and I trust them to bring the performances. But filmmaking is a technical endeavor. The sound and the images need to be of a high standard, or you people won’t continue watching.

I’ve studied these arts for many years, made many short films and many mistakes. Eventually I shot an 8-minute short performing every role, including the acting. If I needed 55 takes I did them.

Mistakes are so much easier to make than are professional shots. And so the stress lies waiting like a coiled cobra. Everything we’ve done up to this point weighs against each new shot. Was that take good enough?

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One wrong word, one snippy comment, could unravel an entire series. Egos are thin and bared for the camera. There is no buffer zone, no assistant director, no line producer, PA nor anyone else. It’s small, but it’s immediate.

The greatest filmmaking advice I ever heard was from Stanley Kubrick on a set, which I believe was Full Metal Jacket. He wasn’t dispensing advice, of course, but asking his crew to validate a shot, one that he obviously held reservations about…

“But is it interesting?”
-S.K.


 

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