Do you find yourself liking people less the more you direct?

I've written, directed, and starred in three shorts. I'll quickly tell you the experiences.

1: First short. It was a stop motion short. My roommate at the time who had done stop motion shorts helped me out on this as the art director. Stop motion is painstaking process. But we worked well together. Composer was fine. My editor was a friend/roommate who basically has left the production in post hell. I've moved on to other shorts though.

2: Second short. This was my first live action short. There were only three real actors on set (myself an old roommate who is a theater major, and a supporting actress). The lead "actress proved to be distant, I got flaked on by an actress the night before, a location kept rushing me, people kept on being late. It wasn't the worst. But it wasn't the best.

3: Third short. This was the hardest production thus far. From an actress having a drug problem and fucking everything up, to one getting slipped roofies at a party the night before, to the DP and crew annoying me as hell. What really bothered me that the replacement lead actress brought up the "sex scene". I explained to her that it was more making out then cut to the next morning. She was cool with it. Then we meet a day before the last shoot and she says the same thing and I say the same thing. Things are fine. Then the next day the DP (who is the one that got her because he knew her) called me saying that she spoke him saying that she didn't want to do all that. I had to roll with the punches as I needed a short made. But that was very disappointing. I wouldn't have even hired her by choice. I think this is my best short yet. But even then I didn't get to do what I want and while you kinda just get over it, it does kinda piss you off in the back of the head.

Plus I have been having other issues. The editor won't create a trailer and teaser (he took four extra days to edit due to to a family emergency and I said nothing. But he can't do this for me). And I have dealt with dick composers. I am scared that this new one is going to flake on me. At this point I am almost like "fuck it".

When I am just acting on set it's cool. You hang around the actors that you want to hang around, talk to the director, talk to the crew every now and then. That's it.

As a director, you have to manage everyone. And that has made me like people less and less.

Funny, I love directing more and more. I love seeing how I am improving each time I direct a film. I can't wait to get my feature film going. I am going to be more careful of making sure I have a cast and crew that I really get along with. I honestly only like one person from my short (a supporting actress).

But does anyone else have this issue?
 
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There is absolutely nothing unusual here. The more you pay - and do your research and scout and preproduce and.... - the "easier" it will be, although budgets do provide their own share of problems.

People are people, and you will come across flakes, weirdos, eccentrics and a thousand other types in varying degrees and flavors in any profession, although they do tend to concentrate in the "creative" fields of art and entertainment.
 
That is good to read. It makes sense. It all started when I went with a DP only because he had a better camera (I wasn't already keen on him) than a DP who was cool, but had a Sony au7 versus a Red. Then a supporting actor dropped out because he went to see his family, then that fiasco happened.

I love directing for two reasons: directing actors and visually telling a story. I ended up only having one performer that I really liked and everyone else were just people I got because I had to.

I remember the days leading up to the last day I was kinda filled with dread. I was like "what am I doing? "Oh making a film." To was beginning to wonder why I was doing it. And the dark undertone has stayed with me. The thing that gives me the most fulfillment had become something that induced stress.

I am going to screen heavily from now on. Things turned out well and I used that turmoil that I had in my performance. But I would like to like the key people that I am working with.
 
It all started when I went with a DP only because he had a better camera (I wasn't already keen on him) than a DP who was cool, but had a Sony au7 versus a Red.

It's all about the talent, not the gear. Would you rather have Don Burgess (or your personal favorite DP) with a $99 camcorder or Jimmy Moron with a RED?

When I was a touring musician I never had the latest greatest toys, I put my time and efforts into extensive deep programming of what equipment I did have and practicing my playing/performing techniques every day. That was enough to get me to The Apollo, The Beacon Theater and Carnegie Hall, amongst other well-know venues. Now that I run a modest audio facility the same holds true; I may not have the best gear, but I know my gear inside/out, backwards/forwards, awake or asleep. People hire me because of the quality of my work, not for what I own.
 
Do you find yourself liking people less the more you direct?

No. I'm going in the opposite direction to you it would seem. The more I direct, the more I like people.

I didn't get to do what I want

It happens. It also happens to some more than others.

As a director, you have to manage everyone.

If you're not management material, you don't have to do it. That's what the First AD, Production Manager, Producer and Heads of Department. The director is the leader. For the director, leadership skills (and communication skills) are way more important than the ability to manage people.

I am going to be more careful of making sure I have a cast and crew that I really get along with.

One word of wisdom. It's more important to get someone who is the best you can afford than someone you can work with than someone who can get along with. It may be mincing words and looking too far into what you're saying. It's more important to get the right person for the job. When picking a lawyer, I don't want someone I can have a beer with, I want a lawyer who spits venom and vanquishes his opponents (ok, a little dramatic, but you get my point?)

But does anyone else have this issue?

Yep, it's happened to me multiple times. I deal with each experience, learn from it and move on. Picking the right person for the job is half the battle.
 
I find your claim that you've shot three films, a bit confusing. I'm not trying to be disparaging here, but there's something that doesn't quite add up, the way you have your mindset.

You say that you've shot three films and you think you're getting better with each one. How do you know that, if you can't compare the final products. Filmmaking is not just about writing the script, and arranging pre-production and production. It's also about arranging post production and making sure that the film is finalized. Filmmaking doesn't stop with wrapping the shoot.

You've shot three different things. Yes. None of them are films yet. And if you don't learn to take control of your post production, your fourth one may very well be better than the first three, but is it going to be a film? Will people be able to see it?

I just shot a feature. It hasn't been released yet. Until it gets out of my computer, does the world really care that I shot it? Yeah, some of us had fun. But did we really shoot a story? Is it a movie, or did we just shoot some random stuff?

Don't take my criticism personally. If you don't figure out the post production part, filmmaking is going to continue to prove difficult.

Edit: And nobody but me is to blame for my movie. If somebody fucks up, it's because I wasn't watching. It's because I didn't catch it. It's because I took other people's advice about how I should delegate, since, you know, everyone is a professional, and gives two sh*ts about my movie. If an actor doesn't show up, it's because I didn't make the right call. I didn't guage his or her commitment level. It happened to me on this last feature shoot. I didn't have one particular person, and he said "sure, I'll do it." But I didn't know him, and I didn't have enough time to build up a relationship with him, which I did with most of the other actors, so the day before, he said he couldn't do it. I had to get someone else. It wasn't that guy's fault. He just made a promise. (He basically made a promise to me and to another director and decided to go with the other director). And I believed him because I wanted to, because I didn't have a choice. If I had three people lined up for that part, I would have been more discerning about who got the part, and part of my decision making process would have been about whether I thought he'd show up. It's not the actor's job to fulfill my needs. It's my job to make sure that the actor wants to work with me, in the way that I want him or her to work with me.


I'm not saying that I'm correct in my viewpoint. But it works for me. I make sure that I don't believe a single promise, unless I already know that person and have worked with him/her and am aware of their output. I've just been burned too many times. It's just the nature of the business at our level. It's nobody's fault but mine.

Edit2: Honestly, I'm not trying to be an ass (and I really don't know how I'm coming off here). But you seem satisfied with your films. And I'm trying to tell you that until you tell yourself, that you're not really done, until you're done, you're not going to pressure yourself to learn the last part, the post production part. And the only way to do that is to think in your head that you're not done.
 
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It's all about the talent, not the gear. Would you rather have Don Burgess (or your personal favorite DP) with a $99 camcorder or Jimmy Moron with a RED?

When I was a touring musician I never had the latest greatest toys, I put my time and efforts into extensive deep programming of what equipment I did have and practicing my playing/performing techniques every day. That was enough to get me to The Apollo, The Beacon Theater and Carnegie Hall, amongst other well-know venues. Now that I run a modest audio facility the same holds true; I may not have the best gear, but I know my gear inside/out, backwards/forwards, awake or asleep. People hire me because of the quality of my work, not for what I own.

Don't get me wrong, my DP is a really talented guy. And he really got into the story, by the end of it we had pretty good communication. But I just didn't like him as a person. Same with the replacement lead actress.

One word of wisdom. It's more important to get someone who is the best you can afford than someone you can work with than someone who can get along with. It may be mincing words and looking too far into what you're saying. It's more important to get the right person for the job. When picking a lawyer, I don't want someone I can have a beer with, I want a lawyer who spits venom and vanquishes his opponents (ok, a little dramatic, but you get my point?).

I agree with this. This is why I went with this particular DP. He had what I needed in terms of getting it shot. And he did a great job.

I find your claim that you've shot three films, a bit confusing. I'm not trying to be disparaging here, but there's something that doesn't quite add up, the way you have your mindset.

You say that you've shot three films and you think you're getting better with each one. How do you know that, if you can't compare the final products. Filmmaking is not just about writing the script, and arranging pre-production and production. It's also about arranging post production and making sure that the film is finalized. Filmmaking doesn't stop with wrapping the shoot.

You've shot three different things. Yes. None of the[m are films yet. And if you don't learn to take control of your post production, your fourth one may very well be better than the first three, but is it going to be a film? Will people be able to see it?

I just shot a feature. It hasn't been released yet. Until it gets out of my computer, does the world really care that I shot it? Yeah, some of us had fun. But did we really shoot a story? Is it a movie, or did we just shoot some random stuff?

Don't take my criticism personally. If you don't figure out the post production part, filmmaking is going to continue to prove difficult.

Edit: And nobody but me is to blame for my movie. If somebody fucks up, it's because I wasn't watching. It's because I didn't catch it. It's because I took other people's advice about how I should delegate, since, you know, everyone is a professional, and gives two sh*ts about my movie. If an actor doesn't show up, it's because I didn't make the right call. I didn't guage his or her commitment level. It happened to me on this last feature shoot. I didn't have one particular person, and he said "sure, I'll do it." But I didn't know him, and I didn't have enough time to build up a relationship with him, which I did with most of the other actors, so the day before, he said he couldn't do it. I had to get someone else. It wasn't that guy's fault. He just made a promise. (He basically made a promise to me and to another director and decided to go with the other director). And I believed him because I wanted to, because I didn't have a choice. If I had three people lined up for that part, I would have been more discerning about who got the part, and part of my decision making process would have been about whether I thought he'd show up. It's not the actor's job to fulfill my needs. It's my job to make sure that the actor wants to work with me, in the way that I want him or her to work with me.


I'm not saying that I'm correct in my viewpoint. But it works for me. I make sure that I don't believe a single promise, unless I already know that person and have worked with him/her and am aware of their output. I've just been burned too many times. It's just the nature of the business at our level. It's nobody's fault but mine.

Huh? Only my first short is in post production hell. Even then the only thing that was missing is the voices being added to the characters. My second short got into festivals and the whole nine yards. I don't know where that came from, I thought that was obvious.

The amount that your hold yourself accountable is interesting and makes sense. Once you get burned you have to operate a different way. And this film for sure changed me as an artist.
 
Huh? Only my first short is in post production hell. Even then the only thing that was missing is the voices being added to the characters. My second short got into festivals and the whole nine yards. I don't know where that came from, I thought that was obvious.

My bad. I just assumed it was also in post production. Well screw my crap advice :). Congrats on the film.
 
Sweetie said something about having an A.D. I had one, then of course my sound guy bailed the day of. So I had the DP bring his sound gear and the A.D became the boom dude so I had no A.D.

I just wish that the lead actress that I got wasn't such a screw up. The actress that came in was very good and overall nice. But she wasn't very experienced (only actor/actress on the production with no IMDB credits), and there was just something about her that I didn't like. We had chemistry. But it wasn't like the original actress and of course sheafs me throw out my sex scene. In the end of the day the film did fine without a sex scene. But I really wanted to make an adult movie and the sex scene represented themes that I wanted. When she did this I had no choice as I had filmed with her.

And the way the crew bailed on the first day pissed me off.

I guess I just have to finish post, get this out to festivals, and work on my feature. I'll write a detailed blog about this once it premieres at a festival (hoping for Sundance).
 
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