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How To Be A Motion Picture Director

"How To Be A Motion Picture Director" an interview with Marshall Neilan in the July, 1925 Issue of Photo Play, photo via Spectacular Attractions

Imagine trying to wrangle the person Marshall Neilan is describing and you have 18+ years of my life.  I’m not going to lie, this is seriously a fun person to be around but at the same time trying to get the work done pretty much BLOWS!

Photo Of "Creative People"

I googled "Photos of creative people" and this came up - hysterical! Here's a link to this design company's site. I don't know them so don't hold me accountable for anything you see... unless it's awesome.

My last director took the “Owl or a Nut” advice very seriously and would switch between the two identities throughout the day. Because he thought being late was a sign of creativity (something he lacked to a T) and because I’m mortified by the idea of making a client wait, I always told agency producers that he had an Eastern Religion resistance to meetings scheduled on the hour or the half hour and that it would be best to schedule meetings and calls on the fifteen minute marks…and it worked. I would tell him the hour to meet, he’d stroll in ten minutes past, and then the agency and client would arrive even more fashionably late. I shouldn’t take delight in besting his ego but it’s hard to keep coming up with magnanimous excuses for someone who was simply killing time in the bathroom by re-spiking his hair.  No worries about him seeing this, not only does he consider blogs “common” but his creative juices would never be able to put two and two together. I of course have my own theories for why he doesn’t read but I’ll keep those out of print.

In all sincerity, I respect all of the great Directors I’ve worked with. And even though I’ve had many inner chuckles at their expense, I never took issue with their quirky needs because their creativity is 100% responsible for the work I’m so proud of. Unfortunately, when you’re dealing with creative people, the line between crippling confidence and crippling fear is very short and a fragile ego is always the elephant in the room. I’ve said it so many times and I’ll say it again, getting a director to the starting line of each day is 80% of a producer’s job… and the other 20% is getting them to wrap on time!

*For some reason my links aren’t working…I’ll get this sorted out ASAP so credit can go where credit is due!