Posts Tagged ‘directing actors’

“Usually the characters are where I start [the writing process] and then I continually ask myself, ‘what’s the worst thing that can happen to this character?’ I love finding the worst things happening at the best moments of a person’s life.”
Paul Haggis

“Trust is the most important thing in any relationship. Never lie to an actor. Often as directors we are asked to lie, because the producer says, ‘you can only shoot for 10 more minutes,’ because of this reason or that. And you want to keep the actor on your side. You don’t want to tell them you can only shoot for 10 more minutes because it’s a budgetary thing. And so you say, ‘no, no it’s this reason’—and it comes back and bites you in the ass each time. You got to go up and say, ‘I’m really sorry, we just took seven hours shooting the other side on her coverage, and now we have to turn around and do yours in 10. That’s what we got.’ And then the actor can deal with that and go, ‘OK.’ So trust is incredibly important. The great thing about hiring really skilled actors is they can take it to a level that you never imagined. And if they trust themselves they’ll discover things in those moments that they didn’t know was going to happen and you didn’t know. And you just hope the camera’s in focus.”
Two-time Oscar-winning producer/director/writer Paul Haggis (Crash)
The Dialogue: Learning from the Masters interview with Mike De Luca

Here’s the trailer from Crash (2004) which is full of horrible things happening. BTW–Horrible things=conflict. Followed by a well written, acted and directed scene from Crash.

Related posts:

Everything I Learned in Film School (Tip #1)
Conflict: What? vs. How?
Neil Simon on Conflict
On What Makes a Director—Kazan
Protagonist = Struggle

Scott W. Smith

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