Movie Magic ~ A Writer/Director’s P.O.V.

Stepping out from behind a laptop to lead a cast and crew in the production of a feature film can be a bold move for a writer. Typically, writers embrace solace. We enjoy our privacy, and derive inspiration from quietude where we wait for creative genius to strike, ready to pounce on the keyboard like a cat on an unsuspecting rodent.

Film production couldn’t be any further from that tranquil experience. It’s noisy, stressful, demanding, and at times, chaotic. The days are grueling—as in, changing dialogue on the fly at 3 a.m. when you haven’t slept for a week, or figuring out which shots are the most essential to cover a scene when you’re completely out of time.

For people who enjoy phrases like, “The Captain’s flying in,” when you’re pushing past crew to help an actor who’s trapped in tight quarters and struggling to stay in character, you’ll find gratification in being a Director. But such moments of “glory” are so few—and fleeting—that, for me, being at the helm of a fast moving creative force, had to come from a much deeper wellspring of desire.

The passion for the craft of filmmaking involves creative collaboration, communication and fast-thinking. It taps the things I love and am good at—a clear vision for storytelling, the desire to translate a story into something concrete, and leading while maintaining a mutual respect for the people you work with.

I’ve learned to always listen, not only to your DP and AD, but to the tiny voice of an eight year-old. And still be brave enough to listen to the most important voice of all—your own.