The director and the tightrope walker
Sometimes, in our profession, we face more difficult times than others. Moments that should be moments of joy, moments of creation and moments of realization… of the film and of oneself. When you have managed to federate a producer, actors will be experienced, talented, and a technical team ready to move mountains for you and your film, in short, all the elements seem to be in place to make the film…all of the sudden nothing works more or not as you have expected. The film that you had in mind is fading little by little, to problems of logistics, money, bad news, or partners who you let go or partners in whom you believe, but, that them, do you not have the confidence…
…This article is titled “the director and the tightrope ” but it should be titled : director, you the tight-rope walker !
Simply because at the time, when you have dreamed about and even worked on your film for months or even years, it is inconceivable that you should surrender, because the “elements” and “luck” seem to be against you !
This article is here so you can have the right attitude to deal with situations where you will need to adapt to that vision and your art see the light of day…but should you accept everything ? How far must you go to your movie ? And if to force concessions, effort, cuts, changes you trahissiez and that you lose the essence of why you are fighting body and soul…your movie, your story…
I am currently preparing the first film of a director. Money, there is not enough. The team is reduced to a minimum. The task at hand is gigantic.
How do you do when your movie should be in 32 days… go for 30 ! and that you do not have 24 ? How to enter all the contents of your history, as you have already agreed to drastic cuts in your scenario ?
The fact of a lack of resources allows us to be sharpened, inventive… this allows you to go to the essential because the choices you must make, must precisely not to betray the story you want to tell… but until when ?…
The question may be raised otherwise. Is it that all movies need to exist…and this at any price ? I’m not sure.
Be a director, it is especially to make concessions
The first films in France are often the work of writers/ directors. They have written their movie, this is their baby and sometimes the birth preparation and the birth itself was difficult. Once you have agreed to make cuts in your scenario and that it still does not fit because your cutting is too heavy, what can we do ?
And it lightens ! But until where ? All filmmakers will tell you : “I want to make efforts to reduce my cutting but I will not do anything ! I’m not going to make 1 or 2 shots per clip, it does not rhyme with nothing ! “
Then, after the rewrite , he sees his cutting technique, and then at the end, the wizard pronounces the sentence : ” it still does not ! “. Since it is not necessary to take the problem in this sense. We should not say : “here’s my cutting and the plans that I want to, how it can return in 25 days ?” and we keep our fingers crossed for it to be good. But : “I have 25 days, I’ll think of my achievement ! “And this is where you can find incredible solutions. After there are always adjustments to be made, it does not turn either the night or the day ! One turns sometimes in mixed, that is to say, a part of the day and the other night…and this is where the bottom hurts. Because as a wizard you can’t build the work plan as it wants to. We are subject to various parameters : the availability of actors, the time, the availability of the sets, the location of the sun and the list goes on.
Because of this, some of the sequences that you have lightened still do not switch in the work plan…what to do ? What to do when this sequence is not a plan and that according to the forecast we will not have the time to do it ? Knowing that we can’t move or have another day of shooting ! And well we suppress it and it incorporated the essential elements of this scene also…
Yes you read that right ! But be careful, it is always necessary that there is a consistency , and that the film, the spirit of the film is not betrayed…but this is not so simple.
Then I assure you, that I live at the moment on the preparation of this film and what is the director is extreme !
I’m going to play devil’s advocate, the director is like on a wire tightrope. Every decision he takes can make him make a step towards its goal or to fall. But to force them to make a concession here, a concession there, at the end of the account he has surely made more concessions than it would have agreed…but he is already gone too far, it is engaged in. The day of the shooting approach, and now he can/ wants to turn back ! No matter what they will be asked to cut, it wants to turn at all costs.
And the production in all of this ? Well I believe that, as the director, it is difficult to say stop ! The preparation of a film costs money, that money comes from grants, banks and so on. Not to make the movie would make money…but the wages have been already paid, this would make a big hole in the crate…then they go there ! With a little luck, it will pass ;o) in The end it plays big !
Should we accept everything to make a movie or work on a movie
Then I posed the question earlier : is it that all movies must exist whatever the cost ?
I find it hard to respond, my status as a technician makes me say not then that the movie fan has the desire to say yes. Unfortunately we do not live in that passion…
This is the film that I’m preparing, I’m leaving today for a month with 6 out of 7 days of filming. I know that it’s going to be difficult, but it is a beautiful story and the director (in addition to being a good friend) really has the eye and a sensibility that shines through in his films.
She will have to adapt to the conditions weather, to the sea, to the actors , as well as the mechanical team. I am here to lend a helping hand, to ensure that the whole team goes in one direction, hers, and to optimize the days and find solutions in case of problems to make the best film possible.
10 years that she thinks about the film, 10 years that she fights for the mount…and the first day of filming is tomorrow ! Just imagine the pressure, the joy, the fear, excitement that it can…that we can feel ;o)
The director must keep in mind that nothing is set in stone, everything can change. It is then necessary to make out the best of themselves to create the best film ever made.
And to have a great 1st assistant…right now I’m throwing flowers lol But it’s good !!! ;o)
I’ll keep you informed, the next few weeks, the filming, so that you can be a little with us.
That’s it for this article : ” the director and the tightrope “. Let me have your comments at the bottom of the article.
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