You think it's bad now, wait till you get the chance to work with an actual star who's name is the reason the film got greenlit and CAN'T be fired! Every actor has to be handled slightly differently and your job is to find what works for that particular actor. Some need no direction at all, some need you to give them line readings for every scrap of dialog they utter, MOST need some direction and indication as to whether the direction they're taking their character is correct for the film. Let's also talk about egos on set, a director has to be objective which is to say he must look at a performance in the context of the over all piece so that performance will complement and enhance the film, an actor must be subjective which is to say his prime concern is to create as much truth in his portrayal as possible and there in lies the problem because when creating a character , there are many truths, all equal valid from a subjective standpoint but only a scant few from an objective standpoint and the trick is to find the one that best serves director's vision of the story and also why not every actor is perfect for every role OR every cast. HOWEVER, I'm a firm believer in a director having a certain amount of flexibility and a trust in the abilities of the people he hired to do the job.
So with regard to ego, you have to ask a few questions, first and foremost, "Does what the actor's doing serve the story better than my original vision?", second "Am I fighting for my vision out of ego or because it truly better serves the story?", " Is this actor fighting me or trying to take over because A. he's an ego maniac and control freak B. because he has no confidence in my abilities C. is genuinely trying to help D. has a strong commitment to the character based on the script and honestly believes this is the best way to play it E is doing this for some other reason I have not thought of F. all or some of the above."THEN ask yourself "What am I going to do about it", "Am I communicating what and WHY I need the character played a certain way?", "Am I being belligerent and dictorial in my approach to this actor and if so is that the best way to get what I want from him?", "If I give him some time, will he come around to my way of thinking on this character on his own after a few takes of do I need to stop and work with him", "Do I need to schedule rehearsal time without a crew there so we can work out problems prior to shooting or will this kill this actor's spontaneity and truth in the scene. " What do I need to do to get what's best for the production out of this guy?".
A director is not on set to be loved, or hated or feared, he is there to get the job done as efficiently and well done as possible, sometimes that's just a matter of talking to them and exerting your au6thority and sometimes that' means means being devious and even cruel. It basically boils down to doing whatever it takes to make it happen, Lucas hardly had 2 works to say to the actors on Star Wars, Bogdanovich had to give Cybill Shepherd a line reading on every single line of Last picture show, The guy who directed the Champ, had to tell Jackie Coogan his dog had just been run over the get the kid to cry for the climax, there is no right or wrong way to direct as long as it works.
Edited by James Steven Beverly, 11 July 2007 - 03:13 PM.