Department heads often speak of themselves as if they are the entire department. I ACed for a DP once who was continually saying things like, “I’m going to put the crane over there,” or “I’m gonna set the camera here.” No, you’re not. You’re going to tell the grips and ACs, and they’ll do it.
This “I” is a peculiar thing. It’s like the inverse of the royal “we.” I know heads who do use “we,” at least. My current boss will say, “We’ll set up the table read.” Of course, what he really means is, “You’ll set up the table read.”
These verbal ticks have always bugged me. Telling someone to do something is not the same as doing it yourself. Which is why I was surprised to find myself falling into the same habit.
I was directing a short film, and I said to the actress, “Just one moment, while we make some adjustments to the camera.” But “we” weren’t doing anything. My DP changed the settings; I just watched her push buttons.
Well, no, directors are still tools, but it’s good to remind myself how easy it is to judge from my seat of no-power.