I Hate Directors

You have to be at least slightly psychologically damaged to be above the line.  “Above the line” refers to producers, directors, writers, and actors, also known as “talent.”

I refuse to call them “talent,” though.  If they’re talent, what the hell are the rest of us? I mean, it doesn’t take much talent to do my job, but you can’t look at a DP and tell me he’s not talented.

I know of directors, not that I’ll name Brett Ratner‘s name or anything, who pretty much let the DP run the show, and then, in post, have the editor put the movie together on her own.

But I digress.  Where was I?  Oh, yeah.  Above the liners are messed up.  Writers are insecure, socially inept misanthropes; directors are raging ego-maniacal sociopaths; actors are just as egotistical, but without having gone to the trouble of accomplishing anything to justify their egos; and producers just wish they could be writers, directors, or actors, if only they had the talent.

As you might have guessed, I had a bad experience with one of our directors.

For some reason or another (or maybe for no reason whatsoever; who knows?), the time of today’s production meeting was moved from 2:30 to 1:30.  So, the other PA and I started making calls (but not more copies of a new memo, thank Christ).

The director came in and overheard one of these calls.  Apparently the AD hadn’t yet told him about the time change. His face grew deep red as he flung his arms about, screaming.

“What is all this about 1:30?  I thought it was 2:30!  I specifically asked what time it was going to be!  I have a conference call at 2:00!  I scheduled it at 2:00, because the meeting was going to be at 2:30!”

Okay, first of all, yes, I understand you thought it was set for 2:30.  Everyone did, because it was.  Schedules change.  That’s why we’re making these phone calls, dick.

Secondly, why the fuck are you yelling at me, you penis head?  I didn’t make the original schedule, nor did I change it.  Nor did I schedule your conference call.  That was, um… you, ass hat.

Lastly, does this conference call have anything to do with this show?  You know, the show that’s handing you the equivalent of a small SUV, a hooker, an eightball, and almost enough left over that you could pay me to actually give a shit what you think?

And this guy’s a fucking TV director.  After the pilot, the television directors basically do nothing.  The DP and production designer control the look of the show, the editors and producer control the editing, the actors know their characters better than the director does, and he sure as shit ain’t changing the script. Basically, he tells the script supervisor which takes to circle.

Essentially what I’m saying is, you’re even less important to the show than I am. So, where the fuck, exactly, do you get off yelling at anyone for anything?

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19 Responses

  1. To the anonymous production assistant who writes this: It’s obvious why you want to stay anonymous; this article is so incredibly juvenile and ignorantly misinformed in its writing that anyone who has a few brain cells would die if their name were found on it and they expected to be respected in the film industry afterwards. Your absolutely stereotypical portrayals of what a “Writer” is or a “Director”, “Producer” etc. show an absurd lack of respect and perpetuate the rationale for why you are considered the lowest member of the crew.

    There are a few people in every industry who ruin the image of that profession for the rest. But it does no one any good to further those false blanket statements by writing about it in a blog, especially in a blog that caters to new-comers in the industry. What kind of message do you want to send when you tell the next generation of excited kids coming to work in film that the people on top are the shittiest human beings alive? All of them.

    You’re writing that not a single Writer, Director, or Producer is a nice person. Or a passionate team leader who inspires his crew to do good work. There’s none like that. They’re all the shittiest human beings alive.

    Let’s build an American film community again. Where we inspire artistry and togetherness for the good of the film. Let’s NOT make film a “clock in, clock out” job. Let’s have PASSION again. Let’s be excited for each other’s projects because we’re making American movies in America and showing them to the world. Let’s try and build and support relationships. Reach out to each other, help make their films, and learn new things, new skills, have goals, have an apprenticeship role in Hollywood, in all the filmmaking cities in America.

    Let’s not hate, like this article, let’s support, and forge a new American Golden Age of film.

  2. If you don’t enjoy working with insecure people than you have no business working in Hollywood… not like you didn’t already know that before you took the job.

    Look, in this life DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY and everything else… well… it will fall into place. I mean why shouldn’t you? The director is obviously doing what makes him happy…putting down caring souls such as yourself.

    So quit and find a new career… or better yet, get out there and work your ass off… do whatever it takes… and become a director (if that’s what you’re SHOOTING for). Take a look at how Kevin Smith did it… I mean he took giant risks to get where he is today.

    And hey… when you get there… when you get to the top… get revenge by treating your PA like solid gold.

    Peace Brother.

  3. OK, I’ll use your blog as an opportunity to vent too.

    On Day One of the show I just finished, we were shooting in a town that…doesn’t get it. They expected us to be able to schedule our shots to the minute and even a show that totally has its shit together can’t do that.

    So anyway, we were scheduled to shoot 4 interior locations on one block and 1 exterior shot. The exterior shot consisted of an actress taking a newspaper from an outdoor kiosk, looking at an ad and pulling out her cellphone. No dialog, no other actors, no camera moves. Simple as hell and scheduled for about an hour from beginning to end. Our director invented another exterior about ten minutes into our day. And then another. And another.

    We spent 8 hours shooting exteriors that day, all up and down the block…and in the process, we shut down businesses we never planned to impact at all. My credibility was shot. And this was not a movie where I had the budget to just throw money around to placate everyone. Needless to say, this is not a town I’ll be rushing back to anytime soon.

  4. But you love your job, right? Because if you didn’t, that would be a sad way to spend the pressure time you have in this life.

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