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Guest Tim Partridge

How NOT to direct

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Acting is not an easy thing to do, and to some degree, you end up having to coddle them a little when they are being obstinate or confused during the process of "finding" the scene, the blocking. So it doesn't help when the director is acting just as immature as the actors, if not more so. If the goal is to get the scene on film with a good performance, a director has to have enough of the big picture in his mind to put his ego aside and do whatever it takes to get things to happen. Perhaps occasionally yelling at someone (as a controlled act) may be the ticket but it seems in this case, the director is just being an impatient juvenile brat. Unless this whole scene was an act...

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I'm sorry, I know it's wrong, but that was awesome! The way he bursts through the door! The cameraman panning left! Two heavyweight ego's going at it! Funny stuff.

 

I'm a huge fan of the both of them. The movie too.

 

Its hard to imagine an outburst like that on set. "Coffee break"!

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What I want to know is who allowed that footage to leave the deck at video village and get released to the internet? There's no way the playback guy would have done that without jeopardizing his entire existence. I don't want to infer anything, but there can't be too many "suspects" to choose from..... :ph34r:

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That is pretty incredible.

 

Unless as David points out it's a publicity stunt for the web. Kind of like how stars get married to generate huge media buzz, then get divorced six months later to create some more buzz.

 

R,

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I watched that and honestly didn't see anything out of the ordinary. That's pretty much how most days are on my shoots...well with the exception that no one in the video pulled a knife, but aside from that it's just buseness as usual, I mean actors can be soooo infuriating and sometimes in order to get the subtext of a scene across to an actress, a guy just has to abuse a hat-rack. I DO usually reserve sweeping everything off the top of a set peice and sending it crashing to the ground for blocking reheasal but of course everyone has their own technique. I do have to be honest though, I never tried walking past the camera yelling hystarically and bursting in through a set door to physically threaten a major star although I DO know they love it when you call them "Bitch". Try it some time, it'll give you female stars a chuckle. B)

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I'd heard stories in the past about this guy on Three Kings, but never saw any evidence. I guess that clears it up. I felt bad for the 2nd AC when he throws the stuff off the desk right at her. She's basically cowering in the corner and can't get out that door fast enough.

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From what i've heard David O. Russell has a bad rep for being a rage monger. There was a story about George Clooney chokeing David O. Russell on the set of Three Kings. It doesn't suprise me that footage has gotten out if he treats the crew like that. My mother was and still is a Jazz singer, and she has collected recordings of singers, the best one being Ray Charles, treating his band like dogs. The members in the band would make these tapes and send the recordings to their friends from other bands, who in turn would send recordings of their own singers treating them like crap.

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I can't tell whether or not Lily Tomlin was just being temperamental or if she had reached a severe level of frustration, although the director's behavior gave a pretty good indication that it might have been the latter. There was no excuse for his outburst - not under any circumstances. It was his job to keep the situation under control, and, from what I saw, I would wager that he lost the respect of everyone on the set.

 

He would have been much better off calling for a break so that he could try to resolve the issue with Ms. Tomlin in private. He put her in a very bad spot by losing his cool with her in front of the entire set. Her demeanor in the car is a clear sign of that.

Edited by Ken Cangi

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I once almost burned up Lily Tomlim's antique car and although she was visably angry (as one might expect she would be under the circumstances), she never went off on me so I have to conclude this guy is a dick. B)

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Lily definitely was having a bad time on the IHH set. Her opening the car door right into the greenscreen is a classic. And telling the Ultimate A-Lister to go f**k himself?

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSBbJ-x4t3Q...ted&search=

 

I looked at this and as an actor, I can tell you exactly what's going on, this director doesn't know what he wants from her and it's frustrating her. I've had this happen to me before and it makes you just want to strangle the director, that's why I do my unmost to eather let the actors explore and tell them what's working and what isn't and WHY OR tell them EXACTLY what I want from them in a particular scene.

 

Oh well, it's still nothing compared to Klaus Kinski's legendary freak-outs:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QuHBPObuEmA

 

Yes but one must remember that Klaus Kinski, dispite being a great actor was a completely psychotic.

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I looked at this and as an actor, I can tell you exactly what's going on, this director doesn't know what he wants from her and it's frustrating her. ........

Hi Cap'n,

 

I didn't mean to imply that this might have been all Lily's fault, it looks like Russell was changing his mind about every five minutes as to what he was expecting from his cast. My guess is he doesn't know how to rehearse a cast, find the problems, fix them and then get on with filming. No actor wants to get notes in the middle of a performance.

 

I lit a one woman show this year with a Broadway actor. The Director badly misgauged the "feel" of the show, directing a show about a mature woman reawakening sexually as bland as oatmeal. She was a trooper and did it his way but occasionally a little frustration crept out. But never in front of the crew.

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Anyone seen " The Shining " doc made by Viv Kubrick . interesting bits between Kubrick and Shelley Duval , some directors / actors just dont on , by the way thought Dustin Hoffman was very restrained , he must have mellowed with age .

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Yeah I remember that one, read somewhere that Kubrick was mean to her on purpose to get a better performance out of her.

 

You watch that moment in the behind-the-scenes footage and it's nothing really, Kubrick being slightly whiney because Shelley missed the cue to come through the door at the head of the shot, which is really something between Kubrick and the AD, not Kubrick and her, but it's not a major flare-up or anything. Perhaps it's true that Kubrick wanted her to stay on edge so he kept needling her a little all day long, to keep her focused (maybe her concentration tended to drift). Or maybe he just tended to needle people. Or maybe he was tired.

 

What's fascinating about seeing Kubrick working is just how small the crew is, on these huge sets. There's almost a film school shoot quality about it, or a low-budget indie film, very intimate and hands-on for Kubrick.

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I saw that thing with Kubrick as well. As you all know, a little blow up from a director here and there is kinda expected during the course of a shoot, it's common, more the rule than the exception. When I work with Hal Ashby on Secondhand Hearts, he barbequed the crew because I was working with a cold and was blowing my nose with paper towels because I didn't have Kleanex. I hadn't said anything about it but he saw it and went nuts. It just happens with the pressure and all. I blasted the crew one time because they were throwing my equipment arounded and had damaged some of it, although I feel I was somewhat justified in that case. But THIS guy! I saw I Heart Huckabees and liked the movie a great deal. I didn't see anything directorial-wise I found particularly inspirational but I did like the originality of the script and felt the performances were good. I guess DISPITE the completely unproffesional behaviour of the director it managed to rise somewhat above it. All in all though, I have to agree with what someone said earlier, I'm kinda glad to hear Geoge Clooney took the time to choke the piss-ant son of a bitch. Sometime that's the only thing guys like that understand. B)

Edited by James Steven Beverly

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Hi Cap'n,

 

I didn't mean to imply that this might have been all Lily's fault

 

OH no, dude. I never thought that's what you meant. I was just making an obsevation based on her comments from both clips. Don't worry, I still think you're like way uber-cool :D

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From what i've heard David O. Russell has a bad rep for being a rage monger. There was a story about George Clooney chokeing David O. Russell on the set of Three Kings.

The way I heard it David O. Russell punched Clooney in the face and Clooney choked him. I'm not sure in what order though. Imagine a director punching one of their stars in the face! Unbelievable.

This is a rumor of course...I didn't see it with my own eyes.

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... Thanks for the link Tim - enjoyed it! - I'm not sure who's the bigger actor though, O'Russell or Tomlin. A great angry luvvie moment!

 

... My brother used to be a feature sound editor - he worked on Tony Palmer's epic production of 'Wagner' starring Richard Burton and all the 'knights - Gielgud, Olivier and Richardson... Palmer was pretty crazy and there were many many arguments. There were occasions when the nagra was kept running off camera - the 1/4 inch picking up radio mics of the three 'Knights sitting around slating Palmer with those fantastic voices - all happily swearing away... Priceless stuff but sadly lost. (I presume!)

 

An interesting project and not a lucky one - my brother's assistant, Stephen Waldorf was shot 5 times and pistol-whipped by police in the West End having been mistaken for a man who'd shot a policeman dead in the Underground!..

 

'Wagner's well worth a viewing - great cast, Storraro at his peak and of course some powerful music...

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'Wagner's well worth a viewing - great cast, Storraro at his peak and of course some powerful music...

 

I have the Region 2 DVD, although it's a rather hi-con transfer.

 

I used to have the 10-hour version on VHS tape that I taped off of the Z Channel back in the 1980's.

 

Unfortunately Palmer's direction seems to consist of slowly zooming in on every scene.

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