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Guest Tim Partridge

How NOT to direct

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After watching that, it's no wonder why Russel's movies are such god-awful stink bombs. No clue who he thinks he is to call Lily Tomlin a "c*nt." She's Altman's friggen' girl...who is he?

Edited by Robert Lachenay

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I just saw on TV last night that Clooney has been under suspicion of leaking that video, and that he's offering $1 million to anyone who can prove it:

 

http://www.eonline.com/news/article/index....27-9c991b2983a7

Oh how I love the Internet. It is the great equalizer. For so many years, celebrities were portrayed to the world as being intrinsically above common behavior. The Internet summarily exposes them for what they really are - normal human beings with common behavioral habits.

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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.

 

Watch Fellini: I'm A Big Liar, then you'll really see what O. Russell did was nothing compared to fellini. But Russell, I can't believe seeing this because you really don't get a bad vibe from the movie.

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But Russell, I can't believe seeing this because you really don't get a bad vibe from the movie.

 

That might have had more to do the professionalism of the actors.

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Perhaps occasionally yelling at someone (as a controlled act) may be the ticket...

 

Thats a dangerous and dark path to go down.

 

If it work, great. But there's no guarantees you'll be able to sleep that night afterwards - and that will probably make things even worse.

 

And of course if you can do that sort of thing, and sleep at night - then what sort of person have you become?

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Thats a dangerous and dark path to go down.

 

And of course if you can do that sort of thing, and sleep at night - then what sort of person have you become?

 

The sort of person that can successfully helm a modern studio movie.

 

J

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Watch Fellini: I'm A Big Liar, then you'll really see what O. Russell did was nothing compared to fellini. But Russell, I can't believe seeing this because you really don't get a bad vibe from the movie.

 

I think the difference is Fellini is a freakin' genius were as O. Russell is at best reasonably competent. There is something to be said about forgiving the excintrisities of genius. I truely believe people like Fellini work on another plane than us mere mortals and sometimes that spills out as pettiness out of shear frustration that no one is able to see things as quickly or clearly as they do.

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Well here's something depressing from IMDB trivia on Three Kings:

 

Director Cameo: [David O. Russell] The 'Hollywood actor' George Clooney strangles in the epilogue sequence.

 

So APPARENTLY ol' George didn't ACTUALLY choke O. Russell for real...what a shame <_<

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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.

 

I gather that Kubrick did a trade off between having a small crew and being allowed the time. Although I'd imagine the sparks etc were off screen in the "The Shining " documentary.

 

I'd heard a story when they were shooting "Barry Lyndon" in Ireland that Kubrick was giving calm consideration to the actors, whilst outside the sparks were struggling to keep the brutes (which were blasting through the trace covered windows) up in the middle of a storm.

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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.

 

... I worked on a documentary about Kubrick some years ago (I kept a vhs copy of the fascinating 2 hour rough cut as the show went out at an hour as is the way of broadcasters). We interviewed many of the great ones' collaborators. He was pretty tough on Shelley Duvall but had a performance he wanted and she gave it after a lot of probing and emotion. I think the tension between them, which is only partly seen in the doco', went very much to helping her create her character on screen... a tough part playing a hysterical character for 7/10ths of a shoot - and a long Kubrickian shoot at that. Of all the people interviewed Malcolm Mcdowell came out with various claims and exaggerations about Kubrick which I frankly did not believe. He seemed happy to contribute to the sea of myths out there. I think the Hollywood sun had got to his head.

 

I think that Kubrick kept his crews as small as he could do to help the creative process on set. Big crews are a distraction for directors and can only add to the pressure on their shoulders. Big crews can be very distracting, take a lot of managing and have their own inertia... I know several directors that love and thrive on the intimacy created by a small tight crew around them... If it's run right, you get more done.

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I know several directors that love and thrive on the intimacy created by a small tight crew around them... If it's run right, you get more done.

 

Doesn't hurt to have a really long schedule to compensate for a smaller crew...

 

It's mainly a time management issue. If ten lights have to be set-up by five people instead of ten people, it will take twice as long. If you have the time to compensate, or use less lights to compensate, fine.

 

Kubrick had large crews to pre-rig his sets so that a smaller crew could do day-to-day changes to the lighting. Plus he used a lot of small practical lighting for intimate scenes. But you couldn't do a big film like "Armageddon" with a small crew, not with all the physical effects and huge lighting and camera set-ups.

 

The size of the crew should match the schedule and the complexity of the set-ups. Unfortunately moment to moment you can't shrink or enlarge the size of the crew; you need enough people for the biggest set-ups scheduled that day.

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I was rereading some of William Goldman's Adventures in the Screen Trade last night. Really interesting story he tells about the making of A Bridge Too Far. Anyway, he mentions in that story that the absolutely toughest job belongs to the director. He said that the director is under enormous stress and pressure, from day one, and not day one of shooting, but starting with the writer and going all the way through post production. He said Attenborough slept for 3 days after the shoot wrapped.

 

On top of all that creative pressure and intense focus for months and years at a time that the director deals with, comes all the responsibilites of the director, including all the handholding and coddling of the writers, producers, cast, crew, etc. The director is not a master on set - he's the ultimate servant. He works in service of everyone, trying to give them everything they need to do their best. Then on top of it all, he's expected to be the ultimate Fonzie - calm, cool, collected, and never wrong, at all times.

 

So there are times when you go 5 hard hours down the road, telling the actors to play it one way then change your mind. Definitely not the ideal, but a million times better to deal with the stress of chucking that work away, then to put up some crap on the screen. There aren't any do overs when it's being projected at the theater.

 

And don't forget, many directors are as sensitve and tempermental as any actor, and are as open to being in the moment creatively as it happens as actors are - they need to be to be a good director.

 

I don't know the director, and I don't condone his actions, but I don't condemn them either. In several of the clips you can hear him say "I'm trying to help you" so it's probably as frustrating for him that he can't help as it is for Tomlin. And he's trying to get the right performance from all the actors, and that makes the film better and the actors look good. I guess my point would be to cut the guy a little slack.

 

And maybe with this out on Youtube, he'll try to temper himself a little on his next film.

 

just my $0.02 worth.

 

Boyd McCollum

Director/Editor

Edited by Boyd McCollum

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Well here's something depressing from IMDB trivia on Three Kings:

 

Director Cameo: [David O. Russell] The 'Hollywood actor' George Clooney strangles in the epilogue sequence.

 

So APPARENTLY ol' George didn't ACTUALLY choke O. Russell for real...what a shame <_<

IMDB isn't exactly the Library of Congress. Of course neither are rumors.

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IMDB isn't exactly the Library of Congress. Of course neither are rumors.

 

Well, of course, one can always HOPE Clooney ACTUALLY try to strangle O. Russell ...... so let's keep a good thought. B)

Edited by James Steven Beverly

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On top of all that creative pressure and intense focus for months and years at a time that the director deals with, comes all the responsibilites of the director, including all the handholding and coddling of the writers, producers, cast, crew, etc. The director is not a master on set - he's the ultimate servant. He works in service of everyone, trying to give them everything they need to do their best. Then on top of it all, he's expected to be the ultimate Fonzie - calm, cool, collected, and never wrong, at all times.

 

And don't forget the most important aspect of directing: "Just trying to be a fu**ing collaborator!" :lol:

 

Sorry, I just could not resist on that one. If I were the crewmember that almost got hit with the flying books when that jerk flipped out, he'd need to get insurance on me. What an egotistical ass. I realize the crew should be subject to the director's will, and keep a low profile on set, but that was totally out of line, and I would have likely flipped out myself if someone threw a temper tantrum whist callously disgreagarding the very existence of the crew around him, which I feel belies an apathy as to those said members' very lives, like they're just disposable nobodies.

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On top of all that creative pressure and intense focus for months and years at a time that the director deals with, comes all the responsibilites of the director, including all the handholding and coddling of the writers, producers, cast, crew, etc. The director is not a master on set - he's the ultimate servant. He works in service of everyone, trying to give them everything they need to do their best. Then on top of it all, he's expected to be the ultimate Fonzie - calm, cool, collected, and never wrong, at all times.

Not if he is immensely respected by those he works with. I can absolutely gauruntee you that Spielberg, Scorsese, Von Trier, the late Altman, PT Anderson, Lynch, The Dardennes, Bergman, the late Fellini (especially him...jeezzzz...him and von trier.."don't mess"), etc, etc did hold the position of MASTER once they had become established, which, by this time and by his ability to make a movie so utterly pretentious as "I <3 Huckabees," O. Russel must be. He's a crappy director and (after having watched this), apparently a huge d*ck.

Edited by Robert Lachenay

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He may be a huge di ck, but he's also a fu-cking collaborator too, so that makes everything OK!

 

Sorry, that line just doesn't get old. I fell out of my chair laughing the first time I saw the main clip, then the scene in the car where Ms. Lily Tomlin is in the car and she's hysterical "Fu-ck you! Shut the fu-ck up!" is also fall-on-floor funny, although I can understand why she'd be upset with the guy's temper tantrum.

 

Boy, if this is what Hollywood is like, I am beginning to doubt my decision to enter this sort of work environment. If you guys are either a.) such big pricks that you think you're the only one that knows what's what on set, or b.) so sleep deprived that you act as if that is the case, I think I am going to go after a more healthylifestyle. That shown in these clips depicts something other than that, a way of living that is probably very prone to early deaths due to heart attacks, and drug abuse. Good God, I honestly couldn't take a working environment like that! And to be on the crew and have to put up with that bullshit! Unbelieveable.

 

I think someone on this thread speculated that these segments might have been acted. I can tell you, from what I have seen, and I've watched each segment several times, they're definitely NOT acting, although they are "acting spoiled". How can any creativity go on in a collaborative environment like a film set when everyone has such a hugh fuhking ego trip that they can't take the time to listen to one another's imput???

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I loved every second of that video. The crew guy who was getting hit in the head with books, that was kind of bad. O'Russel wrecking his crews work, thats also bad.

 

Everything else is just stuff that happens during high stress. Though it is remarkable that all the other principle actors are so quiet. Remarkable.

 

I saw this film and sew me but I liked it alot, and heard O'Russels commentary, and he did not strike me as a dude that would filp like that...

 

I don't think the car interior shot with Wahlberg in the back ever made it into the film. I wonder...

However the first clip "wide master shot" with the blackboard is in the film :-) Lolz.

 

Lily does have her feet up on the desk, only during another scene. Prior to Jason's character meeting Dustin.

 

Funniest thing is O'Russel and Jason during the commentary said ALOT about "Lily and Dustin and how the two are "so wonderful" and how everyone "learned alot".

 

Great quotes from this. I think this one is best with ....

 

"Just shoot the f... thing. Shoot it right now..." - 2003 Dustin Hoffman

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He may be a huge di ck, but he's also a fu-cking collaborator too, so that makes everything OK!

 

Sorry, that line just doesn't get old. I fell out of my chair laughing the first time I saw the main clip, then the scene in the car where Ms. Lily Tomlin is in the car and she's hysterical "Fu-ck you! Shut the fu-ck up!" is also fall-on-floor funny, although I can understand why she'd be upset with the guy's temper tantrum.

 

Boy, if this is what Hollywood is like, I am beginning to doubt my decision to enter this sort of work environment. If you guys are either a.) such big pricks that you think you're the only one that knows what's what on set, or b.) so sleep deprived that you act as if that is the case, I think I am going to go after a more healthylifestyle. That shown in these clips depicts something other than that, a way of living that is probably very prone to early deaths due to heart attacks, and drug abuse. Good God, I honestly couldn't take a working environment like that! And to be on the crew and have to put up with that bullshit! Unbelieveable.

 

I think someone on this thread speculated that these segments might have been acted. I can tell you, from what I have seen, and I've watched each segment several times, they're definitely NOT acting, although they are "acting spoiled". How can any creativity go on in a collaborative environment like a film set when everyone has such a hugh fuhking ego trip that they can't take the time to listen to one another's imput???

 

I would dismiss a working environment like that completely if I were an actress as established and utterly esteemed as Lily Tomlin. Regardless of the consequences, if my "director" called me a "c*nt," I would stand up, throw a newspaper in his face, and leave.

Edited by Robert Lachenay

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Boy, if this is what Hollywood is like, I am beginning to doubt my decision to enter this sort of work environment. If you guys are either a.) such big pricks that you think you're the only one that knows what's what on set, or b.) so sleep deprived that you act as if that is the case, I think I am going to go after a more healthylifestyle. That shown in these clips depicts something other than that, a way of living that is probably very prone to early deaths due to heart attacks, and drug abuse. Good God, I honestly couldn't take a working environment like that! And to be on the crew and have to put up with that bullshit! Unbelieveable.

Unfortunately, that is what Hollywood is like. This is an extreme example, but it's not as rare as most people think. If what you've written above is true, then you probably should strongly consider another career. There are plenty of people just like Russell working in this business. They may not show you to your face, but a lot of them will stab you squarely in the back. You have to have very thick skin (something I've struggled with at times) to keep from being hurt by peoples behavior on a day to day basis.

Of course, a lot of this is true in other professions as well.....it's often a nasty world we live in.

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You put a group of somewhat egotistical people who have spent their entire lives learning how let their emotions out into a pressure cooker environment like a filmset and add a caltalist like personallity conflicts you're bound to have an explosion or two. This was childishness taken to extreme but it happens to a certain extent on almost every set at one time or another. Don't worry about it. Rarely is there ever gunplay involved.

 

Funniest thing is O'Russel and Jason during the commentary said ALOT about "Lily and Dustin and how the two are "so wonderful" and how everyone "learned alot".

 

What's he gonna say, "The woman's a c*nt" and I hate her guts? The woman's an freakin icon, that would be career suicide. It's kinda an unwritten rule in the film industry, you don't bad-mouth your co-workers in public, it's bad for business. B)

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