Sunday, March 14, 2010

Yes, Indeed, I'm a Flunky

On Friday night, I worked on a film based on a short story a friend of mine wrote. It's the first time in a long time that I've been on a real movie set, and it was a hell of a lot of fun.

The point of it, for me, was to prime the pump for the movie I'm planning to make, to get my head into the game again. On that count, it worked like a charm.

The work I did could have been handled by a precocious monkey, it's true--laying 'stingers' (extension cords to the uninitiated), hanging lights, trailing actors-in-motion with lights, packaging up gear when the night was done--but it was necessary and it gave me the chance to watch the flow of a movie again, to see the latest gear, and to watch things like a director's interaction with an actor.

Throughout the night, especially when I wasn't actively engaging in my flunky-hood, I watched and thought, how would I handle what's going on here?

In many cases, on topics ranging from lighting, to dialog, to the intensity of performance, to camera angle, I'd have made different choice than the director did. This is no insult to the director. Film-makers--even expat filmmakers like me--have egos and ideas. It's why, in the end, we want to direct.

So the process of thinking, What would I do here? really did awaken the director beast in me.

Very useful and great fun.

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