higher than the empire state
“If there are any directors out there in the audience, or anyone who’s interested in directing, I’ve written 25 steps towards becoming a happier director.” —Sam Mendes’s 25 rules for directors by Vanity Fair’s Bennett Marcus
- Always choose good collaborators. It seems so obvious, but the best collaborators are the ones who disagree with you. It means they’re passionate, they have opinions, and they’ll only ever say yes if they mean it.
- Try to learn how to make the familiar strange, and the strange familiar. Direct Shakespeare like it’s a new play, and treat every new play as if it’s Shakespeare.
- If you have the chance, please work with Dame Judi Dench.
- Learn to say, “I don’t know the answer.” It could be the beginning of a very good day’s rehearsal.
- Go to the ancient amphitheater at Epidaurus, in Greece. It makes you realize what you are a part of, and it will change the way you look at the world. If you’re an artist, you will feel central, and you will never feel peripheral again.
- Avoid, please, all metaphors of plays or films as “pinnacles” or “peaks”; treat with absolute scorn the word “definitive”; and if anyone uses the word “masterpiece,” they don’t know what they’re doing. The pursuit of perfection is a mug’s game.
- If you are doing a play or a film, you have to have a secret way in if you are directing it. Sometimes it’s big things. ‘American Beauty,’ for me, was about my adolescence. ‘Road to Perdition’ was about my childhood. ‘Skyfall’ was about middle-age and mortality. Sometimes it’s small things. Maybe it’s just a simple idea. What if we do the whole thing in the nightclub, for example. But it’s not enough just to admire a script, you have to have a way in that is yours, and yours alone.
- Confidence is essential, but ego is not.
- Theater is the writer’s medium and the actor’s medium; the director comes a distant third. If you want a proper ego trip, direct movies.
- Buy a good set of blinkers. Do not read reviews. It’s enough to know whether they’re good or they’re bad. When I started, artists vastly outnumbered commentators, and now, there are a thousand published public opinions for every work of art. However strong you are, confidence is essential to what you do, and confidence is a fragile thing. Protect it. As T.S. Eliot says, teach us to care, and not to care.
- Run a theater. A play is temporary, a building is permanent. So try to create something that stays behind and will be used and loved by others.
- You are never too old to learn something new, as I reminded myself, I learned to ski with my 10-year-old son, of course, who did it in about 10 minutes, and I spent four days slaloming up and down, looking like a complete tit. But, don’t be scared of feeling like a complete tit. It’s an essential part of the learning process.
- There is no right and wrong, there is only interesting, and less interesting.
- Paintings, novels, poetry, music are all superior art forms. But theater and film can steal from all of them.
- There are no such things as “previews” on Broadway.
- Peter Brooks said, “The journey is the destination.” Do not think of product, or, god forbid, audience response. Think only of discovery and process. One of my favorite quotes from Hamlet—Polonius: “We shall, by indirections, find the directions out.”
- Learn when to shut up. I’m still working on this one.
- When you have a cast of 20, this means you have 20 other imaginations in the room with you. Use them.
- Please remember the Oscars are a TV show.
- Get on with it. Robert Frost said, “Tell everything a little faster.” He wasn’t wrong.
- The second production of a musical is always better than the first.
- Learn to accept the blame for everything. If the script was poor, you didn’t work hard enough with the writer. If the actors failed, you failed. If the sets, the lighting, the post, the costumes are wrong, you gave them the thumbs-up. So build up your shoulders, they need to be broad.
- On screen, your hero can blow away 500 bad guys, but if he smokes one fucking cigarette, you’re in deep shit.
- Always have an alternative career planned out. Mine is a cricket commentator. You will never do this career, but it might help you get to sleep at night.
- Never, ever, ever forget how lucky you are to do something that you love.
For anyone who wants to direct, these stories will be enlightening and inspiring. For all other film fans, these interviews are an entertaining look at the raw beginnings of directors whose names are now familiar to cinema audiences around the world. I highly recommend this excellent book(s) by Stephen Lowenstein. Available from Amazon.
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i scrolled for an explanation and there was none
and that’s what happens when some buttmunch reposts somebody’s comics!
romanticize the fuck out of life if thats how you cope who cares fuck those text posts that are like “your life will never be a wes anderson movie” well of course it won’t but i’m buying that cute yellow tea kettle anyways motherfucker dont harsh my vibes
I wonder if this post would still have many notes if it said ‘john green novel’ instead because a lot of people seem to hate him/his novels, for some reason
IT’S TURNING ON
WHAT IN THE HELL
IT’S IN MINT CONDITION.
THE SPEAKERS WORK, THE HEADPHONE JACK WORKS, THERE’S NO CRACKS
is this the phone that was found frozen in the ice all of winter?
THIS IS THE FUCKING PHONE THAT I LOST IN DECEMBER.
AFTER THE SNOW MELTED, I FOUND IT THIS MORNING FROZEN IN THE ICE.
HOW THE FUCK DID YOU GET OUT THERE.
but does it work
and in that moment, the entire movie theater burst into tears
i think this was the moment that made most of us despise umbridge more than voldemort
most of us?! don’t you mean ALL of us?? I don’t think even Voldemort liked this bitch!
No one likes Umbridge.
I heard, one time, a dementor kissed her and IT died
Voldemort committed genocide, but Umbridge dared to be female while she abused her power.
The point isn’t that Umbridge was worse than Voldemort; it’s that everyone hates her more. And I think it has nothing to do with her being a woman and everything with being the sort of cruel most of us have actually experienced.
I mean, look at Voldemort. He’s basically Wizard Hitler, which is, obviously, an incredibly terrible thing to be. But most people—especially the younger people in Harry Potter’s target audience—have not had their parents murdered by a xenophobic cult leader. Nor have they fought for their lives against giant snakes, been kidnapped for dark rituals, or watched numerous friends die in front of them. Voldemort’s crimes are numerous, but they’re distant and fantastical, like hearing about a serial killer on the news.
But they have had that one teacher who inflicts extra punishments just because they don’t like you. They’ve complained to parents and authorities only to be ignored. They’ve sat through pointless classes and been silenced when they criticize. Umbridge is that teacher we all hated because she made our lives miserable and we were powerless to stop her. And as we grow out of school, there are still people in positions of power who act like her. The manager who denies your schedule requests and penalizes you for invented infractions. That customer who complains to corporate because their scam didn’t work, and the corporate decision to listen to their story. Cops performing illegal searches because they know you don’t have any proof.
Yes, torturing and killing numerous people is worse than terrorizing a handful of schoolchildren, but Voldemort is the bad guy in a fairy tale. Umbridge is personal.
*drops the mic*
Voldemort is the villain we never hope to face.
Umbridge is the villain we face every day.
thank you all-four-cheekbones some people on this website need to realise not everything is a matter of sexism or gender discrimination omg
am i the only one who is pretty sure this is a water bending move?
I’m a firm believer that the best benders are those who look beyond their own element’s bending techniques and discover new ways of bending. Look at Toph, she bends completely differently from other earthbenders, and she’s one of the most powerful benders in the world. Look at Iroh, he devised lightning redirection from waterbending. This just shows that Zuko is a great firebender.
why do people say “don’t be a pussy” when talking about weakness more like “don’t be a man’s ego” because you know there isn’t nothing more fragile than that
because “pussy” is the shortened form of the word “pusillanimous”, which means “timid, cowardly”
and not the slang word for the female genital region?
literally no one else knows this. nobody.
What the majority of feminists probably don’t understand is that when men have children, those men become the patriarch of their family. How would females/mothers feel if there was a Masculist movement that blamed Matriarchy for all of the oppression in the world?
what is this even supposed to mean
If feminism is so “gooder”, then how does bacon cattle shrimp stew race goats across the pacific ocean? sorry, too LOGICAL for you???
MY BOOK IS LOCKED IN A CLASSROOMN
I TOLD THIS REALLY NICE KID WHO NEVER CAUSES TROUBLE AND HEREACHED INTO HIS BACKPACK AND PULLED OUT A KEYCHAIN WITH KEYS TO THE CLASSROOM AND UNLOCKED IT FOR ME??
update i asked him why he had those keys and he said “its not important” im so lost
He’ll be vital to your quest later, don’t forget about him.