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David Cronenberg on Directing: 'Get Good Actors and Let Them Be Good'

12.14.11 @ 11:53AM Tags : ,

That quote may seem trite, but the more directors you talk to, the more you hear this sentiment echoed. Doug Liman recently said something to the extent of, “most directing is saying, ‘faster.’” And while I had a chance to ask director David Cronenberg a few questions a decade ago at the Telluride Film Festival, that was so long ago that I don’t remember any specific quotes. However, here are AFI and DP/30 with interviews with Cronenberg, whose latest is A Dangerous Method:

No one is saying directing is simple or easy, but much of it is casting, which Cronenberg calls “a black art.” Then, “with any actor, there’s a lot of prep, a lot of directing happens before you say ‘action’ and ‘cut.’”

“An independent movie takes a long time to put together… ” Yup.

[via FilmmakerIQ]


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  • Julio Alvarez on 12.14.11 @ 1:07PM

    Excellent post! On many levels… invaluable insight into casting and directing actors.

  • Another great post Koo! This type of stuff is really helpful. If you ever find something good on screenwriting you should definitely post it. I love camera nerd posts but I could use a lot more help on the writing end of things.

  • some great insights. the DP/30 interviewer was so prepared though. would have been nice to go off-script and get some even better answers. he missed a couple of great ones.

  • Thanks for the post. Not to say that the technical aspects aren’t important to filmmaking, but I see far too many film students spend the majority of their time absorbing everything there is to know about the camera, or their nonlinear editing programs, etc. Not enough time is spent on issues such as this one (in the video); hence, more often than not we end up with highly technical film school grads with little vision and not a clue as to how to handle the performances in a project.