Horror Directing Duo the Soska Sisters Tell You How to Avoid (Collaboration) Nightmares
Directing is often a solo gig, but if you're interested in forming a dynamic directorial duo, or any collaborative creative team, horror filmmakers the Soska Sisters have some helpful insight for you.
There are plenty of director duos out there, the most obvious probably being the Coen Brothers, that have been successful at collaborating to make great and/or entertaining films: Half Nelson, directed by Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden, Cyrus, directed by the Duplass Brothers, and There's Something About Mary, directed by the Farrelly Brothers. So, what's one of the more important aspects of directing in pairs that we should pay attention to? From what the Soska Sisters said in the Filmmaker Magazine video, I'd say it's to learn, know, and play to each of your individual strengths.
It's important to know the creative and technical strengths of anyone you work with, especially if you plan on directing a film with them. Having worked together on films such as American Mary and the just released See No Evil 2, the Soska Sisters have figured out how to best amalgamate their talents and passions to work cohesively -- Sylvia, being more geared towards the artistic side of filmmaking, spends most of her time with the DP, while Jen, who's more technical, hangs out with the 1st AD to make sure the ship stays on course. Like they said, Sylvia is the "why," Jen is the "how."
So, before you jump headfirst into that project with your new directorial partner, it might be a good idea to be clear about boundaries, strengths, and roles. I know I've seen several teams come completely undone after a few days on-set because they weren't.