2020 was a weird year for all of us, even famous directors. Now, you can see the slightly altered Hollywood Reporter Roundtable for some of this year's most successful directors.

Listen to George Clooney (Midnight Sky), Spike Lee (Da 5 Bloods), Regina King (One Night in Miami), Paul Greengrass (News of the World), Chloé Zhao (Nomadland), George C. Wolfe (Ma Rainey's Black Bottom), and Lee Isaac Chung (Minari) talk about their craft and what it was like releasing films during the pandemic. 

Check out the video from The Hollywood Reporter, and let's talk after the jump. 

What Did We Learn From George Clooney, Spike Lee, Regina King, and Others in This Roundtable?

Roundtable season is my favorite time of the year. Since the Academy Awards have been pushed back, we're getting them a little slower than normal. And since there's still a worldwide pandemic, we're also getting them done with talking heads instead of people all in the same room. 

Despite this, these are basically masterclasses where you get to see some of the most successful people talk about craft and ideation. 

The conversation began with lessons learned about themselves during the pandemic. It featured a lot of traits you'd find in great directors. Both King and Zhao said they learned patience. 

And Clooney learned how to adapt to new situations. He also mentioned how deeply we all need to be in contact with one another and get back to what matters, a sentiment they all echoed.

The pandemic gave Lee time out of his normally busy schedule. Of course, he spent that trying to work on new ideas, but it was time nevertheless. 

One of the most heartfelt moments in the conversation was when George Wolfe and Lee talked about Chadwick Boseman. (He starred in Da 5 Bloods and Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.) Both directors talked about how electric he was on set and how neither knew he was sick. Lee said he felt bad about the takes he made him do, but he thinks Boseman didn't tell people because he didn't want to be limited as an actor.  

As the conversation shifted to process, I liked learning about how King used her experience as an actor in casting and developing her film. She talked about focusing on humanity and vitality as two pillars of the movie. And she also admitted that while not being as technically versed as she wished, she was clear at what she wanted and good at working with the DP to get it.

All of these movies had personal stories at the center, but none more so than Minari. Chung talked about how it took a long time for the movie to process inside him. He had to suffer loss, become a parent, and see the world through his child's eyes before he could process how to write and direct those characters. 

Greengrass talked similarly about how every film you make presents one big challenge. For him, it was finding a child to portray his lead. He had never worked with a child actor before, but talked about the prepping process and just spending time with the young actress to make sure she would shine on screen. 

One thing they all agreed on was that they all think movies will be back in a big way. While many of their films were enjoyed on digital, they think that theaters are poised to bounce back in 2021 and that the communal experience will be integral to bringing people back together once this is all over. 

Overall this was an insightful and introspective chat this year. Let us know what you thought of the video in the comments!