Justin Long, Christian Long, and Justin Chon for 'Lady of the Manor' and 'Blue Bayou'

Justin Long, Christian Long, and Justin Chon for 'Lady of the Manor' and 'Blue Bayou'
Listen to these creators break down one of the key aspects of directing.

Spending a career in front of the camera gives people opportunities to direct, write, and produce that are harder for the rest of us to come by. But it also grants insights into succeeding once you're in those coveted behind-the-camera roles. Insights all of us can use. 

What is it that Justin Long and Justin Chon have learned in their years as actors that helped them crush it when they got behind the camera? 

It's something that might not surprise you but you still cannot over-value. 

Casting. 

Talking to these guys in separate interviews (and with Justin's brother and co-writer/director Christian Long) there is such an emphasis on the types of talents they trusted and worked with. The women they cast are all extremely talented, but extremely well cast, and bring to life the visions they'd had from the start. Making their jobs, in their own words, "much easier."

You might not be the on-screen talent these two Justins are, but you still have a lot you can gain from how they approached their moves to the director's chair. 

In this episode, we talk about...

  • Why Justin Chon decided to star in his movie, even though he didn’t initially set out to.
  • How Justin Chon creates a safe and open environment on set, how he works with his DPs, and other insights into his process.
  • How Justin Chon chose and secured his co-star.
  • The challenges of working with children.
  • How Justin Chon went about researching the issue at the crux of Blue Bayou.
  • How Lady of the Manor came about, and how Christian and Justin created its “odd couple” style comedy.
  • The similarities to the play Blithe Spirit and how the writers just may have been inspired by it!
  • The rather surprising choice to write this type of comedy script for women.
  • How they approached the directing process for Lady of the Manor.
  • Why keeping the plot simple can be really key in comedies.

Links to Resources:

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This episode of The No Film School Podcast was produced by George Edelman.

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