You’re so tired your ears hurt, you’re $10 million over budget, 30 day behind schedule, there’s a storm brewing and SJP has just flounced back to her trailer after you pleaded with her to do it once more with feeling. Welcome to the please-all world of the film director.
The birth of a film maker can be difficult. Most are born with one massive eye, a baseball cap stuck to their heads and a beard. Some even come out attached to their director’s chair, which can be awfully painful for the mother. Once they pop out, these mini auteurs will towel themselves down, scrabble for a megaphone, and scream “CUT!”, at which point the midwife will dutifully sever the umbilical chord. Fleeing the ward, they will then run home and start work on a their first feature, “Play Away: the Movie”. From there it’s onto film school where pretentious shorts with titles like “Pink Elbow” and “The End of The World Or” are shot. Then finally it’s out into the big widescreen world and a chance to make their mark with something as good as A Chocolate Orange or Foetal Attraction. It’s a tough world and few make it to the top. Those that don’t reluctantly make the sideways move into funeral direction.
Many directors like to make a cameo appearance in their own films. Alfred Hitchcock was particularly partial to this and often appeared in crowds or the distance. Hitch’s walk-on credits include second step in The 39 Steps, fifth crow in The Birds and the rear in Rear Window. He also played the shadow in Shadow of a Doubt, but was removed from the final version as he cut out too much light.
If you’re on a date, you can learn a lot about the other by the director they most admire: if they like David Lean they may only be up for a Brief Encounter, if it’s Hitchcock they’re probably Psycho, and if they’re fond of Andy Warhol you could be in for a long night – possibly eight hours straight with absolutely nothing happening.
OK, thanks for reading – you can all go back to your trailers now. Oh, before you do, do you know what a film director’s favourite food is? It’s a wrap!