April 4, 2011
I only have time for a few short entries, as I busily prepare for two exciting projects. The first of these is a Filmmaker’s Diary interview with groundrbreaking auteur Oliver Stone, to be conducted this coming Friday. Mr. Stone is, in my opinion, one of the greatest living directors.
The second project is a music video I’ll direct for the incredible Amanda Jo Williams this coming Saturday and Sunday. Ms. Williams was named “one of the Top 10 bands to watch in 2011” by the L.A. Weekly. Deservedly so.
Getting ready for the Oliver Stone interview has already begun to entail extensive editing, because there are countless subjects into which I’d love to delve with Mr. Stone. But I know our dialogue will be more effective with a sharp focus. While his cutting edge work on films such as JFK, Nixon and The Doors has inspired me and continues to give me insight into my own craft, he and I will probably discuss one motion picture: Alexander Revisited. As an editor, I’m fascinated by the fact that he re-cut the film years after its theatrical release, restructuring and lengthening it in a fashion that, as he says, “will make those who liked the original like it more and those who hated it hate it more.”
Preparation for directing a music video has been a huge learning experience. It’s not that I’ve ever underestimated how much work goes into “helming,” as the Hollywood trade papers call it. I’ve watched Truffaut’s Day for Night (repeatedly), read books on the subject and edited films for many talented practitioners of the craft. But bearing ultimate responsibility for every pixil of the finished product is quite different from merely knowing a director does so.
So... exciting stuff going on!
I just want to mention one more (unrelated) thing before slipping further into preparation mode and not posting another piece until the interview appears. Angelinos transplanted from the east coast often complain (justifiably) about how much more live theatre there is in New York. But there are good plays here -- just not as many. I highly recommend The Actors’ Gang’s Tartuffe, currently running at their theatre in Culver City. The company’s commedia dell’arte approach is perfectly suited to the Moliere comedy. Jon Kellam’s direction and the whole cast are excellent.