chapter one


The most important thing about being a director is having a job.

—Eric Von Stroheim

I begin this book with Von Stroheim’s quotation because I once heard that the first thing you read is the thing that sticks with you the most.


In order to get and hold jobs, you will surely have to get along with others. We do not work alone. Directing is an interpretive rather than a creative art. Writers, painters, composers, sculptors, and architects are all creative artists. Creative artists work alone. They work alone on a blank screen, a blank piece of paper, a canvas, with clay, carving out a hillside … whatever. If they are composers, ultimately they’ll need musicians to make the music happen. In the ...

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