Chapter 13

Running the Set

We all know that directors say, “Action!” and “Cut!” We’ve heard that in cartoons, in movies about movies, and in just the everyday vernacular of American lives. But there are also many other things that directors say as part of the logistics of running the set. Someone has to say the things that indicate to both cast and crew, “What are we all doing now?” Just as there is a vocabulary for actors, there is a vocabulary for directors. And the purpose of it is to keep things on the set running smoothly.

After Bethany’s first directing job, an episode of the 1980s NBC show St. Elsewhere, her boss called her into his office. His name was Bruce Paltrow (Gwyneth’s father) and he had created the show and was the executive ...

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