The hero of Francois Truffaut’s “Day for Night” famously said that “making a film is like a stagecoach ride in the old west… when you start, you are hoping for a pleasant trip. By the halfway point, you just hope to survive. “
Directing a film —no matter if it’s a tentpole feature or a crowd-funded short— is a herculean undertaking, requiring much overtime, thankless work and often soul-deadening compromise. The best directors have found ways to fight righteously for their cinematic visions within the studio system. In a new video interview courtesy of Film4, a veritable who’s who of today’s best filmmakers share their thoughts on the directorial process, the translation of thought from page to screen and the urgency and chaos that fuels most film sets.
The video encompasses interviews with the likes of Eli Roth and Ben Wheatley: both are genre directors who cheerfully subvert the conventions of whatever genre they’re in, be it a teens-in-the-woods horror flick (Roth’s “Cabin Fever”) or a psycho-hallucinatory visual freakout (Wheatley’s horrifying “A Field in England”). Old masters like Martin Scorsese, David Cronenberg, James Cameron contribute insightful remarks, as do auteurs of a more recent vintage like Christopher Nolan, David Fincher, Steve McQueen, Peter Jackson, the ever-garrulous Quentin Tarantino and an unexpectedly philosophical Paul Greengrass. Check out their thoughts on directing in the video below.