Film directing has perfected my theater directing. I think when I first started directing, a lot of my stuff was very lateral; I was afraid to have the actors' backs turned away, afraid to put them too far upstage, and I think once I did more things with film, I got more interested in composition.
I did a good bit of episodic television directing, but directing a movie is so much more complicated. And there's so much more responsibility because the medium is very much a director's medium. Television is much more of a producer's writer's medium so a lot of the time when you're directing a television show they have a color palette on set or a visual style and dynamic that's already been predetermined and you just kind of have to follow the rules.
Choreography is amazing. I'm still a dancer, yet I transitioned into choreography then as a Creative Director. All of these creative elements are brought out of being a dancer. Directing is something that comes out of understanding movement and choreography. Directing movement is directing a dance piece.
I definitely prefer directing, hands down. I'm a lazy writer and it wasn't until I got into directing that I now have a real impetus when I'm sitting at my computer. Now that I know what it's like to get to bring characters and their stories to fruition, I'm addicted. I'm a junkie. I want more.
The only disadvantage to directing if you've been an actor is how self-conscious you are. When I'm directing, I'm always so aware when I'm speaking to an actor of how easily I could throw them off by saying something careless or not being clear or concise. So it does make you watch your words in a way that sometimes is unhelpful.
Fortunately, I have an amazing partner that allows us to do these different things, who will be directing an episode himself soon, I'm sure. But, it's amazing. I love directing and I think that it allowed me to get closer to the actors and actually work with them on a level that I haven't before, and really get down there with them. I would jump at the chance to do it, anytime I could.
I really have very little aspirations about acting because I think that probably the best things have come and gone. I would like to focus on writing and directing. I love writing and directing even though writing can be incredibly painful and lonely. I get great satisfaction from doing it.
Stepping out of the director's chair completely and into a scene as an actor was weird. It was more excitement about directing than anything, but I was on a high from being a director and enjoying that process so much that going back to being an actor was almost secondary because I really was loving directing.
Directing, to me, starts even before we get to the set. Directing is a fluid, an abstract thing. It's not done only purely in the moment. It's an idea that you plant before. It's a location that you show. It's something I whisper in someone's ear. It's a freeform thing. It only takes me a week to write the script, but it's years that you're thinking about it. The execution is really the fast part.
Directing is a very all-consuming job. What you want to do there, as you're coming down the final road, is to just sit back and enjoy and let the wind flow through your hair. When you're directing, you're sitting there going, "I need to make this shot. How many hours do we have left in the day? How many hours behind are we?" You're just constantly worried about doing the job.
Directing's the best part. Whenever I've directed something, there's this feeling of demand and focus that I like. And secondly, it means that you've gotten through all the writing stuff, and the producing stuff, and casting, and prep, and all those stages that are seemingly endless. So directing is sort of the reward for all the work you put in before. And then there's the editing, which is another amazing stage of the process. It's incredible the moments you can create.
J. J. Abrams
First of all, directing is an idea that you have of a total flow of images that are going on, which are incidentally actors, words, and objects in space. It's an idea you have of yourself, like the idea you have of your own personality which finds its best representation in the world in terms of specific flows of imaginary images. That's what directing is.
I would love to direct but I feel like directing is a whole separate craft and so I tend to respect it as a separate craft that I would need to study first. So, right now I'm still trying to do certain things as an actor and until I get bored of that or I feel completely fed by that then I'll move into directing.
For me, the real goal is to integrate. The thing that I'm most happy with is the fact that I've been able to keep doing all of it - to keep writing, and to keep acting in movies, and to keep acting on the stage, to keep directing plays. I find that they feed each other, and that I learn about acting from directing and I learn about writing from acting.
Directing is a nice job. It's the best job for me. If i had to pay money to do it, I would do itIt's problematical. It's disapointing often. It's very challenging. It's frustrating as hell. It's extremely demanding and totally satisfying work. And if I wasn't doing this, I would have to do legitimate work for a living. There are guys out there really working for a living, cleaning streets or coal mining, teaching. Directing is playing. Acting.
Once I went to film school, I realized that film directing was actually much better than theater directing, because you kind of get to stay in control of it all the way through. You don't relinquish the piece to the actors like you have to in theater; you stay in control through the very end.
What I love about directing is finding common ground in complementary palate with wardrobe, set design, the camera department, the makeup department, et cetera. I love figuring out that synergy. To have everything work in concert is amazing, I love working with that kind of logic. Directing is a cavalcade of taste decisions - this one or that one, but I raather enjoy it and am in the process of setting up the next endeavor.
What surprised me about directing is how much I loved it and how happy I am to be on the set. I love coming to work in the morning. What I realized is that I never loved acting. I don't love being in the hair and makeup chair. I don't [love] being in costume. To me the strangest thing is that I've just spent the majority of my life in one aspect of this business, and because I was fortunate enough to become successful I never questioned whether I felt at home and found out later in life that I'm much happier directing.
I mean time management is a big factor in my life. I'm a very organized person. You can only do one thing at a time, so that's the main way I do everything. When I'm with my kids, I'm with my kids. When I'm directing a movie, I'm directing a movie. When I'm making Magic Mike, I'm making Magic Mike. So you just really have to fragment and focus.
If I ever thought of directing again, I mean - I don't know, even the idea of directing a film is a strange one for me, because I feel kind of anti mathematics in a way in that sense. Anti - I don't like when things make sense, I prefer if they don't, so if I made a film, it wouldn't make any sense and no one would see it. So maybe I'll just make little films at home with my phone, never to be released.
Once, a few years earlier, Jules had gone to see a play at Ash's theater, and afterward, during the 'talkback, ' when the audience asked questions of the playwright and of Ash, who'd directed the production, a woman stood up and said, 'This one is for Ms. Wolf. My daughter wants to be a director too. She's applying to graduate school in directing, but I know very well that there are no jobs, and that she's probably only going to have her dreams dashed. Shouldn't I encourage her to do something else, to find some other field she can get into before too much time goes by?' And Ash had said to that mother, 'Well, if she's thinking about going into directing, she has to really, really want it. That's the first thing. Because if she doesn't, then there's no point in putting herself through all of this, because it's incredibly hard and dispiriting. But if she does really, really want it, and if she seems to have a talent for it, then I think you should tell her, 'That's wonderful.' Because the truth is, the world will probably whittle your daughter down. But a mother never should.