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Tag: Directing

Icelandic Volcanos and the Illusion of Control

by on Apr.19, 2010, under Filmmaking

Eyjafjallajökull - More than just a great name.

I’m about to board the first commercial flight from the US to Germany in over four days.  I’m directing a shoot in Hannover later this week.  At least, that’s the plan.  But I need to get there first.  And the eruptions of an Icelandic volcano called, Eyjafjallajökull has shut down most air traffic across Europe.  It’s a great reminder of just how much is out of our control. (continue reading…)

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Fantasy Football for Drama Nerds

by on Mar.10, 2010, under Filmmaking

Fantasy casting is a reality for almost any filmmaking.

I’ve never really understood the allure of fantasy football or baseball.  I think my friends who speak with great passion about “their” players, trades, stats, are a teensy bit bat-shit.  But that’s just me.  I’m luke warm about sports unless I’m either playing them or watching them right at that second.  However, the world of film has its own version of fantasy football: Casting. (continue reading…)

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What to Wear: Director’s Edition

by on Feb.18, 2010, under Questions

Here’s a question I made up because I’ve never seen this issue covered:

Hey Douglas,

Amazing site!  Here’s my question:  Everybody talks about how to direct, but no one addresses the really important stuff, like what a director should wear.  Any advice?

– D.H.

Wow, what an amazingly insightful question!

For an indie director, what you wear matters, because you’re going to be in it all day.  (And possibly all night when you collapse in a stupor at the end of the day.)  It’s important to be comfortable all day long…and it’s a long day we’re talking about, especially on location shoots.  (Isn’t every independent film a location shoot?)  What I walk out the door wearing is probably what’s going to be on me all day long.  I’ve found that anything I take off during the day usually ends up lost or borrowed.  While making smart choices about what you wear on set may not seem all that crucial the first day or two of your shoot, by day 17, little choices can translate to big differences in your ability to push ahead without your body going into revolt. (continue reading…)

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MTV $5 Cover: Seattle – B-Sides in the News

by on Feb.01, 2010, under Projects

Dave Knudsen from Minus the Bear jams on a Verellen custom tube amp in my video "Tube Addiction".

A few months ago I made a couple of cool little videos for a as part of their upcoming series, $5 Cover: Seattle, directed by Lynn Shelton.  They were looking for filmmakers to do some fun, documentary-style videos on some topic around the Seattle music scene.

My videos were about Verellen Amps – a shop in Seattle that builds custom tube amplifier that’s run by and for musicians.  It has a sweet guitar performance by Dave Knudsen of Minus the Bear.  That one’s called “Tube Addiction.”  The other one is “Seattle’s Vortex,” about a rehearsal space crammed into an industrial park in Seattle’s North End that serves as an practice space/second home/band incubator for a lot of talented emerging bands like Three Chord Killer, Underdose, The Mercury Rising, and Achilles Fall.

(continue reading…)

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Never in Doubt.

by on Jan.29, 2010, under Filmmaking

When I was 15, my brother had a saying about me, “Sometimes right, sometimes wrong, never in doubt.”

I’m not sure it was a compliment…

There I am at 15...Not a doubt in my mind. (Or I'd never have taken this picture.)

However, it was a pretty good indicator that I was born to be a film director.  A director with a film in production makes, on average, 17 million decisions per day.  It’s a safe bet that he’s not going to be right on every one.  And that’s okay.  Being right a lot is overrated anyway—show me someone who’s right all the time and I’ll show you someone making safe choices based on avoiding past failures, someone who eliminates the possibility of being surprised by a wrong choice that somehow turns out right.  And that, my friends is the definition of genius—making the wrong choice turn out right.

(continue reading…)

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