Magazine article American Cinematographer

From the Editor

Magazine article American Cinematographer

From the Editor

Article excerpt

How much does a director need to know about production technique? There are some directors who refuse to become involved in technical considerations apparently as a matter of principle. They know what they want, and they don't want to listen to 16 reasons why it can't be done. Crews often respond well to this attitude-grumbling among themselves about the ridiculousnes of the demands while at the same time making a superhuman effort to prove they can do anything the director wants. Generally it gets done. When it doesn't, the director rationalizes the situation and concludes that what he got is really the best thing for the picture.

Such an attitude on the part of a director is not always just pigheadedness or childishness. It may reflect the fact that an awareness of technical difficulty can be intimidating and paralyzing. Often marvelous things are done by people who say in retrospect that they never would have attempted them at all if they had known how difficult they would be. Many innovative techniques might never have been developed had it not been for some totally unreasonable demand by a director which forced a crew to do the impossible.

There may also be another more subtle reason for the refusal to become involved in technical considerations. …

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